With winter now well and truly upon us, many of us are thinking about ways to keep our homes warm. We’re spending more time inside and reaching for the dials on our heaters, sending greenhouse gas emissions – and our energy bills – through the roof.
The good news is there are alternatives to running your heater around the clock. There are things you can do to keep cosy through the colder months that not only cause less impact to the environment, but keep your energy costs low as well.
1) Invest in insulation
Most homes in Australia are fitted with roof and wall insulation – but did you know you can lose up to 20% of the heat in your home through an uninsulated floor? Choosing an underfloor insulation product like CSR Bradford’s Optimo™ reduces heat loss and prevents cold draughts coming up through suspended timber floors.
Plus, this DIY product is simple to install, making it easy to fit out your home in a weekend.
2) Double your glazing (not your bills)
As well as letting light in, the windows in your home act as heat conductors – you can spend your days heating your house only to lose a significant amount of warmth through single glazed glass. Double glazed windows limit the transfer of both hot and cold air, providing year-round comfort while reducing reliance on heating and cooling.
3) Make the most of the sun with the right window overhang
Free heating in the winter is an appealing proposition, and the sun can provide just that – as your windows let the sunlight in, passive solar heat warms your home. But what happens in summer, when you don’t want your house to turn into a furnace?
It’s simple – because the sun is lower in the sky in winter and almost straight overhead in summer, by extending or paring back the eaves of your windows to the right depth you can let the winter sun stream in and shade out the summer sun later in the year.
Want to find out the ideal depth for your window eaves based on where you live? There are free passive solar overhang calculators available online.
4) Improve ventilation
With the arrival of the wet winter months comes the problem of rising damp, which not only affects comfort levels in your home but if left unchecked, can do significant damage. Installing a subfloor cross ventilation system like the Edmonds EcoFan allows you to exhaust damp air from the underfloor area and bring fresh air in – and it also makes it easier to heat your home. Having good cross ventilation allows you to open your windows and warm up your house during the day while the sun is out.
There is nothing better than settling into a warm, comfortable house in winter – and by choosing cleaner, greener ways to improve the thermal comfort of your home you can make it a more pleasurable place to live in, while significantly reducing your energy costs.