Cover your windows!
Windows tend to be the main source of heat loss in any home so the number one thing you can do is cover them and stop heat escaping or cold coming through. According to Energywise “Good curtains and blinds can reduce heat loss through windows by 60% for single glazed windows, and 40-50% for double glazing.” For winter, we recommend our roller blinds with thermal lining.
Pairing curtains with blinds doubles your efforts and can look really stylish. If you decide on this option you’ll need to go for an inside mount. Make sure you’re very accurate with your measurements to have as small and as few gaps as possible.
If you only have blinds and no curtain, ensure a snug fit to stop warm air sneaking down behind and escaping through the glass, or vice versa, cold air leaking in. This is best achieved with the blind mounted to the outside of the window frame and with a reverse roll or under roll; this is when the material comes off the roll backwards and means the blind unrolls right up against the frame to create a barrier that blocks the cold. You could also install a pelmet over the roll to further create that pocket of air, which helps to reduce heat loss. This also hides the hardware for a tidier look.
Make sure you keep your blinds open during the day to let in any sun and close them at dusk to keep that warmth in and cover the cold glass.
Venetian and vertical blinds, while not as energy efficient as a thermal lined roller, could still have a place in any home during winter. Not all rooms require lots of insulation so they may still be appropriate for rooms such as the bathroom, kitchen or laundry.
Seal any gaps
Right up there with covering windows is checking for and sealing any gaps, especially around your windows. Check both inside and outside and caulk or apply rubber weather seal tape where appropriate; this is available fairly cheaply from any hardware store and it’s easy to install.
Other gaps to stop are those under the doors. Get yourself some door snakes or make then out of old clothes. And remember to close off any rooms that aren’t being used and don’t need to be heated.
Upgrade to multi-layered glazing
Double-glazing is proven to reduce heat loss through windows. It works by trapping a pocket of air – which is not a good conductor of heat - between the two panes of glass. This is not a cheap undertaking but definitely valuable.
Beef up your insulation
For a relatively small cost in comparison to the improvements you’ll notice, upgrading or adding more insulation is a great way to keep a cosy home (it’s also great in summer!) Prioritise improving your ceiling insulation as heat rises and this is often the cheapest and easiest to install.
Keep it dry
A damp home is so hard to heat and everything we do adds to the moisture levels in the house. Here are some ways to dry it out and/or help prevent moisture from building up:
- Home ventilation system
- Open north facing windows a little during the day for airflow
- Get a dehumidifier
- ShowerDome and extractor fan in the bathroom
- Vent clothes dryer outside
- Rangehood in the kitchen and use lids on pots and pans