Don’t let the winter chill turn your apartment from a comfortable sanctuary into a fridge.
According to the Energex website, heating and cooling account for a massive 25 per cent of the average household’s energy use, so it makes sense to cut it where you can.
So, how do you keep your apartment warm during the cooler months? Here are some tips and tricks to keep your apartment cozy this winter.
Sealing windows and doors
Windows and doors that aren’t correctly sealed will let cold air into your home and let the warm air escape.
If you can feel a breeze through your window or under any doors, sealing them up will make a big difference in the winter months. Door-draft stoppers can be a great solution to keep out the cold air.
Check out this video from Bunnings on how to properly seal your windows.
Use your curtains and blinds
Not just for decoration, drawing curtains and pulling down blinds across your windows traps in warm area and stops the flow of cool air into your home through glass panels. So, let the sunlight in during the day and make use of this free heat. When it gets dark, shut your curtains, which act as another layer of insulation and keep warmth in your apartment.
Use heavy curtains
By investing in heavy drapes or curtains, you can ensure your windows will have extra insulation keeping the warmth from escaping your home.
Rug it up
If your floors feel cold, put down a rug. It’s simple but effective. Not only will a rug keep your feet from feeling cold, it also adds a layer of insulation. Investing in a warm rug to cover your cold wooden or tiled floors can warm up cold surfaces and assist in stopping the heat from escaping. In especially chilly rooms like the bathroom, kitchen or ground-level spaces, add a rug with a rug pad underneath it, too.
Cover your walls
Your walls can be big contributors to losing heat in the winter, but there’s a simple trick to lock in some of that heat by adding an extra layer of thermal mass to insulate. You can significantly reduce energy loss by covering your walls with picture frames, a mirror or even a large bookshelf.
Re-position your furniture
You will feel warmer if you position yourself and your furniture near warmer areas of the home, including closer to the interior of the apartment and away from cooler external walls. Try to place your furniture next to an internal wall or a spot that gets a lot of natural light and heat from the sun.
Did you know that ceiling fans can also be used to heat up your home? Ceiling fan blades turn in a counterclockwise motion and use what’s known as the wind chill factor to keep you cooler.
However, in winter, you’ll want to find the reverse switch on your fan to change things up. As warm air naturally rises to the ceiling, and cooler air sinks, your ceiling fan will push the warm air back down to a comfortable level. To locate your reverse switch, look on your fan above or below the blades, or check the manual from your fan manufacturer.
Portable electric heaters are ideal for small spaces for short periods of use. They’re also a great option for renters or owners of strata apartments who may not be able to install air conditioning.
But these types of heaters are not energy efficient and can get expensive. You’ll likely see a hike in your energy bills, particularly if you’re running multiple heaters in different rooms.
Click here for product comparisons of the best heaters you can get in Australia.
Some heating techniques are particularly unsuited to apartments and some can even be lethal when used indoors including;
- Heat beads or BBQ briquettes give off carbon monoxide as they burn, so shouldn’t be used indoors.
- Indoor gas heaters, particularly unflued gas heaters, must not be used in small rooms like bedrooms due to the emissions they give off.
- Never use outdoor gas heaters indoors, and don’t use gas stoves or cooktops as heaters; they aren’t intended for it and give off too much carbon monoxide. (They don’t have the same filters as indoor gas heaters).
Don’t overheat rooms
The ideal temperature for your home in winter is between 18 and 21°C, but according to energy consumptions surveys most Australians go above this. For every extra degree you heat your home, you add about 10 per cent to your heating costs.
Only heat rooms you’re using
Heating rooms you don’t spend time in is a waste of energy in every sense. Only heat the rooms you’re actually using and close the doors in rooms you want to heat.
There are so many little ways you can save on energy costs and keep warm this winter. Don’t forget simple things like dressing for the weather with jumpers, warm socks and using extra bedding at night. Your body loses most heat through exposed skin, your head, hands and feet.
Author: Sam Aubrey