Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

How to Warm Your Home

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

How to Warm Your Home

Article excerpt

OH to live in Darwin at this time of the year.

Temperatures in that city this week are expected to average 32 degrees, with overnight lows of 21.

For the rest of us, the pre-winter chill is certainly starting to bite. As we move into the colder months, here are 10 ways to warm up your home.

1. Prune those sun-suckers

Shady plants are great in summer, especially on the north and western sides of your property.

But at this time of the year you want to get as much sun into your house as you can.

Now is the time to prune plants blocking out your sunlight, if possible.

2. Let the sun in

When the sun is shining, remember to open curtains and blinds during the day, especially on the northern side of your home, but also the east (in the morning) and the west (in the afternoon).

However, you might consider leaving south-facing blinds and curtains closed on days when it is colder outside than in, as the sun won't hit those windows.

It's very common to see homes shut up all day long with the curtains drawn.

But before you head off to work or out for the day, opening the blinds and curtains on windows that get the sun can mean coming home to a much warmer property.

3. Block the cold out

Overnight you want to stop the warm air from inside your home being lost through the glass of your windows.

It's important to cover the windows to do this.

Either use thick curtains and a pelmet overhead to stop the air from getting to the window, or consider good-quality honeycomb (also known as cellular) blinds, which pull up almost out of sight during the day to let maximum sunlight in, but do a fantastic job of blocking the windows overnight, or on colder days when there is a lot of cloud cover.

The great thing about honeycomb blinds is you don't end up with the heavy look of thick curtains but still get the insulating effect.

They do look a bit like they belong in an office and not a home though, and if that bothers you, you can layer them behind a very light sheer curtain to soften their impact.

Or of course, for even more insulation, a heavier curtain.

4. Fan-tastic

If you have ceiling fans, now is the time to switch them over to winter mode so that they run backwards.

Put them on their lowest speed and they will direct the warm air from across the ceilings where it sits high up, and down the walls.

If you get condensation on your windows overnight, you'll probably notice that leaving a fan on in winter mode during the day can help to dry the windows out faster.

5. Draughts be gone

Gaps around doors and windows can let in a lot of draughts.

Block them up with an appropriate draught-sealer.

Your local hardware store will have plenty of options.

Consider also a good old-fashioned door snake if you find it hard to seal the bottom of doors, which is often the case in older houses where steps may have worn, or doors are not quite square. …

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