Winter-warming advice to keep your home cosy for less
Winter is here and it’s time to cosy up, yet every degree over 20C on the thermostat has potential to add another 10 per cent to your electricity bill. So how do you keep your home comfortably warm without hurting your hip pocket?
Try these tips to stay warm for less.
Shut the door on heating inefficiencies
Instead of trying to heat your entire house unnecessarily, close off unused rooms. This will make heating the spaces that are most in use – such as the kitchen and living rooms – far more efficient. For extra savings, use a draught snake or plastic draught stopper to prevent cold air seeping into the rooms you’re trying to keep warm.
Ensure your insulation is up to scratch
About 33% of heat in an uninsulated home is lost through the walls and another 25% is lost via the roof. Maximising your insulation is an extremely effective way of being able to keep your home warmer more efficiently. Vantage Homes offers insulation to obtain a six-star energy-efficiency rating in all our homes.
Combine comfort with style
Nothing quite compares with under-floor heating and good insultation, but there is a more economical trick to adding warmth: quality carpets or a plush rug on non-carpeted floors. Floors can account for 10-15 per cent of heat loss when they aren’t insulated or covered, so a rug can double as a décor accessory – instantly making a room feel and look cosier – as well as help stop warmth escaping. At Vantage Homes, carpets are provided as standard with all home builds.
Be strategic with your window dressings
Double-glazing is not cheap, so being smart with your window dressings to make the most of the heat from the sun is essential. Switching to floor-length heavy curtains with two or three layers – or lining your existing curtains with thermal fabric or fleece – will help protect against heat loss, as will blockout blinds due to their thickness and opacity.
Be sure to open up your curtains or blinds during the day to let sunlight in, before closing them as soon as the sun starts to set. This way you’ll warm your home naturally and retain the heat into the evening.
As blockout roller blinds are an energy-efficient choice for retaining heat in winter – and keeping the home cool in summer – Vantage Homes includes them as standard on all new builds.
Maximise the benefit of the sun’s energy
Installing a solar power system means you’re able to switch on your reverse-cycle air conditioning or other electric heating without worrying about your power bill skyrocketing out of control. Vantage Homes customers can currently score themselves a free 2.28kW Bradford solar power system (with huge discounts also available for a Tesla Powerwall upgrade to provide a complete solar-plus-battery solution) . It’s a win-win: a new home combined with lower heating costs.
If you do use a reverse-cycle air conditioner, also be sure to clean the filters so it operates at its most efficient to help you reduce running costs even further.
Create an alfresco reading nook
We’re blessed in South-East Queensland to regularly enjoy warm, blue-sky winter days prior to the mercury dropping after the sun drops below the horizon, so it’s sensible to make the most of the outdoors lifestyle on offer. Seek out areas where you can bathe in the warmth of the afternoon sun, such as through creating a reading nook.
Vantage Homes’ alfresco entertaining areas are perfect for this and our homes have the added benefit of the sun also streaming through the glass sliding doors connecting this outdoor living space with your open-plan living/dining area – meaning you have less need to rely on the heater as evening sets in.