How to winter-proof your home on a budget

The colder months mean crisp morning and cosy evening by the heater. But, this means that your power bill is getting a work-out, which could leave you with a bill you aren’t expecting.
Here are nine failsafe ways to keep your home snug while being kind to your bank balance and the environment.

Insulate
Fully insulating your home can cut winter heating bills by 45%, but if the budget’s tight, insulating the roof cavity alone can reduce heating costs by 20%1. However, it’s estimated 40% of Australian homes don’t have adequate ceiling insulation2. Head to the local hardware to pick up insulation batts and frost-proof the roof cavity of your home. Using eco-friendly wool-based batts, it can cost around $62 to insulate a 10-square metre area.

Cover up against heat loss
Glass is a poor insulator and a single window can lose almost 10 times as much interior warmth as the same area of insulated wall. Block heat loss by adding thick drapes to windows. Be sure the curtains fit snugly at the sides to prevent warm air sneaking in behind the curtains and cooling as it hits the glass. Add a pelmet for complete heat retention.

Block draughts
Air movement created by draughts creates winter chills and can account for up to 20% of heat loss. For just a few dollars, pick up a door snake from your supermarket or check out craft sites like Pinterest and make your own draught defeater.

Switch ceiling fans to reverse
Hot air rises, so click the reverse switch on ceiling fans to let the blades suck up cold air and push warm air down. Circulating the warmth this way lets you turn the heater down a notch or two to pocket further savings on energy costs.

Keep unused rooms closed
There’s no point wasting warm air in rooms that aren’t being used. Contain warmth in main living areas by keeping doors to other rooms closed and focus the heat back into the space you’re occupying.

Re-arrange furniture
Sitting beside windows or alongside exterior-facing walls can make you feel colder. Bring pieces of furniture closer to the centre of the room but avoid huddling chairs and sofas directly in front of a heater – soft furnishings will absorb heat that should be directed to you.

Go easy on the thermostat
Resist the urge to crank up heaters to create tropical warmth. Lowering the temperature of a room by just one degree can mean a 10% saving on energy, so aim to keep rooms comfortable rather than hot and only heat the rooms you're actually using.

Call Suzanne or Costa in the office on 02 9517 1818, or email newtown1@mortgagechoice.com.au to discuss your options. Or, if you feel like dropping in at our office, we are now located at 557a King Street, Newtown NSW 2042. Be sure to share our blog on Facebook and let others join the conversation!

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