June 15, 2015
Winter is fast approaching and there’s nothing more satisfying than stepping out of the cold and into a warm and cosy home. Simply follow these nine simple steps to heat your home this winter.
1. Go solar and save money
Use the power of the sun to keep warm and cut energy consumption, by installing a solar hot water system. Don’t worry about missing out on hot water on cloudy days, as you can simply turn on a gas or electric booster to compensate for the lack of sun. The Australian Government offers a rebate for the purchase and installation of a new solar hot water system, making it significantly cheaper than an electric unit.
2. Prepare your patio
Winter doesn’t have to mean being holed up indoors. Make use of your outdoor space in the cooler months by installing an outdoor heater. A patio heater radiates heat, so it will keep you warm but won’t heat the air. If space is limited, consider a tabletop heater, or install a chiminea, which is a large clay pot that acts as a chimney.
3. Look after your lawn
Take the time now to rake up fallen leaves and debris which can suffocate your lawn over winter and leave behind bare spots. Also now is a great time to fertilise your lawn to ensure it remains healthy during the cooler months. Use winter fertiliser, as it contains higher levels of iron to protect and green up lawn.
4. Prepare your pool for the cool
Winter can play havoc with your swimming pool, so it’s important to adequately winterise your pool to keep it free from debris and algae. Prepare your pool by testing the chlorine levels, give the walls and floor of the pool a good scrub, vacuum the entire pool and empty the pump’s lint basket to keep it free of debris. You should also clean the pool filter, as oil and scale deposits can harden over winter. Don’t forget to add a secure pool cover to keep the pool free from debris.
5. Get your car out of the cold
Leaving your car outside in winter makes it more susceptible to damage from winter winds and hailstorms, so now is a great time to clear out your garage and make some room for your trusty automobile.
6. Warm up in front of the fire
A fireplace not only makes a stylish statement, it also naturally heats your home and creates a cosy ambiance. Almost any home can be fitted with a fireplace and there are several options available. Choose from gas, prefabricated, masonry, pellet-burning or freestanding fireplaces.
7. Insulate for a warmer winter
Insulating your home can cut your heating costs and keep your home toasty in winter. Insulation is measured on an R-rating scale - the higher the rating, the better the thermal performance, so you save more energy. Ceiling insulation prevents heat escaping through the roof, improves energy efficiency and in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
8. Heat up with a heater
Buying a gas or electric heater is one of the easiest ways to keep warm indoors. Electric heaters come in many varieties such as column, convection, fan, radiant, and off-peak storage heaters, as well as reverse cycle air conditioners. Gas heaters, both flued and unflued, can be a cheaper way to heat your home.
9. Seal in the heat with quality windows and shutters
If you find your home gets too cold in winter, it could be that heat is escaping out the windows. Boost your home’s thermal efficiency by replacing old single-pane windows with tight-fitting windows. Window shutters are another relatively inexpensive way to warm your home.