Winter is coming, and it’s going to be the coldest one in five years. The Independent reports that the United Kingdom will face very cold Arctic winds come winter, with December and January likely to be colder than normal.
While winters here in the UK are nowhere near as harsh nor as long as those in the fictional land of Westeros, we can still take some wisdom from the Stark family’s words and prepare for the upcoming winter season. Here are some ways you can winter-proof your home to keep your family safe and warm.
Keep drafts out
British winters can get very windy, and winter drafts can decrease temperatures by up to 100 percent or more. This is why blocking the wind from seeping into your home is the first step to getting or staying warm.
One major entry point of drafts is through gaps in doorways. Keep the cold air out by filling in the gap between the floor and doors with an insulating draft stopper. These can come in fun animal shapes or no-frills foam, and should be able to keep the cold from seeping in.
Insulate your loft
The Telegraph notes that around ¼ of heat loss happens through the roof, making it essential to insulate your loft if you haven’t yet. Consider getting professionals to conduct an energy audit of your home to know the most effective and affordable insulation method to use.
Close your curtains at night
Curtains can do a good job of retaining heat in your home and keeping the cold out. Forbes recommends using thick fabrics like velvet, which can provide an extra barrier for insulation and reduce drafts.
Keep your curtains open during the days, especially for windows at the south and west sides of your house, as these are the best vantage points to absorb heat from the low winter sun. After dusk, close your curtains or drapes immediately to keep the heat in and the cold out.
Reflect the heat
Make sure that the radiator is working to heat up the room, and not just the walls. The Conversation explains that installing radiator reflector foils at the back of your radiators can ensure that the heat is reflected back into the room, lessening heat loss and boosting efficiency for your indoor heating.
Install underfloor heating
Underfloor heating systems are a more energy efficient, economical way for radiating heat into the room. One of its biggest advantages is that it bring the heat upwards from the ground towards where it’s needed, and not towards the ceiling, as it is with hot air systems. Aside from better distribution of heat, underfloor systems allow you to control temperature on a room-to-room basis and can also reduce airborne allergens. They’re also pretty easy to install, with Screwfix featuring an array of underfloor heating mats and thermostats suitable for both new and existing rooms. The underfloor heating listed is ideal for laminate and engineered-flooring.
Line your pipes
Insulate your pipes to protect them against the cold and to keep the water inside hotter for longer. The process, called pipe lagging, involves insulating the hot water pipes with foam tubes, and will make your heating systems much more efficient. Pipe lagging is available in most hardware stores. While you’re at it, give your boiler a treat and enlist a professional to conduct an annual boiler service to help it last longer and keep it running efficiently.