Staying warm at home this winter
Do you sometimes find yourself wearing hat and gloves indoors during the colder months?
As charming a picture as this may paint, being colder inside than out is not a normal state of affairs for most of the world’s westernised population, and it really needn’t be so.
Most people focus solely on the heat side of the equation when they eventually decide that breaking the ice to make a cup of tea in the morning has lost its pioneer appeal.
What many overlook is the flipside of the coin: insulation.
Fact is, you can put as much heat as you like into a home, but if it’s poorly insulated the only thing rising will be your power and fuel bills.
There’s no lack of choice of reasonably straightforward steps to swaddle your home snugly for the winter season, either, with solutions at all price points.
For inspiration, just bear witness to the venerable longdrop walls caulked with newspaper.
The modern equivalent of this is ceiling, wall and underfloor insulation.
We’ve all heard of pink batts, and their addition to your loft space or underfloor, foil-backed, can make a simple, economical, but significant difference to your thermal comfort.
The additional benefits of having them in-wall even make retrofitting a worthwhile, if slightly more involved, process.
Alternative materials exist for this basic insulative requirement of any property, such as ecologically friendly blown fleece for lofts, polystyrene variants underfloor and straw bales for your walls, if you’re considering a new build.
Why not go the whole hog and stick a complete set of professionally fitted, double-glazed windows and doors in on top of your home’s new thermal comfort blanket?
Granted, you’re looking at a bit of an investment here, but the improvements in your sonic and thermal insulation from doubleglazing are truly impressive.
Having properly gloved and beanied your home’s extremities, it now becomes a common sense step to assess the heating options at its core.
Whether you’re building a new house, or simply bringing your existing property up to scratch, this is one of the key factors that will influence your project’s overall success.
And where you may once have been limited to a choice that extended to the shade of brown for your woodburner, there now exists a considerable range of home heating options to suit all styles, situations and wallets.
One of the major recent introductions has been inverter heat pumps, which with a bit of clever technology actually manage to put out more energy in heat than they consume in electricity.
These appliances are technologyrich and, though continually coming down in price, nonetheless still require a fairly significant capital outlay. However, as anyone who has one will vouch, and as the statistics show, they not only provide a simple, convenient, instant source of heat for the whole house, but also do so remarkably economically.
Some, of course, would argue that you can’t beat a good, oldfashioned open fire or woodburner, and it’s fair to say that many of us enjoy the traditional warmth of the naked flame.
With the advent of relatively economical, easy-to-obtain gas, however, even this most venerable of heating solutions has been given a new spin, with a range of attractive and highly controllable gas fires now available.
We all want to be snug and well insulated in our homes, so take steps now to ensure your warmth for the coming season, and make your castle a cosy winter wonderland. Then your days of resembling a domestic Davy Crockett might just draw to a satisfyingly toasty end.