Hang on to heat
AN EFFECTIVE heating system in the home is one thing, but without an effective system of insulation, heating is almost a waste of time; so before the cooler months really make their presence felt, we’re going to take a look at how to heat your home, how to retain that heat in your home and a number of ways you can make your home more energy efficient, allowing your household to save more money than it typically would through those potentially expensive winter months.
Using the heat you have stored in a room can also be improved by the use of a ceiling fan.
It doesn’t matter which type of heating you use, the heat from it will tend to stay in a pocket near the ceiling because heat rises, so the installation of a ceiling fan in the middle of a room can improve the distribution of that heat if used on a lowspeed setting.
Ceiling fans also have the advantage of being able to cool a home in summer by using it on the reversed setting, drawing warm air away from the lower parts of a room and creating some air movement to try and cool the occupants down.
Because large amounts of heat can also escape through poorly sealed windows and doors, you can install self-adhesive draught-stop material around these areas.
Light a candle and hold it up to windows and doors to see if there’s a draught coming in and then use a strip of draught tape to seal it off.
Rolls of draught-seal come in various thicknesses and it pays to take a bit of care to see which one you need for your doors or windows.
If the tape is too thick, you’ll have trouble closing your doors or windows and, if its too thin, then you still have draughts coming in when they’re closed.
To decide which one is best for you, close the door or window and then fold up a piece of paper until it’s the same thickness as the gap (wedge it in the gap to test it).
When it’s a tight fit, you have a fairly good idea of the thickness of draught-seal you’ll require.
The bottom of exterior doors is a prime example of where heat can escape and the installation of a draught-exclusions strip to the bottom of a door can also have a positive impact.
A door snake (a soft roll laid across the gap at the bottom of a door) can be used, but they can’t seal out all the drafts and they have to be replaced every time someone opens the door.
Preventing heat escaping from your home can be as simple as drawing curtains over windows when the days start to get cooler but, if you’ve got a view that you don’t want to block out, then you may want to consider double glazing in your windows. It’s considerably more expensive than installing heavy drapes, but will allow you to still look out your window while improving the insulation properties of your home.
If you’ve got a skylight, then ensure that’s double-glazed too, as a single-glazed skylight just allows the heat to pour out of a home.
Also, make the most of the sun during the day as it’s a free source of heating.
This is known as passive solar heating (it also works in reverse in summer when you want to keep your home cool).
If you’re planning new home, take the angles of the sun into account – both the summer sun, which rises early and sets late and sits high in the sky and the winter suns, which rises considerably later, sets earlier and doesn’t climb as far above the horizon.
If you know you’re going to get a considerable amount of sun streaming into your home throughout the day, then open the curtains and let it flood in, then close the curtains again later in the day as it starts to cool.
Overhanging tree branches or large shrubs should be trimmed back to allow as much sun as possible to come through the windows.
The installation of carpet or heavy rugs can greatly improve the insulating properties of a home, especially in older homes that have polished timber floors.
Observing: Spectators watch the Grant’s Corner to Corner Tournament at Rewa Bowling Club.