Hang on to heat

Matamata Chronicle - - Heating -

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.

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