Are you prepared for a cold winter?
Already the temperature is starting to drop as we head into autumn in South Africa and with most homes being built for our hot summer climate, chances are your house is cold in winter. Before you rush out and buy an electric heater and hike up your electricity bill, consider some of these eco-friendly options for keeping your home snug and warm.
Insulate your home
Home-Dzine has previously done quite a few articles that discuss insulating a home - and it does work.
My home is cooler in summer and warmer in winter since installing insulation. You will find that insulation costs around R600 per roll and the average home will use around 6 rolls. Ceiling insulation is available at your local Builders Warehouse and make sure you buy rated R-value insulation for your region.
Wrap up your geyser
As an alternative to turning up the thermostat for hot water, think about fitting a geyser blanket. An inexpensive option - at around R400 - a geyser blanket allows you to keep the thermostat setting low, keeping your electricity usage down, yet still have plenty of hot water.
Windows and doors are the main culprits for a cold home. If you have gaps around windows or doors these allow hot air out and cool air in. Fit a draught-proofing strip to the bottom of exterior doors, and add draught proofing strips to windows. Both products are available at your local Builders Warehouse.
Make a door sausage
Old blankets, a tattered rug, or fabric scraps are perfect for making your own draught-excluder. If you need instructions on how to make a door sausage, click here for detailed instructions. Keep all doors in the home closed to reduce heat loss.
New window treatments
Airy drapes are perfect for the summer months, but dress up your windows for winter. Thicker fabrics will insulate rooms better by preventing heat from escaping through your glass windows. If you have a set of curtains for winter and summer, you can easily transform the look and warmth of a room.
Blankets and throws can be bought to match your decor and allow you to snuggle up close on cold evenings. A soft chenille throw, warm slippers and a cup of cocoa - just lovely when the temperature drops! And don't forget to put down some thick rugs for warmth underfoot!