steps to a warm & toasty home for winter

Okay, it’s officially freezing! Jon Snow has left the living room and the deep sting of winter is certainly making her presence felt. So how do we keep warm when the winter winds howl?

Short of employing Nan to make a ginormous scarf to wrap around your house and keep the chill at bay, let’s look at five hacks you may have forgotten about to keep your abode toasty warm this winter.

1. Seal it up

No, don’t give me your best Kiss From a Rose impression. I’m talking about the hundreds of cracks, crevices and overlooked ways that a cold draught can creep its way into your home.

The obvious culprits are above and beneath doors, open windows (duh) and air vents. We also tend to overlook poorly sealed window frames, gaps in flooring, exhaust fans and plumbing and electrical penetrations.

Arm yourself with a tube of No More Gaps and some Expandafoam and start sealing things up.

2. Fake it til you make it

Warmth comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. It can be literal and figurative. We can make a space feel warm through heating and passive measures – but making a room look warm is something different altogether.

Texture, colour and lighting can be a big help in creating a warm aesthetic in a room and a great way to keep power bills down.

The use of warm colours (don’t discard the blues and greens), plush throws and pillows, and soft warm lighting can give the room all it needs to look like it’s burning up inside.

3. Consider insulation

Like a warm blanket, insulation is what gives us that wrapped-up feeling when the alarm goes off and we dread leaving the house to face a July morning.

We’re talking about the batts in your ceilings and walls, sarking over your roof frame and wrapped concrete slabs in the ground.

These things keep us warm in winter, cool in summer and are pretty much the first line of defence when it comes to heating a home.

4. Change your perspective

While it’s always nice to have a great view, we need to think about how our homes are orientated to make the most of a rare winter sun.

From what I learnt in school, cold weather generally comes from the south (that’s where all the ice is) and the sun is usually in the north, so it sort of makes sense to face the sun when things turn cool.

Having a northerly aspect is vital for effective passive design and keeps the cold southerly winter winds at bay.

It’s all about the natural light in this character-filled family home in Bundanoon.

5. If all else fails, party like it’s 1999

If you’ve exhausted every avenue for upping your in-home heating and just can’t seem to stop the teeth from chattering, start inviting every Tom, Dick, Harry, Arthur and Marta over for afternoon sips.

Wikipedia (that old book of ‘facts’) states that the human body produces about 200 watts of heat energy at low exercise.

So, 20 or so of your best buddies hot stepping it to Janes Fonda’s ’80s aerobics classics, would pump out the same volume of heat as a 4kW gas heater.

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