We’re in the lead up to winter, and you can already feel the change of the seasons. The nights are drawing in earlier, the sun is rising later, we’re experiencing lower temperatures, and the elements are turning. This means more chance of frost, ice, rain, wind, and snow.
This is an exciting time of year; as well as enjoying autumn, many of us are starting to plan for Christmas. But it’s also a time of year when we need to prepare our homes for winter. More than any other point in the calendar, it’s important to focus on your home, ensuring that it is an environment that provides you not only with reliable shelter, but comfort and warmth too.
Here are a few key areas you can focus on to prep your home for winter.
First and foremost, it’s time to ensure that the heating systems in your home are working properly. Having properly functioning heating systems will ensure that you and your family can stay warm and cosy.
Few of us turn our heating on or check it during the summer months. The natural temperatures of our homes, influenced by the outdoors, is usually sufficient for us to be comfortable. But as temperatures drop, you’re probably going to find that you need to turn the heating on.
Check your boiler now; make sure that it turns on, and works without problems. It’s better to check this sooner rather than later, as there’s significantly increased demand for boiler repair once temperatures drop and people are already in need of heating. Even if you don’t need to turn your heating on yet, give the system a run to check everything’s OK.
You should also take this opportunity to check that any alternative forms of heating in your home are working too. This could include open fire places and gas fire places. If you haven’t had your chimney cleaned in a while, now is a good time. Having your chimney professionally cleaned ensures that smoke can safely and quickly leave your home and that no debris falls down while the fire is burning, reducing fire hazards and risks.
It’s all well and good having your heating systems up and running, but if you want to prep your home for winter, you also need to make sure that it can retain the heat. This is where insulation comes into play.
Good insulation will help your home retain as much of the heat you’re generating as possible. This not only keeps your home warm, but it should also mean that you don’t have to have your heating on as much. This is better for the environment and can help you to save money on your energy bills, which is particularly important during the cost of living crisis we’re living through right now.
There are various types of insulation, so do a little research and find out what your home already has. Double glazing is particularly recommended, as glass is a massive conductor of heat, meaning that heat can escape through your windows more easily than any other section of your home. Having double glazing protects and prevents against heat loss in this area. If you already have double glazing, you may want to upgrade to triple glazing.
Another important area to insulate is your roof. Heat rises, meaning that your home naturally loses a lot of heat through the roof. Insulating your loft space can make a really big impact on the energy efficiency of your home.
Flooring makes a big difference during the winter months. Think about it – when you head downstairs in the morning, you may find yourself flinching as your feet hit cold, hardwood floors or tiles in your bathroom and kitchen.
You have a few flooring options to prep your home for winter. What’s best for your home will depend almost entirely on your individual needs and preferences. The first option, if you already have hardwood or tile flooring and want to maintain this for aesthetics or for easier cleaning, is to invest in some rugs. Rugs can be rolled out in the winter to provide a softer, warmer surface to walk on that better retains heat and warmth. You can browse a wide selection at Rugstore.
Underfloor heating is another option. Underfloor heating systems can be installed to maintain the look and appearance of tile or laminate flooring, and allow you to benefit from these cooler surfaces during the hot summer months, with the added option of being able to heat them up. These systems often pump hot water in pipes beneath the tiles or laminate, heating the surface above and giving you a warm floor to walk on.
A final option is to switch your flooring to cosy carpeting. This works particularly well in low-traffic rooms such as bedrooms.
Smart home systems
Nowadays, there are a lot of smart home systems on the market. These involve software and hardware that allow you to control your home from your phone. There are systems that allow you to also control lights and other elements of your home through an app, but for now, let’s just focus on heating.
When you have a smart home heating system installed, you gain so much more control over your heating. Rather than being at the mercy of the times you set on your thermostat and returning to a cold house, you can turn your heating on via your phone in advance. This means that your home will be fully heated by the time you return, providing you with a comfy and cosy environment to walk back into.
With a smart home heating system, you can also check if you’ve accidentally left the heating on once you’ve left the house. If you have, you can switch it off without having to return home, saving you time and money on unnecessary heating bills.
Cushions, blankets and throws
This is the ultimate time of year for cuddling up in front of the TV, or with a good book, a magazine, or my inspiring winter quotes. It’s something that many of us look forward to when heading home from a day at work. You can make things even more cosy by adding plenty of cushions, blankets and throws into the mix.
Having these comfy home furnishings will provide you with softness and warmth when you’re relaxing. There are plenty of different designs available to choose from, so it’s easy to find something that suits the aesthetic of your home. You may also want to consider storage options if you don’t want to leave these items out every day; an ottoman, storage chest, or simple baskets will do the trick.
Let’s not forget about bedtime. The nights are drawing in closer, and many of us tend to sleep a little more during the winter months. So, why not maximise your sleeping experience?
If your bedroom is a bit chilly, you might want to consider using an electric blanket. These can be placed on top of your mattress and beneath your sheet, and can be turned on to warm up your bed. There are plenty of different options, so make sure to read reviews to find one that will tick all of your boxes.
If you share a bed and your partner isn’t feeling the cold, go for an electric blanket that is split in two, with separate controls for each side of the bed. This gives each person control over the temperature of their sleeping space. Also make sure to read the safety instructions, as some heated blankets can’t be used on certain types of bedding, such as memory foam.
Winter may be approaching fast, but you’ve got time to implement some of these changes before the frost and cold really hits. Hopefully, some of the advice and guidance above will help you to prep your home for winter. Each suggestion is relatively straightforward and cost-effective to implement, and many of them aren’t very expensive in the first place. Some can even save you money, which will definitely help during the cost of living crisis. Which of the areas we’ve covered here could help in your home this winter?