Is your home always cold? Are you always the first one to put the heating on when winter rolls round? Do you feel a chill even with the heating on full blast? Not only is this a miserable way to live, it’s also likely costing you a fair whack in energy cost.
Australian homes built before the early 2000’s, when governments first started to mandate energy efficiency standards for residential buildings, were rarely built with warmth in mind.
When not properly insulated, the brick often used in older homes can absorb heat from inside the house. Double-glazed windows commonly seen in new homes can be very expensive to install into existing houses.
Top 5 reasons why your house may be cold and what you can do to warm things up:
Older windows, particularly those with wooden frames, that aren’t properly sealed can let cold air into your home and warm air escape. You can find hidden leaks around your home by looking around doors, windows and skirting boards for visible light. Decorative windows such as stained glass can also pose an issue, with lots of smaller areas of glass to worry about, meaning more potential for draughts. All those gaps add up.
2) Small Draughts
One of the most obvious sources of cold in your home is draughts, as you can feel the cold air on your skin. There are many places in your home which may be letting the chilly outside air into your home and, while each one may only be small, they can really add up. Any opening to the outside could cause a draught. Your pet door, for example could be letting in cold air. On windy days, listen for whistling sounds and feel for moving air around doors, windows, ceiling vents or floorboards.
3) Fireplaces and Chimneys
Your fireplace and chimney can be a big source of draughts. If you have a fully open fireplace and chimney, you’re likely to get cold air creeping in when a fire is not lit. If you have a gas fire or electric fireplace, you may find draughts coming through vents when not in use.
Floors can be responsible for up to 20% of heat loss if they aren’t insulated. If you have wooden floors then heat will be more easily lost than if you have carpet. Tiled floors are notorious for being very cold. You could opt to add flooring insulation or you may choose to fully carpet your home.
Roofs and lofts are the greatest sources of heat loss, especially since heat rises, so getting your roof properly insulated will improve your home’s warmth and will save you money on your heating bills.
Insulation is a low-cost way to prevent unnecessary heat loss with immediate results.
Once you have taken steps to cut down on heat loss in your home, your heater won’t have to work as hard. If you opt to install insulation, it will make your house feel warmer and save you money.
The best insulation for you can depend on a number of factors, including the size of your space, your budget and the availability of natural light. Consumer advocacy sites like Choice, government sites like YourHome.gov.au and state government sites like Sustainability Victoria all encourage insulation as the best option to reduce heat loss.