4 Tips For A More Thermally Efficient Home This Winter
Thermal efficiency is a fancy way of saying that something is good at retaining heat. Ideally, this is what your home should be doing during the colder period of the year. A thermally efficient home will stay warm and keep everyone comfortable without putting too much strain on your heating system. You want to be able to turn your heating on as infrequently as possible without feeling freezing cold.
Some homes are brilliantly built for this while others struggle. You will, however, be happy to know that any home can improve its thermal efficiency. Additionally, the tips required to do this aren’t actually that challenging at all. With minimal investment and hardly any changes to your property, you can create a home that retains so much heat and doesn’t need the heating on full-blast for hours a day!
#1 Service your heating system
Whatever heating system you have in your home needs to be serviced before the cold months take hold of your life. For most people, you’ll heat your home using an HVAC system and air ducts. Here, you’ll need the help of a professional company to look at the entire system and see if it’s working correctly. Companies like DUCTZ can do this and offer cleaning services to clear out clogged vents that might stop hot air from blowing through your home.
In essence, servicing lets you guarantee that your home is getting as much heat as possible from its heating system. When this is the case, it means you can retain more heat, putting less demand on the heating system itself. An unserviced system may need to be on for longer and at a higher temperature than one that’s well-maintained.
#2 Purchase thick curtains
It’s time to throw out your thin summer curtains and get some thicker ones for the winter. Why? Because the extra thickness will act as a barrier between your interiors and the outside world. You see, any heat inside a room will be retained by the thick curtains, keeping it there instead of letting it dissipate and move outside.
The fun thing about this tip is that you can run your own little science experiment. Turn the heating on and leave your curtains open – or keep your thin ones there. Check your thermostat to see how hot the room is and how hard your heating system needs to work to maintain that level. Or, you could just measure the temperature in a room after turning the heating on for an hour. Do the same thing with the thicker curtains and you’ll notice the temperature will stay at a higher level because the room is more thermally efficient!
Actually, you can go one step further and buy genuine thermal curtains. These exist solely to retain as much heat as possible, so give them a try.
#3 Lay down some rugs or carpets
If you want to retain more heat in your home, carpets are your best friend. They are so thermally efficient as a lot of the heat gets trapped in the fibers and doesn’t leave the room. The same cannot be said for any hard flooring option out there as they can’t hold heat. This is why tiles and hardwood flooring always feel cold underfoot while a carpet never really does!
Of course, ripping up your flooring and laying the carpet down might not seem like your idea of fun. Instead, you can lay down some thick rugs on top of your flooring. They will do the exact same thing and trap as much heat inside a room as possible. One pro tip is to put a little insulative rug pad down on the floor between it and the rug. This does two things: it traps more heat and it stops the rug from slipping and sliding everywhere.
#4 Use draft excluders
A draft excluder does exactly what it says on the tin: it excludes drafts of air! You can find them in all shapes and sizes, and they typically sit at the bottom of your doors. The idea is to prevent air from leaving a room via the tiny gap under the door. Consequently, more heat remains inside the room, helping it maintain a warm temperature.
It’s very important to recognize that thermal efficiency is not the same as energy efficiency! Here, we’re only looking at ways to make your home better at retaining heat. If you want a more energy-efficient home, you have to consider things like using less electricity, etc. The above points will still help you save energy, but they mainly aid in creating a warmer home that doesn’t feel excessively cold this winter.