How to

25 October 2016

Preparing the Home for Cold Weather (Interior)

We’ve covered how to prepare the exterior ofyour house for the cold of winter, and now that you’ve battened down the hatches, we’ll give you some tips on how to make certain the interior is ready as well so that you can reach maximum cosiness as the frost forms outside.

Set up and Test Your Heating

Give your central heating system a quick run to make sure that everything is in good working order. The last thing you want is for it not to come on when you actually need it!

Set the thermostat to maintain a room temperature of 20-24°C in the rooms. Thermostats are best placed in the rooms you use the most, so that temperatures remain stable there. You can also buy a thermometer to check that room temperatures are at adequate levels.

Nowadays, smart tech and the internet of things mean that you can monitor your housingtemperature with apps, setting it to come on automatically or turning it on and adjusting it remotely. Some apps even check weather conditions and adjust the heating accordingly, or know when you are on your way home and turn on the heating for your return.

You should also check the safety of your heating system. Ensure your boiler is running properly, and if it’s not the newest, get it serviced by a professional. Make sure you have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms, and that they are functioning correctly.

Buy Heating Supplies and Budget up

If you live in a really cold or remote area, make sure you have an alternative heating supply. Just avoid kerosene heaters, as they can put out harmful pollutants if not run optimally.

Those who are lucky enough to have an open fire or a wood-burning stove, make sure the chimney has been cleaned out, and stock up on logs and coal.

Sadly, fuel bills can be expensive these days, so make sure you have budgeted to last the winter. If there is financial hardship in paying for heating expenses, you can ask the aid of the welfare service in your community.

To avoid paying any extra, make sure all your windows and doors are properly sealed, and considering upgrading insulation. However, don’t seal things up too tight, as houses always require a little ventilation.

Buy a Humidifier

All this heating can really dry out the air in your house, making it uncomfortable. Combat this by purchasing a humidifier, making the air much more breathable, and actually reducing the transmission of airborne illnesses such as cold or the flu.

Preventing dry air not only reduces risk of infections, it also means you heal faster if you do have a cold, stops dry throats in the morning, and helps you sleep better.

On top of this, humid air even feels warmer, so you can lower the thermostat a little and cut those bills down to size.

Whilst more humid air can be great, don’t overdo it as the beneficial effects can actually be countered or even reversed if humidity levels are too high.

Check Your Wardrobe

Another way to cut down on savings-sapping energy bills by lowering the thermostat is to pile on a couple more layers. Adding a thermal vest or a cosy jumper will keep you warm, as will a pair of slippers.

Dress especially warm in the morning while the body wakes up and your metabolism gets going, and make sure that your bedding is thick enough to withstand the night time chill. Adding extra warm materials around the house can help add an ambient sense of warmth too, so drape a few blankets over your sofas and beds.

Fill Your Cupboards

The next time you go for a big shop, make sure to stock up on comfort foods and some ingredients for hearty winter dishes. If you have a slow cooker, you can easily chuck in a few of these to make a stew or a steaming bowl of soup. Keep plenty of hot drinks to hand as well, as nothing says cosy like a hot chocolate after a winter walk.

Sam Franklin

With a master’s in Literature, Sam inhales books and anything readable, spending his working hours reformulating the info he gathers into digestible articles. When not reading or writing, he likes to put his camera to work around the world, snapping street photography from Stockholm to Tokyo. Too much of this time spent in Japan teaching English has nurtured a weakness for sashimi, Japanese whisky, and robot cafés.