When the winter weather hits, keeping warm is about more than just turning on the heater. If you want to keep comfortable without sending your energy bills through the roof, you need to use a range of different strategies.
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of 32 ways to keep your home (and everyone in it) warm this winter.
In this article, we will cover:
Click on any category to skip around or read the whole article for all 32 home heating tips!
Follow these tips to keep your house warm and to prevent cold draughts from creeping in. These tips will also save you money on your energy costs.
If you have bare windows, you’re letting more than one third of the heat you generate escape. Heavy drapes and curtains will trap more of that heat in your home, meaning you will be more comfortable and your heating system won’t have to work nearly as hard!
Cracks and gaps are another source of heat loss that you should close as soon as possible. As well as letting heat escape from your home, unsealed gaps and cracks can let cold breezes in and become an entry point for insects.
Gaps and cracks are common around door frames, window frames, and the point where your floors meet your walls. Silicon sealant, door strips, door seals, weather sealing tape, and caulk are all products you can use to close those gaps for good!
If you have a fireplace that is loose, up to 20% of the heat in your home can escape through your chimney! Look for a product called a fireplace plug, which can help you seal the flue in your fireplace.
If you’re looking for all the ambience of a fireplace without any of the inconveniences, consider a gas log fire. Even if you don’t have an existing fireplace, you can install a gas log fire.
Not every crack or gap in your home will look so obvious. You might have a mail slot in your front door or a pet flap out the back. Covering these access points with towels or rugs can help to keep in the heat. This is especially recommended if these access points are rarely or never used!
Insulation can help you retain 35% to 45% more heating or cooling. In the height of winter, this will save you money and keep your house warm.
To slash your heating costs and create extra comfort, install insulation in your ceiling, under your floors, and in other target areas. High-grade insulation such as Glasswool insulation will reduce heat loss and improve acoustic comfort for a warmer, quieter home.
Insulation isn’t all about closing gaps, installing batts, and hanging drapes! By covering walls with paintings, picture frames, bookshelves, mirrors, and other objects, you’re providing an extra layer and making it harder for heat to escape.
Your choice of flooring also plays a role in keeping you warm. If you have bare hardwood floors, decorate with some throw rugs in the knowledge that your new decorations will also prevent heat loss. If you want to take this a step further, consider installing carpet or another engineered flooring product over your wood floors.
Up to 10% of heat can escape your floors, and they’re a large surface area. With this in mind, a few rugs can go a long way.
Finally, it may be worth double glazing your windows, particularly in living areas and bedrooms. If you have double glazed windows in the same room as a split system, you can expect increased heating performance thanks to the excellent heat retention qualities of your double glazing.
Double glazing is generally expensive, and retrofit double glazing may be available as an alternative. If you can afford them, double glazed windows will be worth the investment in the long term.
From the obvious to the innovative, these home heating hacks can complement your existing heating and cooling systems.
Where you place your furniture can have a huge impact on how warm you feel. Try to place your couches and chairs near internal walls rather than external ones, as external walls can get much cooler in the winter months. Place furniture in areas that get plenty of natural light, and ensure your split system or heating unit faces the direction of your furniture.
Do you have ducted heating and cooling in Templestowe or throughout Melbourne? Make sure your furniture doesn’t block your floor ducts. As much as it can be tempting, you also shouldn’t place furniture right next to ducts, as this will prevent warmth from spreading to the rest of the room. Move your furniture around and give your gas ducted heating a chance to work at its best!
In section one, we recommended thick curtains and drapes, but they shouldn’t stay closed all the time! During the day, letting in sunlight and natural warmth is invaluable. If your home is well insulated, it will retain a lot of this natural heat, which will perfectly complement your heating system.
Just make sure you remember to close the drapes at night and whenever you switch the heater on!
Using your ceiling fan in winter isn’t as crazy as you might think! Most ceiling fans have a reverse switch, which changes the direction that the blades spin. Sometimes known as “winter mode”, this setting causes your ceiling fan to push down warm air from your heater and circulate it throughout the room.
Make it a habit to change your ceiling fans to winter mode when you put your clocks back one hour on the first Sunday in April.
If you want to boost the flow of warm air out of your ducts, a duct booster fan could be perfect for you! These devices are placed either within or on top of your existing wall or floor grille. In some cases, they even replace the existing grille.
Most duct booster fans plug into the wall. When in operation, they act as a fan that blows the warm air more forcefully into your room.
While duct booster fans can be a good idea, you need to do your research to make sure you find a suitable model and an option that isn’t too loud!
Baking a cake is one of the best winter treats you can give yourself. Once the baking is done and the oven is switched off, leave the oven door open. This will allow the remaining heat to spread throughout your kitchen. Once the oven has cooled completely, you can close it again. Just make sure you’re careful if kids, pets, or older relatives are around!
Important: Never use an active stovetop or oven as a supplementary source of heat. Only ever use the residual heat from an oven that is switched off.
Just like the previous point, this hack has two benefits. Firstly, you get a warm cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. On top of this, the steam from your kettle or pot will warm up the kitchen just a little bit.
This point is just like the two listed above (we promise this is the last one!) If you’ve had a hot bath and the water is still warm, let the additional heat radiate out of the bath and around your home. Only drain the bath when the water is finally cold and offers no extra value to your home.
Not all heaters and coolers have zoning options, but most of the time, you can create your own zones. If everyone is gathered in one room, close off any doors that you can to ensure all the heat stays in one place. By creating smaller areas, you can achieve much more impressive heating results.
Heating up the whole home is sometimes unavoidable. For example, if you have reverse cycle ducted heating without any zoning options, turning on the heater means heating up the whole home. You can follow the tip above to keep one room warm, but it won’t stop air from coming out the other ducts.
However, many homes have a combination of split systems and ducted systems. If this is the case, consider using the split system for heating if you’re only targeting one room. This targeted heating could be much more effective.
Are you looking for zoned heating and cooling in Rowville or across Melbourne? To add zones to your ducted systems, chat with our experts about your options.
This DIY home improvement might make you hot and sweaty, but that’s not why we’re telling you to build a shelf.
Installing a floating shelf above a radiator or a heating grille can slow down and redirect the hot air as it naturally rises. Just make sure the shelf and anything on it isn’t prone to heat damage.
Your heater isn’t the only way to keep warm, as proven by the low-tech heat sources listed below!
Whether you’re lying in bed or sitting on the couch, a hot water bottle is the perfect way to keep warm. Simply fill the water bottle with hot or boiling water and let it do its thing. For safety, you should avoid putting hot water bottles directly on the skin.
You can make a nifty little heater with a terracotta flower pot and some candles. Simply light some candles, turn the pot upside down, and put the pot over the candles. Make sure there’s something to prop up the pot so air can get underneath and heat can radiate out.
This isn’t the most practical solution, but it can be a fun little DIY project that doubles as a heater.
The more layers you have on at home, the warmer you will be. As well as adding layers, make sure you’re wearing winter-friendly materials like polyester, nylon and wool. Take off wet clothes when you get in the door, and consider wearing items like thermal underwear, scarfs, slippers, and even gloves!
Cats and dogs are like adorable little heaters that enjoy giving you love! If you have a cat or a lap-friendly dog, show them some extra love this winter. It’s a win-win for everyone!
If pets aren’t your thing (or you’re just more of a bird person), simply stock up on lap rugs or blankets for winter. This is especially important when you’re sitting down and watching TV, as sitting slows your circulation and cools you down.
Your feet cool down quicker than other parts of your body when they’re not being used. With more and more people working from home, a lot of us will be spending more time sitting at a desk. An under-desk foot warmer could be the perfect item to keep your feet warm!
In winter, swap your cotton bedding for a fleece or flannelette alternative. These lightweight, soft materials will keep you warm without triggering excessive sweat. If you don’t want to run the heater all night, a good set of winter sheets can make all the difference.
Follow these tips to get the most out of your home’s heating system!
Many people choose to close their heating vents and grilles during the warmer months. This is especially the case for people who have a ducted system that is heating-only.
When the winter weather sets in, open all your vents and grilles before you use your ducted system. Leaving vents closed in unused rooms is not recommended. Your heating system will send warm air to those vents regardless, so leaving them closed will only make your heating work harder.
At the start of winter, make sure any air filters in your heating system are clean. As well as making the air you breathe dirtier, unclean filters can also reduce heating system performance.
During peak periods of use, check and clean filters monthly and replace them as necessary.
With a programmable thermostat, you can put your comfort on autopilot. You can set different temperatures for different times of the day, use a sleep mode for overnight comfort, create zoned heating and cooling, get diagnostic information to improve your system, and much more!
Some systems come with smart thermostats while other systems are compatible with retrofitted programmable thermostats.
Timers and Wi-Fi controls may be included as part of your programmable thermostat, or they may be available as separate features.
With these two features, you can set your heater to turn on at practically any time! Set a timer so your heater activates half an hour before you come home from work. Alternatively, you can use Wi-Fi controls to switch your heater on or off from anywhere as long as you have a wireless connection.
Professional servicing and repairs are absolutely essential for your heating and cooling. Maintenance services should be arranged every 2-3 years, even if you’re not experiencing any specific issues. If you are having heating problems, arrange repairs as soon as possible.
Malfunctioning heating systems can be a matter of safety as well as comfort. Gas leaks, fires, burns, and electrocution can all potentially occur as a result of faulty heating systems.
When your heating system gets to a certain age, no amount of servicing or repairs can save it. If this is the case for you, it might be time for an upgrade.
If you have a ducted system, a simple ducted heating changeover could be perfect for you. This process involves replacing your hard-working outdoor unit but leaving your ductwork in place.
If you have an older split system, space heater, or gas log fire, you would greatly benefit from upgrading to a new system, whether that’s a modern version of the same type of unit or a new form of heating.
Even if your old heater is working relatively well, an upgrade will come with modern technology, new features, greater efficiency, and an eco-friendlier product!
On average, heating and cooling systems last around 10 years, but yours might have a slightly longer or shorter life depending on its history.
If you’re thinking about upgrading your HVAC system or remodelling your home, underfloor heating can be an incredibly comfortable and luxurious option!
Both electric and hydronic underfloor heating systems are available, but not all solutions are suitable for all households. If you’re building or remodelling, consult with a professional to find the best underfloor heating product for you.
Specialising in installations, maintenance, and repairs, Australian Climate Systems can help you keep warm this winter! To discuss your heating and cooling requirements with an expert, call our Melbourne-based experts on 03 9726 4444.