Warm up your home this chilly season with these effective solutions to heating challenges
Different types of homes require different heating solutions, learn what heating best suits your needs. Image: Thinkstock
Keeping your home toasty in the winter means creating an effective heating strategy, working with the orientation and architectural style of your home.
Installing insulation in your roof will help retain heat, as up to 40% of the warm air can be lost through it. If your rooms are carpeted, this will also hold heat in, and where you have timber floors, adding large rugs is another easy solution.
When you’re selecting a heater, consider the size of a room, the required heat output and your budget.
Make a checklist of the must-have features on a new heater before purchasing to ensure essential safety features such as a tip-over cut-out switch, a timer and a child-proof lock are included in the design.
TIP If choosing a gas system, ensure it is flued for safety reasons.
South-facing, one-bedroom apartment
The challenges faced in heating this style of home start with the lack of winter sunlight reaching the apartment due to its southern aspect.
The often large windows or doors designed to let in more light can also let more heat escape. Shared walls and the compact size do help when heating the space.
To make a one-bedroom apartment in a high-rise block cosy, cover large windows or doors with blockout blinds. Select a small portable heater to warm yourself for shorter periods on the low-wattage setting.
For longer use, opt for a heater that has a thermostat and timer to prevent hefty power bills.
To make a one-bedroom apartment in a high-rise block cosy, cover large windows or doors with blockout blinds. Image: Thinkstock
North-facing, terrace house
The northerly aspect of this house means that during the day the windows on the front receive the winter sun, allowing lots of light in.
And, leaving these windows unshaded during the day enables the heat to be absorbed by the walls and floor. The common wall also adds
a degree of insulation to this house.
Add seals to the doors to lock in the heat. Choose medium-sized electric heaters and turn them on when you enter a room to warm the air.
For cold mornings, install a towel heater in the bathroom to keep warm after showering and avoid heating the whole house for the short time before everyone heads off for the day.
The northerly aspect of this house means that during the day the windows on the front receive the winter sun, allowing lots of light in
West-facing, single-storey house
A west-facing house often loses heat through eastern windows after the brief morning sun exposure.
Opening curtains in the afternoon will capture the sun from the west and keeping doors closed in the areas of the house you’re using also helps retain the heat.
After dark, cover windows with lined or blockout curtains to keep in the day’s heat and choose a heater designed for larger, more open areas such as a wood or wall heater.
A west-facing house often loses heat through eastern windows after the brief morning sun exposure. Image: Thinkstock
East-facing, two-storey house
Keeping a large multi-level house heated can be difficult, especially if its eastern face has a large section of windows that allow heat to escape in the afternoon, as the sun heads west.
To raise the temperature of a home this size, ensure all of the windows and doors are sealed to prevent heat escaping. Also, make a zoning strategy of only heating frequently used areas such as the living room.
Choose heater models that circulate heat around a room ensuring the warm air reaches every corner of the space evenly.
To raise the temperature of a home this size, ensure all of the windows and doors are sealed to prevent heat escaping