How to Keep Your Home Warm and Dry in Winter?
30 November 2021
The United Kingdom is, by its very nature quite cold and wet when it comes to the cooler months of the year – and especially during winter.
Now we are seeing rising prices for the likes of heating and gas, we thought it might be useful to look at some tips on how to keep your home well heated and free from potential moisture damage in the face of winter.
How Do You Keep Your Home Warm During Winter?
Winter is cold. Very cold and has been getting colder for the past few years, so understanding how to keep your home warm effectively is a valuable skill to have – especially when heating costs are on the rise.
Insulation is a core part of any homes heat retention abilities, and it’s fair to say a lot of people rely on it pretty heavily. If your home has inadequate, ineffective, or no insulation at all it’s time to look into different insulation possibilities to help your home retain its heat all year round.
Insulation won’t just help keep the heat within your home either. Effective insulation installed within walls and in the roof or ceiling of your home will also help to regulate your temperature all year round, including in the summer when you want to trap the cooler air in your home.
You can also depend on insulation to reduce the overall level of condensation and black mould growth in your home as well, thanks to the insulation ability to shield your interior walls from the more extreme and lower temperatures outdoors. You can read more about that process here, but simply put, insulation is handy for reducing condensation-based damp, which as well as keeping your home warm, will help it remain dry through winter.
Use Your Curtains
This might sound like an odd tip, but remember that curtains have more applications than just as a screen to grant you privacy and block out light at night.
During the day, you should keep your curtains open. Even in the winter when the nights draw in and the days are shorter. This isn’t just to help fill your home with natural light and help save on the electricity bill and lighting, but because the sun itself is a free form of heating that can help keep your home warm.
Then you have to consider the application of curtains in the evening. When the temperature drops as the sun goes down, your windows are going to get cooler, meaning that more heat is likely to be lost through your windows.
So, by drawing your curtains you are adding an extra layer of insulation to your windows, and therefore going to lose less heat as a result. It’s a smaller action to take sure – but it can help you hold onto the level of heat in your home during the nights much easier.
Control Your Heating
This goes far beyond just turning your heating on and off during the day and night.
Keeping your home at a steady and warm temperature throughout the day and night is vital in keeping your home warm – even when you aren’t there to feel the benefit. This might seem counterproductive in an article about keeping your home warm when there are higher heating costs, but there is a very good reason.
Setting your boiler to turn on at a lower heat around half an hour to 45 minutes before you get home from work for example is a great way to warm your home properly, but it also helps you save on costs when it comes to your overall heating bill.
That’s because if you were to come in from work and the heating has been off all day you may be tempted to turn it on at a higher temperature than normal, or what’s needed, just to get the property to warm up quicker or more effectively.
Realistically this is a waste of money. You can’t trick a boiler – they all heat up at a predetermined set rate, so setting your temperature higher than it needs to be is only going to waste money.
Your heating being on a timer can also help you reduce your heating when it isn’t needed in your home – perhaps your kitchen gets warmer when you are cooking, or your bathroom stays warm long after you have finished a shower.
Either way, having some form of timer system in play within your properties heating system will be massively helpful when it comes to keeping your property warm throughout the day.
Make the Most of Your Home’s Facilities
Your home has been designed to be as effective as it can be in its heating – and sometimes despite our best intentions our actions can lead some of these designs to be essentially effectless.
Take your radiators for example. In order for them to operate at maximum efficiency, they need to have a clear space in front of them so that the heat they produce can be dispersed properly. This means that if you currently have a sofa, or other kind of furniture in front of your radiator that might hamper the effectiveness of the radiator itself, then you should reconsider its positioning – or at least move that furniture further in front of the radiator itself.
You should also investigate your home for potential drafts. Obviously one of the most likely places that you are going to find a draft is under exterior doors, and these are easily taken care of with draft protectors.
However, a consistent and growing draft around a window or door could be an indication that your lintel has failed. If you think that this might be the case, it could well be time to call round the experts to see how the damage can be reversed, and potential damp staved off from your property.
Then you have to think about different home comforts you can employ to keep yourself warm whilst at home – potentially cutting down on your heating bill whilst keeping yourself warm. Things like hot water bottles, warmer clothing, rugs on colder floors all add up to contribute to a warmer home. Whilst they might not exude heat the way a heater can, they can go a long way in keeping you warm whilst keeping the bills at bay.
How to Keep Your Home Dry During Winter?
Keeping your home dry won’t just help you keep up with your heating bills, but also assist in keeping your property damp free.
We already talked about how insulation can be used to combat condensation, but a much more comprehensive way to keep your home free of humidity and condensation based damp is with the implementation of effective ventilation.
Ventilation is crucial in your property if you want to keep your interior walls dry and free from condensation. The likes of your bathroom for example can harbour a great deal of humidity and condensation if it isn’t properly ventilated, which on contact with your walls can easily lead to damp and black mould.
In fact, any room within your property that sees regular habitation is at risk from condensation, especially so if that room produces excess moisture (like the steam from a shower or from a boiling pan of water).
With that in mind, the installation of an extractor fan could make a huge difference in keeping your home dry during the winter months. An extractor fan can work within a room to remove any excess moisture being created, leaving the room well protected against the possibility of that same moisture causing condensation to settle.
If you are looking for a solution that is more comprehensive and covers a lot more of your property at the same time, you could always invest in a positive pressure system. A positive pressure system works to remove the humid air from your home via changes in the air pressure within the property.
The positive pressure system can be installed in your attic and draw in cooler, fresh air from outside. This air is then channelled around your property, and in turn, it gently pushes the warmer air out of your property, effectively ventilating your property consistently and effectively.
You don’t have to rely solely on the likes of mechanical extraction in order to achieve adequate ventilation though. You can also look into the likes of window vents, to keep a steady airflow even during winter when opening your windows might not be the most desirable thing to do.
Also, consider your everyday habits. Put lids on your pans, take shorter showers, consider drying clothes in rooms where the windows can be opened – just small things that everyday, reduce the level of condensation in your home, and as a result, reduce risk.
Check Your Home Over
When we talk about keeping your home dry, many people immediately jump to the idea of a flood, when realistically the everyday chance of damp is much more likely to introduce unwanted moisture to your property.
One of the ways that this can be avoided is with proper property maintenance. This means looking out for potential property defects that could lead to penetrating damp – a form of damp borne out of building materials failing.
For example, you could take the time to clean out your gutters. In Winter your gutters are most likely full of blown about leaves and other debris, and if they cannot drain properly or collect the rainwater they need to, you might find that you have a steady stream of rainfall pouring down the side of your property.
The steady stream can easily eat through your homes pointing, leading to a case of penetrating damp setting in. The same advice applies to checking your roof for leaks, checking the drains your property uses to make sure there aren’t any blockages or breakages preventing water from draining away correctly.
You might want to also have your properties masonry and pointing looked at. Faults in your properties walls that can or do lead to cracks within your walls will inevitably see damp set in with enough rainfall – and in the UK, Winter means plenty of rainfall.
Basically, checking your properties drainage and exterior conditions can help you prevent penetrating damp from setting in, and keep your home dry and warm through Winter, which is always preferable to having damp treatment.
Combat Damp and Heat Sapping Property Issues
If you find that your property has an affliction like damp, cracked walls or even a damaged lintel that is causing your home to rapidly lose heat in the winter, then its time to involve property care experts who can survey the problem and recommend a remedy to resolve your heat retaining issues once and for all.
Here at Timberwise we have been leading the property care market for over fifty years, and have a litany of experience in all kinds of property maintenance and care works designed to restore your property into an effective, safe space free of damp and other defects.
To get in touch with our team and arrange a damp, timber, lintel or condensation survey, please call 0800 288 8660 or visit our contact page online today.