Keeping Your Home Warm Over Winter

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Summer is far behind us and many regions have already seen their first snow. Winter is a traditionally festive and magical time of year but it can be dreadful and uncomfortable if the heating in your home is not up to scratch. Cold homes have been linked to respiratory infections and detrimental blood pressure fluctuations that can harm vulnerable people. If your home is not as warm as you would like it to be, here are some ways to turn up the heat over the winter season.

Sealing in the Warmth

Windows may look unassuming, but they make up 20 percent of the wall surface area of an average house. Because of the large surface area that they cover, approximately 30 percent of the heat lost by a home leaves through the windows. Therefore, ensuring that your windows are in top condition is important in keeping your home warm and toasty.

The majority of heat loss from windows is a result of radiation through the window pane itself. Air leakage from deteriorated caulking and gaps in the glazing putty are the next largest contributor. Finally, holes in the window frame and poorly chosen materials account for the remaining loss.

Ensure that you minimize heat loss from your windows by keeping them well maintained. Repair any cavities and clear window tracks of debris that may prevent a proper seal. Installing polyamide sections between glass panes can block heat from being transferred. Applying double glazing to your window panes can also reduce heat loss by over 50 percent.

Thick and heavy curtains can add another layer of insulation to bar warm air from escaping through the windows. Keep them open on sunny days for some gentle natural heating, but draw them as the sun sets so the residual heat remains trapped inside the house. You could even install a combination of curtains and blinds for additional barriers.

Aside from windows, doors can also be improved to seal in warmth. Even though the gap under doors and around door frames can be small, they can lead to great losses in heat and extra energy requirements for reheating your home. Similarly, pipes leading to the exterior and unused chimneys can also be a source of unwelcomed cold draughts. Insulate them with DIY draught-proofing kits or engage a draught-proofing company to do the job.

Heating is a vital part of any home that weathers the four seasons. A reliable and safe heating system not only creates a lovely and livable environment over the cold months but can also help your home become more energy-efficient and cost-effective. Popular options for home heating include central heating, electric radiators, underfloor heating, and log or gas fireplaces. There are also radiator reflectors that help to reflect heat off external walls and back towards the room.

Heat Recovery Ventilation

While having a well-sealed home keeps everything nice and snug, it can also cause stale air to build up. Because you loathe opening the windows to let in the fresh, freezing air, wet rooms in the home such as bathrooms and kitchens can become overly humid. Having a poorly ventilated can cause health risks from a build-up of condensation, mold, and toxic fumes. Conventional ventilation systems attempt to address this issue, but they often work against your heating system, bringing in cold outside air that has to be heated up again.

Enter the heat recovery ventilation system. A heat recovery ventilation system (also known as HRV or MVHR) functions independently of a normal home heating system. Instead of conventional ventilation systems that simply replace warm air from the home with cold air from the outside, HRVs add an extra step where the heat from the warm interior air is passed on to the incoming airflow.

According to BPC Ventilation, as much as 95 percent of the heat from the extracted air is recovered instead of expelled when using HRVs, leading to substantial savings when it comes to the heating bill. In addition, the incoming and outgoing air supplies are confined within separate pipes, preventing cross-contamination. Moist, stale, and unpleasant-smelling air is removed from kitchens and bathrooms, while a clean supply of filtered, fresh, and warm air is delivered into your living space and bedrooms.

HRV technology may sound advanced, but the systems are surprisingly accessible. Home improvement lovers can purchase easy to install DIY HRV kits that come with detailed instructions and plans. If you are not sure which of the many models to select, specialized heat ventilation companies can recommend the best HRV units to suit your space and needs.

While it is important to keep your home warm over the winter, it is just as essential to ensure that the air in the house is fresh and clean. Heat recovery ventilation systems avoid heat wastage and help you save on energy bills. At the same time, you can enjoy the cozy environment of a well-sealed house without worrying about stale air. 

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