There's a definite chill in the air at the moment. The evening light is dimming earlier each day, and we've been reaching for slippers and hot water bottles. So, here are some simple ways to get your home warm for the fall and coming winter. Some are larger-scale changes, others are small and easy. But all will help your home feel cozy and welcoming. Which is just how a home should feel.
Large-scale ways to warm up
If you have a working chimney and currently have an open fire, consider installing a woodburner. Although there is an initial outlay, you can recoup the cost over a few years as you will burn much less wood, and your home will be heated far more efficiently. Wood burners pump heat out into the space around them, rather than most of it disappearing up the chimney.
Consider cavity wall insulation and double glazing to improve the energy efficiency of your house. There are grants available for eco-friendly measures that reduce carbon emissions and use less energy. Again, you will probably find that you save money in the longer term.
Smaller-scale ways to bring on the cozy
If you are on a tight budget, or live in a rental home, there are still plenty of things you can do to make your home warmer as winter approaches.
Firstly, wrap up. A friend told us that her mother only put the heating on after everyone had gone through these stages: adding one jersey, adding another, and finally wearing a cardigan over that. Whilst this might seem a little extreme, there's something to be said for layering clothes and wearing temperature-regulating garments, like linen pyjamas and woolly socks.
Invest in a few pure wool throws. You can use these throughout the winter as an extra blanket on your bed, or for tucking up under in front of the TV. And in the spring you can use them as picnic rugs and garden forts. Wool wicks away moisture from your body, and choosing a super soft fibre like angora or cashmere will keep even the most sensitive skin comfy.
Heat just one main room once everyone else has gone to bed if you are staying up later eating, reading or watching TV. If you have decent bedding there's no need to keep central heating on overnight unless it is bitterly cold, or you need to for medical reasons. Some luxurious linen bedlinen, a snug throw and a hot water bottle should do you just fine, and will stop you overheating during the night.
Hang curtains. These will block out any draughts, especially if you add thermal blackout linings. You can stitch these loosely to the top of the curtain, and then remove them in summer, or keep them on to prevent the early morning light waking you up. Drapes that hang low, pooling onto the floor, will keep in more heat.
Seal up the gaps between your floorboards. These spaces can add up to the equivalent of an open window. You can fill the gaps cheaply by using some tried and tested DIY methods. Just be prepared for a bit of mess and some fairly painstaking work. But it's worth it to stop those howling gales whistling up under your feet.
With some planning and thought now, you could not only make your home snug and warm, but also save some precious pennies too.