Trying to keep warm inside the home is becoming a challenge for millions of Australians this winter, but there are several simple tricks that can keep households snug and cosy without breaking the bank.
Choice Household Product Category Manager, Chris Barnes, told Yahoo7 News most Australian homes are designed to keep cool but pay little attention to staying warm in the colder months.
According to medical journal the Lancet, the cold weather plays a part in 6.7 per cent of Australian deaths – more than Sweden’s 3.7 per cent.
And while Mr Barnes said only the extremely cold areas of Australia should think about long term fixes such as double glazing, he pointed out that there are a number of easy-fix changes Australians can make to their homes that often get overlooked.
“There’s a lot people can do without spending too much money and more importantly getting out the heater,” he said.
His first step for any homeowner looking to keep their property warm is to insulate the walls, floor and ceiling.
“If your house isn’t insulated that should be the first step,” he advised, with potential energy bill savings of around $450 annually to made.
He suggests leaving the job to the professionals as there “can be some tricks to it” but said if you’re “handy around the house” and have the right advice, it can be done yourself.
Also high on Mr Barnes’ list was eliminating drafts around the home, with nearly half of room heat disappearing through small gaps.
“Draft is a big one, not just around doors but around windows as well,” he said.
“You should seal up windows using curtains because 40 per cent of heating can go out. Even simple window blinds will do.”
And Mr Barnes said there are even temporary fixes such as rugs that can be laid on the floor during winter and rolled up and put away during summer.
Closing any rooms that you don’t use while turning off the heating in there will cut back on energy usage.
Only heat the rooms you want to heat… it can dramatically reduce heat loss,” Mr Barnes said.
But the Choice expert warned if a room uses a gas heater, it cannot be closed off as it needs adequate ventilation.
And Mr Barnes has a big tip for homeowners who use ceiling fans during the summer months.
“The trick with using a ceiling fan is one people aren’t often aware of,” he pointed out.
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“A lot of them have a reverse switch and what that does is it draws air up and spreads it around the ceiling and back down the wall.
“The effect is you don’t get a draft on you and distributes the heat more effectively.”
While all of these changes can be made if you’re the homeowner, Mr Barnes advised renters to check with their landlords before making any alterations to the home.