Heating homes throughout winter can be extremely expensive, as electric heating devices can drive your power bill up much higher than usual. Thankfully, there are some clever interior design ideas you can try to keep your home toasty warm without breaking the bank or hurting the environment.
Curtains provide an excellent seal between windows and your home's interior. Thermal curtains with blockout backing provide an extra layer of protection, making it much harder for warm to escape and cool air to get in.
The Resene Curtain Collection has plenty of thick, linen curtains that can come with blockout backing to help keep the warm air in. During the winter months, close curtains as soon as it starts getting dark and keep them drawn until morning in order to maximise heat protection.
Good quality, properly installed insulation works overtime to keep your house warm in winter and cool in summer.
It's recommended your get your insulation professionally installed in order to maximise its heating properties.
The most important part of your home to insulate is your ceiling, closely followed by your floors, then walls and windows. While you're at it make sure you block up any draughts and seal around door frames and windows to stop heat escaping.
Double-glazed windows feature an insulation layer between two panes of glass, and can make a real difference on how warm and quiet your house is. This style of windows lets in as much sunlight as regular ones, but holds the heat in much more effectively.
If you double-glaze properly, you can halve the heat loss through your windows and significantly reduce your heating bill. These windows also reduce condensation build up in cold weather, helping your home stay dry and mould-free.
Look out for low-emissivity glass, which lets heat and light in but reflects escaping heat back inside a room. This cuts heat loss by a further 20 to 30 per cent compared to non-low-emissivity glass.
Where possible, use an inert gas filling between layers, as opposed to regular air filling. That can further help your home stay warm.
Maximise your fireplace and chimney
If you have a decorative fireplace, you may not be aware how much heat is regularly lost by escaping up the chimney. Consider blocking up the chimney with a special balloon made from laminate, which can shut out incoming cold air and stop heat from leaving the room.
You can also insulate your chimney to help lock in the heat. The best way to use fireplaces to heat is by shutting the doors to unused rooms and allowing the warmth to heat up one or two areas in use. This way the heat can spread more quickly.
Watch our for mini-draughts
Open windows aren't the only way heat can escape from your home. You'd be surprised by how much cool air can be let into a home through small spaces such as under doors, around electrical sockets, keyholes and in-door letter boxes.
Use door snakes to eliminate losing heat in this area, and consider installing a brush on your in-door letterbox slot to create an extra barrier for heat. Keyholes can be covered with flaps, and you can even insulate electricity sockets and around light switches to prevent these areas from letting heat out.