There are plenty of chilly days ahead of us, even if you are reading this in the middle of summer. So how do you keep warm in winter without blowing up your energy bills?
The most sensible step to achieving thermal comfort is to renovate one’s home to make it more energy efficient. That is, to rethink the design of the home, make improvements in the heating and cooling, investing in insulation, and purchasing energy-efficient appliances.
However, these solutions can be difficult for Australia’s population of renters given the restrictions confronting them in making structural changes to their rentals.
But difficult does not mean impossible! There are plenty of easy, practical, and inexpensive ways for renters to stay warm in winter (and cool in summer) without punching holes in their pockets.
Here are cost-effective tips on how to keep your rental warm this winter:
1. Put Up Curtains
One of the simplest ways to keep warm in winter (as well as prevent the sun from roasting your rooms) is to block off the outside extremes by installing thermally efficient curtains.
Thermally efficient curtains are thick curtains made of heavyweight, tightly woven textiles; like velvet or denim. An alternative is to use old doonas as curtains. These types of fabric serve as a dense barrier that blocks off chilly outdoor air and reduces the heat load in summer.
Proper installation of curtains can prevent heat loss or gain by approximately 25 percent. Avoid using curtains made of lightweight materials like lace, linen, and cotton or medium-weighted curtains including canvas and cotton blends, as these offer limited protection.
For maximum effect, hang your curtains wider than the window frame, and as close as possible to the windows to seal the spaces around the window edges. Let the curtains drop all the way to the floor.
You can also add DIY pelmets (narrow border of wood, cloth, or acrylic fitted across the top of a window frame) to stop the circulation of air against the glass which is the main cause of heat loss. Alternatively, you can buy invisible pelmets to achieve this. They are lightweight, easy to install and can be taken with you when you leave.
2. Draught-proof Your Doors and Windows
Most older rental homes are usually draughty because of the gaps around the doors and windows. Stop draughts from penetrating these gaps through draught stopping.
Draught proofing your doors and windows involves using removable sealing strips like EMV Slim Line Seal. This is an inexpensive, hidden, and self-adhesive plastic seal suitable for internal doors, and windows. EMV can be installed easily and seamlessly on your doors and windows, when there are at least 2 millimeters of clear space between a door and its jamb.
A more expensive but long lasting alternative is to install Draught Dodgers for doors, a set of high-quality perimeters seals installed on the top and sides of your doors. These draught proofing solutions help block off the draughts from your doors as well as prevent your home heating from escaping. You can purchase and learn more about Draught Dodgers here.
3. Seal Off Unwanted Gaps and Cracks
Caulk your floors to seal the gaps and cracks using a flexible sealant. What we recommend is Fuller UlraClear sealant, a water-based gap sealant is white when applied and clear when dry (not invisible).
You can also apply this sealant on your draughty architraves, skirting boards, and air vents. Learn more about this sealing solution here.
4. Install Insulation on a DIY Basis
Some rented homes may have hardwood floors. The greatest concern about wooden floors is they can get leaky and draughty over time. Leaky, gap-filled floorboards can leave you exposed to cold air outside. If you have accessible crawl space, underfloor insulation is a great remedy to this concern.
Many landlords are now coming to a cost sharing arrangement with their tenants. The landlord pays for the materials and the tenant installs them. Installing an underfloor insulation is perfect for this type of arrangement.
Polyester is an excellent insulation material for the underfloor. It is heat-bonded, has strong fibres, is pest-resistant, and has a loftiness that lasts for a lifetime so you don’t have to worry about reinstalling it every few years. It’s very people friendly, non-toxic, and with no itchy glass splinters.
Polyester insulation is suited for enclosed and open timber sub-floors. It prevents the development of heat sink below your home, stops the cold air from seeping through your floorboards, and lowers heat loss by up to 20 percent.
Managing heat loss through polyester insulation means you will only need less heating, and cooling to sustain comfortable indoor temperatures, allowing you to enjoy a much warmer home.
Ready to keep your home warm in winter? Learn more insider secrets to a warm winter by watching the video below:
Check out the Green Renters section at our webstore
People Also Ask:
⇒ We have a really high gas heating bill but don’t seem to be very warm. What should I do?
If you have gas ducted heating with floor vents that heat your home, get underneath your home and check that the ducting is still effectively attached to the “Boot” (the unit that joins the duct and is fitted to the underside of the floor. Often the ducting and the boot have become detached and your expensive warm air is heating the underside of your home.
⇒ We are freezing in our rental and can’t afford to heat it. What should we do?
⇒ The windows in my rental are glacial in winter. What can I do?
We hope this article has helped you learn how to use simple ways to save on your utility bill. This in turn will help you on your energy and thermal efficiency retrofit journey to make your home more comfortable all year round, and reduce your costs and carbon emissions.
If you found this article helpful, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel. You’ll find many more helpful “How To” videos there. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay in the loop. For more great information on how to make your home more energy and thermally efficient subscribe NOW to ecoBites. ecoBites are free bite size chunks of the latest energy efficiency information making it quick and easy for you to absorb.
Make your home cosy this winter.
Make your home cosy all year round.
Also if you are renting!