As the chilly winds of winter are starting to creep in, there’s no better time to emphasise the importance of heating your home effectively. Why is it so important? Well, it’s not just to give you and your family a warm, cosy, comfortable home to enjoy; it’s also essential for both health and wellbeing reasons, as well as for the protection of your property.
In this article, we’ll delve further into the complications that can arise from not heating your home adequately, so you’ll know when having the heating on is justified. But don’t worry, we also have some valuable tips on how to get the most out of your heating by making it more efficient and cost effective. With a combination of new habits, DIY, and enlisting the help of a gas and heating engineer, you won’t need to worry about sky high bills either.
What Are The Consequences of Not Heating Your Home?
Frozen Pipes: One of the biggest risks of not heating your home enough during the winter is potential complications with your plumbing – specifically frozen pipes. When the temperature drops, the water inside your pipes is susceptible to freezing, this leads to the pipes expanding and possibly even bursting. You’ll then be left with a huge leak, water damage, and costly repairs.
Heating your home adequately, running or dripping the water occasionally, and wrapping your pipes in insulation will help to minimise the risk of a frozen pipe issue. Pay extra attention to exterior areas such as your garden hose tap, and pipes in the loft.
Health Concerns: Allowing the indoor temperature to reach extremely cold levels, and living with it can have adverse effects on your health. Exposure to the cold for prolonged periods can lead to hypothermia, it can also exacerbate existing health conditions.
Children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to health complications caused by the cold. Wrap up warm, wear layers, and don’t let yourself suffer, put the heating on, even if it’s just on a low level in order to increase your comfort.
Property Damage: Cold and damp conditions can wreak havoc on your home. A lack of proper heating can lead to cracking walls, warped wood, and peeling paints, to name a few examples. Mould growth is also a possibility in cold, damp environments, with mould itself causing or worsening health issues just as prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can do.
Increased Energy Bills: It’s a bit of a paradox right? Well, not heating your home can actually cause your energy bills to be higher. How so? When your home is too cold, you may end up using alternative methods to heat things up, such as space heaters and other appliances. These may use more energy, and won’t be as efficient as using heating. Meaning you’ll still be increasing your utility bills.
Leaving your home to get too cold may also lead to overcompensating with heating settings when you do finally cave in and start using the heating.
Finding Efficient and Cost-Effective Heating Solutions
Now that we’ve outlined the potential complications of not heating your home well enough, here’s a few suggestions on practical ways to keep your home warm during the winter months…
Insulate and Seal
Just as we recommend insulating your pipes, you should look into solutions for insulating the rest of your home too. This will prevent heat from escaping, and help to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Focus on your walls, floors, and loft.
Similarly, you should also inspect walls, windows, and doors for gaps and cracks. Fix these issues by filling them in with caulk or using draught excluders to prevent cold air from entering your home. You may also want to talk to a professional glazer if you notice damage or other issues with your windows.
Insulating your home well will mean your heating won’t have to be on for as long, or need to be turned up as high. It’s one of the most important things you can do to save energy.
Upgrade and Maintain Your Heating System
Newer systems are more efficient, so make investing in an upgrade a priority (if you need it). Make sure to also get a regular inspection and service to ensure optimal performance. Wise use of a programmable or smart thermostat will also save money.
Heating your home effectively is not just a matter of comfort, it’s essential for both your health and the health of your property. So don’t feel guilty about needing the heating on, just make sure you do it as efficiently as you possibly can.