Get your home in shape for the winter season by following some of these simple tips
Place some blankets and throws in a basket in your living room.
A lot of South Africans have window frames that swell during winter. Try to fix/restore window frames before the rain comes to ensure that they can close properly.
DAMP AND MOULD
Scrutinise your house for any signs of damp, stains, air bubbles or mouldiness. Fix it before winter starts or get a professional person to fix it.
Most of the heat in your home (approximately 40%), escapes through the roof. Insulate your ceiling and geaser as well as the first 1,5m of the pipes. Insulation can save you a lot of electricity and money.
Make sure there are no soot or other obstructions in your chimney as this could be a hazard lighting a fire for the first time. If you can, keep a fire extinguisher somewhere in your home. Winter is a time when heaters and fires are often left unattended – a dangerous fire hazard for your family.
If you haven’t done it already, cover your pool – it will save electricity and ensure that filters don’t clog with fallen autumn leaves.
Ensure that birds or squirrels can’t get in through your roof or ventilation holes. Remove rotting leaves and branches from gutters and continually be on the lookout for blockages.
Make sure the storm water drains in your garden are free from dry leaves and other obstructions.
In stead of raking the leaves on your lawn, try mowing them with the lawnmower. Apparently the small pieces make for a good mulch and will leave your garden nice and fertile for the next season.
Try hanging heavier curtains or blinds to insulate your windows. Invest in draft stoppers for the front and back doors – if you like DIY, make one yourself (here are a few ideas)!
The lighting in your house can make a big difference in whether your home feels ‘warm’ or cold. Invest in cosy standing lamps, candles or (energy saving) lightbulbs with a warm, yellow tint.
Fight dampness and mouldiness with an extractor fan or keep you bathroom windows open for certain times of the day. Make sure you have fluffy bath mats and towels ready for when getting out of the shower.
Leave your windows open for at least a small period of time each day (despite the cold) to ensure that your house ventilates well. Do this especially if you notice condensation drops forming on the inside of your windows. If your house tends to be damp, use an extractor fan when cooking or doing laundry.
Make sure your linen and curtains are completely dry before storing them to prevent them from mould and stains. If the sun comes out, hang your throws, blankets and curtains outside to air them.
There are a variety of ways to heat your house. Take a a look at ESKOMS energy saving tips (like the one below) to see which type of heating is right for your home.
Invest in a fan heater controlled via a thermostat – this is the most energy-efficient space heating option if you need quick heat for just one hour in an average room of 3 x 4 x 2,5 meters; it spreads heat quickly and evenly and the thermostat switches it off when the room temperature reaches the desired level.
SOME MORE WINTER TIPS!
South Africans usually entertain by having a braai. If you don’t have an inside braai, invite your friends for a pizza evening, fondue, potjiekos or paella – all nice ways of entertaining your friends during winter.
In stead of heating up the whole house, only heat the rooms you are in. Do this by closing doors where necessary .
If you don’t have your own fireplace, be on the lookout for restaurants and kuierplekke with a cosy fire hearth.