The British weather is famously unpredictable, but the cold months often arrive as a shock, especially after increasingly warmer Septembers and mild springs. Long, dark evenings and a significant drop in temperature encourages many people to hibernate at home and it’s important to create the right atmosphere if you’re spending more time inside.
The winter months are often seen as a time to slow down and embrace home comforts and this is reflected in the increasing popularity of movements like hygge (a Danish and Norweigan word for a mood of cosiness). The cold and dark weather is far more bearable if you’re prepared and there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure your home stays cosy and warm all winter long. From practical steps like checking your boiler, to interior design updates, see below for our handy guide to keeping your home cosy during the cold months.
Upgrade your central heating system
Winter can be miserable if your central heating system isn’t up to the job, so consider an upgrade before the cold really sets in. If you’ve noticed a significant increase in your fuel bills (aside from the usual hike you see in winter), or if the heat in your radiators is patchy, then it may be time for an upgrade.
A professional heating engineer will be able to assess your current system and suggest the best course of action; whether that’s a new boiler, replacement radiator valves or an entire new system. Older buildings may need a complete overhaul, including new pipes and a new boiler, but in some cases you may just need a power flushing service to clear the pipes.
Check your boiler
Energy companies recommend you service your boiler at least once a year to ensure it’s operating properly. In most cases, your first boiler service should take place 12 months after installation but you may require more frequent servicing if your boiler is over 10 years old. It’s a good idea to arrange a professional boiler inspection during late summer or early autumn, so you have time to fix any issues before the temperatures drop.
The last thing you want is to find yourself without heating or hot water in the depths of winter, so get your boiler checked beforehand. Regular servicing helps your boiler last longer and ensures it’s as energy efficient as possible, so you could make savings on your energy bills in the long run.
Add a fireplace
There’s nothing like curling up in front of a roaring open fire and fireplace installation adds an instant cosy country cottage feel to your home. There are many different types of fireplace to choose from, from traditional open log fires to an electric model or a wood burning stove.
A heating or plumbing professional will be able to assess your home and advise which type of fireplace is best and you don’t necessarily need a chimney to enjoy this cosy feature. A flueless gas fire doesn’t require a chimney at all and they can be installed with minimal building disruption.
Introducing cosy textures to your living room or bedroom is an easy, affordable way to help stay warm and it gives your interiors a style update too. Add rugs, cushions, throws and blankets in a mix of plush textures, such as velvet, wool, sheepskin and faux fur.
Rugs are a great way to insulate your floors if you have wooden flooring and they prevent cold draughts from rising upwards. A scattering of cushions on the sofa or throws and blankets on the bed adds extra layers of warmth and ensures there’s always something to hand to wrap up in.
The right lighting
The right lighting goes a long way when it comes to creating a cosy atmosphere, so steer clear of harsh overhead lighting in favour of a soft glow. Consider installing a dimmer switch for overhead lights, or turn them off altogether and use lamps, candles and fairy lights to create a magical atmosphere.
Position lamps on low tables for reading or use standing lamps at the edges of a room to create cosy corners. If you want to go all out you could switch off all artificial lighting and use tea lights and larger pillar candles for the perfect candlelight glow. This is particularly effective in the bathroom; simply place candles around the edge of the bath, sink or on nearby shelves and enjoy relaxing in your very own homemade spa.
Block out draughts
You’d be surprised how much heat can escape from cracks in doors or windows, so draught proof these areas to seal in heat. You can seal windows yourself using self-adhesive foam tape or a foam draught excluder, or consider upgrading to double glazing if you want long lasting results.
Block gaps under doors with a sausage shaped draught excluder; these can be bought from many high street shops or you can even make your own. Thermal curtains are also highly efficient when it comes to blocking out draughts. Their extra weight helps to seal in heat and block out unwanted noise from outside and they’re a budget-friendly alternative to double glazing if your windows are single glazed.
Insulate the attic
A loft or attic provides valuable extra storage space in your home but if the space isn’t insulated then you’ll be losing valuable heat. Up to a quarter of the heat in your home escapes through the roof, so adding loft insulation is a highly effective way to reduce heat loss and keep the whole house cosy.
Loft insulation remains effective for decades and it can help to reduce your annual heating bills, so it’s a worthwhile investment. There are many different insulation options available, including mineral wool and eco-friendly alternatives like sheep’s wool insulation.
Underfloor heating isn’t as expensive as you might think and installation can actually help you to maintain a comfortable, cosy temperature, without the sky high bills. Underfloor heating also offers a more efficient use of space, so it’s perfect if your home is on the smaller side.
Some people simply don’t like the look of radiators, but this heating system frees up valuable wall space and it’s better for the environment too. Underfloor heating is designed to work with lower water temperatures, which reduces the overall amount of energy used and lowers your heating costs.
Underfloor systems are also less disruptive to install than you might expect and can be connected to your existing central heating system or a new boiler.
Professional central heating services from the experts at Gastech
If you want to keep your home cosy all year round, get in touch with the friendly, professional team at Gastech. We pride ourselves on offering the highest quality heating and plumbing services at affordable prices and we’ve got everything you need to keep your home cosy and warm throughout winter.
We offer comprehensive central heating services, including installation, repair and maintenance and we cover everything from a full system upgrade, to power flushing or a new fireplace. If you’re having issues with your boiler, we’ve got that covered too and can offer new boiler installation, repairs or regular annual servicing. We serve both domestic and commercial customers throughout South Wales, so for more information about any of our heating or plumbing services, don’t hesitate to give us a call today or get in touch via our website .