If you struggle to keep your home warm throughout the winter months, you’re not alone. With so many Australian homes designed to keep us cool in the summer, those colder may not be treated with the respect they deserve.
Sometimes it seems as though no matter how high you crank up the heater, your home just won’t heat up. There are many reasons why Australian homes fail to retain the heat, and this can drive up our energy bills, making life cold and uncomfortable.
The first step to solving your cold house problem is knowing what’s causing it, and from there you can take the appropriate action. Here are 5 reasons why your home may be unnecessarily cold, and what you can do about it.
- Poor insulation
Insulation plays a pivotal role in a home’s energy efficiency and its ability to keep the cold out and the heat in. Having quality insulation in the walls and ceiling, together with double-glazed windows, is one of the best ways to keep your energy bills down and your home comfortable and liveable all year round.
A well-insulated home can use up to 40% less energy, making it well worth the investment has given the money it’ll save you on energy bills over time.
- Low building standards
It wasn’t until the early 2000s that the Australian Government introduced mandates for energy efficiency standards for residential buildings. Thanks to these mandates, all new residential properties and many renovations and extensions must meet a 6-star energy rating in order to be approved. This means that many of the properties built before this time were not built with heat in mind, instead of focusing on keeping the home cool during our harsh summers.
This is why, even when compared to other countries that reach much lower temperatures during the winter, Australian homes are amongst the coldest in the world due to how poorly equipped they are to deal with the cold. If your home was built before the early 2000s and hasn’t undergone any major renovations, this may explain why it lacks the energy efficiency that has now become the norm.
- Lack of appropriate furnishings
Although minimalism is all the rage right now, it may be interfering with your ability to keep your home toasty and warm when you need it the most. Bare windows may be useful in heating up your home during the day, but at night they can be responsible for up to 40% of the heat loss that occurs. If you have floorboards, over time the cracks can widen and let in cold air, further adding to the lack of warmth in your home.
Soft furnishings such as rugs and curtains can help to insulate your cold walls and floors, preventing the heat from escaping and acting as a relatively easy and affordable way to add some layers of insulation to your house.
- Not enough natural light
Unfortunately, many older homes were built without any consideration for the orientation of the sun, something that is an integral feature of modern design. Many of these homes were also built with smaller, single-glazed windows that limit the amount of natural light that enters the house.
While there’s not much you can do about this without undergoing major renovations, what you can do is make sure to keep the blinds open in the north and west-facing windows of the home. This will keep as much natural sunlight into your home as possible and heat it before the temperature drops at night.
- Old air filters
Air filters play an important role in our homes, trapping allergens and debris in your ventilation system. However, if they’re not cleaned or replaced, they can’t do their job properly and your heating and cooling systems won’t be able to reach through your pipes.
If you strain your system too much, you may end up damaging it beyond repair and have to replace it completely. Even if things don’t get this dire, you’ll still be left with a system that can’t sufficiently heat your home and wastes energy.