Our Winter Checklist
Empower yourself this winter with our Liveability Winter Checklist. Firstly, create a winter efficiency plan using our tips below. Then, get everyone in the house on board and finally, take action to make it happen.
1. Wear your winter woollies
It sounds so obvious but adding a layer or two to your clothing to help keep you warm is sometimes more effective than a heater. It’s especially important to keep your feet warm with soft indoor shoes or slippers. Perhaps consider keeping a small blanket or rug handy to go over your knees when the temperature drops late at night.
2. Isolate the rooms you heat by closing doors
Only heat one or two rooms – those that you are using the most. Use door snakes to insulate the gap between the bottom of doors and the floor.
3. Change your thermostat
You can control your heat and save money simply by changing the set point on your thermostat to a lower temperature during the winter. Between 18–22°C should provide ample comfort during winter.
4. Check your windows
Reduce the heat lost through the windows of your house. This is easily done by covering the windows with curtains; ensure curtains reach all the way to the ground. Pelmets at the top of curtains prevent heat escaping out the window. Close your blinds/curtains when the sun goes down to keep the heat in.
5. Check where drafts are coming from and seal them
Can you feel the cold air coming through gaps? Air leakage can account for 15–25% of heat loss/gain in windy locations (figures based on a Melbourne climate). So its worth taking the time to seal up the draughts. Check out our Liveability How to video.
For more info on draught sealing windows and doors.
6. Ensure you have sufficient insulation
Your home will be warmer in the winter by retaining interior heat, and the insulation will block the sun’s heat from entering your home in the summer. Use extra insulation in the walls, under floors and in the ceiling to direct the reduction of heat transfer to where you need it.
7. See if anything is shading your home
Look for vegetation that is shading your home and blocking the winter sun. You may consider pruning this back to allow the winter sun to penetrate into the house and heat the surfaces internally. (Be mindful, though, because in summer this will shade your home from the heat.)
8. Direct the heat
If your house has central heating, consider buying vent directors – they’re not expensive. These can be placed over vents to help direct the air into the centre of the room instead of straight up to the ceiling.
9. Recycle heated air
Ceiling fans used in partnership with heaters can help reduce your heating needs by moving the hot air around the room. Open doors to bedrooms to let the heat through before you go to bed. Consider putting another blanket or doona on the bed rather than using a heater in the bedroom.
10. Eat for the seasons
Ginger has traditionally been as a medicinal plant throughout Asia, India and Arabia. It is thought that using ginger in food and tea can lessen many cold symptoms such as congestion, headaches, sore throats and coughs. It is one of the most important warming plants due to its ability to warm up a chilled body*.
Try this Ginger Tea Recipe from mindbodygreen.
The Best Homemade Ginger Tea
- 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 Tbsp. raw honey or pure maple syrup
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Camomile flowers
- Echinacea tincture
- Fresh mint leaves
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
Peel the ginger root with a peeler or with the back of a spoon.
Grate the ginger with a grater/zester. If you slice it, slice it thin and use more.
Infuse the ginger; if you add cinnamon, mint, camomile or cayenne, add it here.
If you are using a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, add ginger and turn off heat. Put the lid on it and let it steep for 10 minutes.
If you are using a teapot, add ginger in the teapot and pour boiling water in it. Let it steep for about 10 minutes.
If you are using a saucepan, strain the water to remove the ginger.
Add fresh lemon juice and natural sweetener if you like. Stir and enjoy!
If you want a cold tea, let your tea cool down, store it in the fridge and add ice cubes before serving.(*Remember to always seek professional advice from your doctor before consuming ginger or other foods for medicinal purposes or if consumed with prescription medicine. Ginger should not be given to children under 2 years old)
- Feature image credit to ©iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz