I don’t have double glazing. How can I stay warm in winter?
Regardless of the type, style or age of your home, knowing how to stay warmer this winter is vital. Winter winds and cold blasts of air from Russia or the Arctic circle finds its way through the gaps and cracks around windows, lowering the temperature and forcing us to increase the heating.
Can we stop this from happening and is it good for your health?
Well in truth, it depends on a few factors. Let’s start with draughts, a simple piece of masking tape over each side of a key hole will prevent wind whistling through, adjusting hinges or handles so that seals get pulled together tighter will help too. Don’t be afraid, half a turn of a screwdriver will soon confirm if you can make an adjustment or not.
It may look unsightly, but tape across the opening light and the frame because most air will come through these seals. Simple and very cost effective, but remember not to make the room so air tight that the building cannot breathe!
Just be mindful NOT to seal over vents or air bricks designed to save your life especially if you have gas appliances. Gas needs good ventilation, and you should not compromise on safety just to stay warm in winter.
What about double glazing film?
You may have read about double glazing film as a cheap solution to heat loss. These self-adhesive pieces of double glazing film attach to your windows and supposedly help with the performance of single glazed windows. These may have a very small impact on the performance of your windows, but you’d be better off investing a similar amount on a sheet of polycarbonate screwed to the frame. Double glazing film can be flimsy and is most often quite thin, whereas a polycarbonate sheet comes in thicker pieces and creates a better physical barrier. If you’re staying in a rental home or you are looking to stay in your current home, polycarbonate is a better choice than double glazing film.
However people underestimate the importance of curtains. Some curtains are so thin (just like a single sheet on bedding on hot summer nights) yet others are thick, thermal lined like winter duvets. Open curtains when the sun gets up, allow free solar gain to penetrate the room, then just before sunset, trap what warmth you have in the room by closing the curtains and tucking in the sides.
Look for some sheets of loft insulation or even large pieces of cardboard. Cut them to size and use them at night to help with the cold. Yes they look ugly but it’s dark and nobody will see them!
However the best way to stay warm in winter is having multiple layers of clothing. The more layers you have, the more air packets you’ll have and the more insulated you’ll be.
Solar gain increases when the sun is low in the sky, especially during the spring and autumn. Allowing it to enter your house won’t cost you anything, so remember when you replace windows that you need the maximum daylight possible.
All too often, homeowners opt for the cheapest design only to find the sight lines of their new windows have shrunk the available daylight and destroyed the appearance of their home.