19 June 2016

How to Keep Warm This Winter (and Maybe Spring, Too!)

The most important thing about a home is that it should provide comfort. Security, privacy, and warmth all fall under this umbrella. What everyone wants to know, when they close the door behind them on returning home, is that they can leave their worries behind. So it is absolutely essential that when you are indoors, your living conditions provide comfort.
As many of us can attest, the pattern that a year is supposed to follow is simple. Cold winter, warm spring, hot summer, mild autumn. We also know that it doesn't always follow that plan to the letter. When your summer wardrobe includes rain boots, then all bets are off. One thing you can generally conclude, though, is that winter will be chilly.
Your home, then, is your defense against the elements. Of course, unless you live in a bunker what's going on outside will be mirrored indoors. In winter, you'll want those extra moments in bed because when you get out, the shock of the cold is startling. You toy with not having a shower because the thought of getting out of it into the winter air is dreadful. Maybe.
Ensuring that you can be comfortable in all weather is dependent on having the right facilities. Yes, a well built house will keep cold out. It will not get too hot in summer. Unless you have real problems, rain will largely stay outside. But there may also be additions you need to make to ensure your comfort.
In the summer, it may be essential to have air conditioning installed in your home. Even a well ventilated house heats up when the mercury heads upward, and once it gets too hot you don't want to do anything. Dinner becomes whatever you can grab from the fridge because the idea of turning an oven on is like opening the gates to Hell. Any respite is welcome in that situation.
Equally, in winter you want the house to warm up fast (and stay warm!). How to go about this, though, depends on a few factors. Older houses may have open fireplaces, and these are nice. They're less prevalent in newer builds, though, and if you're renting then you may not have central heating.
You can buy a range of small heaters which will heat the immediate area. However, you need to be confident that these are safe, and they are often not particularly strong. Someone sitting in front of one will get warm fast but, if you're in the bathroom and it's down the hall, forget about it. Stronger heat pumps which circulate clean warm air (like an air conditioner but hotter!) are an option here.
There are other things you can do to improve your home's comfort factor in extremes of temperature. Ensure the walls are insulated to prevent heat escaping or pouring in. Make sure your windows aren't letting a draft in. Above all, dress appropriately for the weather and a slight cold snap or heatwave won't be like Armageddon. But the tips above will serve you well when it gets more extreme.

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