Radiators: Preparing Your Home
Radiators: Preparing Your Home
THE HEAT IS ON
If like us, you have been glued to the latest season of Game of Thrones, you’ll know one thing to be true:
WINTER IS COMING.
And for those of you who haven’t been getting your weather reports from Game of Thrones:
WINTER IS STILL COMING.
In fact, Christmas chocolates are already filling up the supermarket shelves and even though you may have abstained from sweeping armfuls of Twiglets and Quality Streets into the trolley (for now…) there are a few aspects of this festive season that we can’t ignore.
As the chill sets in, tell-tale signs that summer is definitely over start to manifest themselves in subtle ways: the pillows feel a little more icy in the mornings, restaurant menus start filling up with extraordinary amounts of butternut squash, and everyone at work starts bringing in soup. And as it gets colder, our minds wander and words like “central”, “heating” and “Slanket” start to misguidedly cross our subconscious.
Before you start swaggering towards the thermostat, there are a few things you can do to help prepare your home to make the most out of your well-earned warmth:
EXCLUDE THE DRAUGHT
Do you remember heading off to Ikea that time and coming home with a 4ft snake? Well, it’s time to put it into action.
Draughts can suck all the heat out of your home and really make you feel the chill. Attack them with gusto and your home will be all the better for it within minutes.
Draught excluders come in all shapes and sizes and if you’re feeling crafty, you can even make some too!
CURTAINS ARE EVERYTHING
Curtains not only provide a welcoming barrier between you and your neighbour’s face, but they keep in all that lovely warmth that you are busy paying money out to have circulate round your home.
If the heating’s on, keep them closed and be all the merrier.
PUT YOUR HEATING ON A TIMER
Make sure your thermostat is on a timer so that it doesn’t get left on by accident. And if you’re lying in bed sweating with all the windows open – you’ve left it on by accident.
Most modern systems are brilliant at helping us programme our heating so that it’s only on when we need it, so think smart and keep an eye on how much you really need.
REDUCE YOUR RADIATOR OUTPUT
Like many of us, if your “guest room” is filled with boxes, unfinished laundry and forgotten dreams of having a Yoga Dojo, then having the radiator on in there is like paying to heat up a storage cupboard.
Turn the radiator off, close the door and leave until the summer when you finally feel like sorting it all out.
THE KEY IS TO BLEED
Did you hear what happened to the injured radiator? IT BLED TO DEATH.
All jokes aside (and yes, I’m calling that a joke, stop dying inside) radiators should be bled at least once a year to make sure there’s no air trapped in the system.
Take a bleed key, some towels and some sort of container (try and use something like an old takeaway tub rather than your child’s lunchbox) and put your heating up on high.
Head towards the radiator that’s closest to your boiler and turn the valve left, (with said equipment in close range) until water comes out instead of air.
Not just crinkly sheets of futuristic wonderment – heat reflective panels are relatively cheap, easy to use and help to ensure your heat goes into the room – and not out through the walls.
Pick a roll up online or from a nearby hardware store, and use to help prepare your home for winter.
INSULATE AND FEEL THE WARMTH
Just like when you spend Saturday mornings convincing yourself that your duvet could actually be worn as a coat, your house needs a little extra padding to get it through those icy mornings.
Insulation is key and will really help lock in the warmth. There are lots of types available and not just for the roof either – you can insulate your walls, floors and hot water tank too.
SNUG AS A BUG IN A RUG
Bare floorboards are lovely to look at but they can account for as much as 10% heat loss from your home.
But if the thought of heading to the outskirts of town to look through carpet samples brings on a light sweat, put your mind (and heating bills) at ease with a selection of fluffy rugs.
Perfect for adding texture and warmth into your rooms as well as for ruffling your toes through while contemplating a third mug of soup…
Radiator covers don’t just look a lot more appealing, but they can actually help channel the flow of heat around a room. Having a shelf above a radiator stops the air from rising directly above it (usually towards a window) and instead directs the heat into the room. Covers come in all shapes and sizes and you can customise them to suit your décor too.
TO THE GUY IN SHORTS
We get it, you like summer. Unfortunately for you – it’s not summer. Either go live near the equator or put some warmer clothes on. It’s not doing any of us any good to have you swanning around with the thermostat at 30, while you don a bandana.