5 DIY home improvement projects to warm up your winter
Posted on: May 19, 2015
Now is the time to prepare your nest for the arrival of the cold season. Here are five DIY home improvement tips to get you started.
We may as well warm up to the fact that winter is almost here, give it a few weeks and the falling autumn leaves will blow away to welcome the cooler weather.
Windchill and single digit temperatures outside make it an ideal time to snuggle up in the cosy indoors and having lazy days. However, remember to keep an eye on that energy bill - heating can really rack up costs.
Before winter approaches spend some time preparing your nest for the arrival of the cold season. Here are five DIY home improvement tips to get you started:
1. Change the light bulbs
The days are getting shorter ,which means it will get darker much sooner than in recent months. As such, now is the time to replace your bulbs with energy-efficient ones.
According to the Department of Industry and Science, lighting accounts for 8-15 per cent of the average household electricity spend. Smarter choices and efficient technologies can cut energy costs by at least half.
Even though it sounds like an investment, spending money up-front will save you in long term.
You should also consider painting the interior walls in light colours, especially for rooms that face the south. This will help reduce the need for artificial lighting and help keep your electricity bill in check.
2. Check your heating system
If you use a heating system, make sure it is ready for the winter season. Inspect the filter and replace it if need be. If you decide to buy a new one, purchase a model that is efficiently designed to deliver improved air quality.
Gas heaters and heat pumps are an energy-efficient option and produce only one-third the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of electric heaters. In fact, most 5 - 6 star heat pumps emit less than 20 per cent GHGs compared to conventional electric heaters.
3. Check doors and windows
It is a good idea to make sure your windows and doors are in top condition. Fix any loose hinges and door knobs to keep the cold draft out. There are also plenty of cost-effective ways of insulating windows - consider using rubber weather sealing, insulation film, blinds and layered curtains.
Perhaps you would fancy a DIY family project, which the kids would really enjoy - if that is the case try making a 'draft snake'.
Essentially, a draft snake is a fabric tube placed on a window sill or under a door to prevent cold air from seeping indoors. To make one, sew a tube of fabric to fit the width of your window or door and fill it with dry rice.
4. Consider installing a solar hot water system
Australia gets plenty of sunshine and this makes solar energy a great way to heat water. In fact, according to the Department of of Industry and Science, a solar hot water system can cover between 50 and 90 per cent of a household's hot water needs. The exact amount depends on your region's climate and the type of solar hot water heater you install.
Just so you do not run out out of water mid-shower, these heaters come with electric or gas boosters to cater for the remainder of your hot water needs.
5. Organise your cupboards
Last but definitely not least, consider tidying up your cupboards to give them a new lease on life. You will probably spend most of your time indoors during the winter months, so start by giving yourself a clean space Take a trip to your local hardware store and check out a few key organising supplies.