With the changes of seasons as we move into our cooler months you will be changing your lifestyle to suit. More nights staying in, comfy clothes suitable for cosy nights as we start looking for warmth. We have put together a list of 10 simple things to do around the house before the deep cold of Winter arrives.
1. Need a new heater?
The size of the space you intend to heat, the frequency of use and your budget will dictate the heating that is best suited for you.
- Electric heaters – are generally cheaper to buy but can have increased energy consumption costs. Their portability can also be attractive for renters as they can be moved between areas with ease. Typically, they are used for heating spaces for short periods of time. You may want to go another level and use a fixed space and radiant heaters – where you will need a Licenced electrician to help with installation and cabling.
- Gas heaters – are great for larger ventilated spaces. Offering lower running costs and the ability to heat larger spaces. You will need a licenced gas fitter to install gas bayonet points if they do not already exist.
- Reverse-cycle air conditioners – have become more popular in modern times. With greater capital costs they can heat larger areas fairly economically. Many units will have timers or movement sensors to manage consumption. You can supply the air conditioner or ask your local air-conditioning installer to offer you a supply price as well. Their trade pricing may see you offered a great deal and save the hassle of buying a unit.
2. Stock up on firewood
Your fireplace or slow combustion heater can be one of your most soothing and constant heat sources. However, it is important that your wood is not green and is stored in a dry place. It may be that you receive logs that need to be cut or split into smaller pieces.
This is a physically demanding task that is not much fun when the weather turns cold and your hands are numb. Being prepared in advance in the cooler months is always advisable.
Tip: Many a log pile has succumbed to white ants and lead to the disposal of the timber and expensive pest control measures. Talk to your local pest control expert in advance, as they say, ‘an ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure‘.
3 . Do you have a reverse cycle air conditioner?
If you do you should already have a maintenance plan to clean or replace the heat pump’s filter every 4-8 weeks. Even more frequently when in constant use. Cleaning of the filters can increase your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.
HIREtrades can help you find air conditioning service professionals in your local area.
4. Clean exhaust fans
Bathroom exhaust fans are rarely regularly maintained. With large volumes of airborne particles soon embedding themselves on the grilles, blades and filter, their efficiency is soon impeded. Regular cleaning prevents the build-up of mould and mildew.
This is a straightforward task to self perform. Turn off the fan. Simply remove the cover and soak it in a tub of warm water and detergent. Use an old soft bristled paintbrush or toothbrush around the fan blades, and use a vacuum for any debris.
Wipe everything down with a damp clean cloth, leave to dry, then reassemble
5. Cover up hard floors
Tiles, hardwood or concrete floors can increasingly make it chilly underfoot in the winter months. You could consider floor coverings like a carpet but that can be an expensive option. If you have the budget an electrician can help you with underfloor heating as the ultimate solution to retain heat in your floors.
However, a simple and effective way is to use rugs to add warmth to your living spaces. Hall runners, lounge rugs of varying materials can add cosiness to an otherwise cold area. They also give you the option to roll them up store in the summer months. Giving you flexibility in your lifestyle.
6. Get that doona right
Your doona is your best friend in cold weather, for many of us it is our first priority. Australian winter nights can vary from sub-zero to more temperate weather. You need to choose what is right for you. Wool and feather can provide more substantive heat than cotton and microfiber versions with lighter insulation.
Getting it just right is a real secret to us having a good night’s sleep. Talk to your retailer and understand what is the right type for you and your circumstances.
7. Cuddle up spaces
More bedding layers, knitted throws, cushions and even a ‘nanna rug’. Start looking for comfort ahead of all else if you plan any redecorating leading into winter. Cuddle up spaces not only keep you and your loved ones closer, but can help reduce your heating costs.
8. Window coverings
Sheer curtains are great on those summer nights as you take advantage of nighttime breezes. But they don’t cut it when you want to keep the heat in and cool out.
Start looking at drapes, blinds and other more insulated solutions. HIREtrades can help you find local curtain designer or installer to offer solutions.
If you are simply fixed on sheers, as you may be in love with the view, then you may want to speak to your local window specialist to find out what window treatments are available to improve your insulation levels.
9. Prepare your entrance
The gateway to your home is your entrance, and it can sometimes become the family’s dumping ground in the cooler months. Raincoats, umbrellas, muddy shoes etc can soon find outdoor activities dumped at the door.
Look at storage, coat hanging racks and other hidden ways to make your first home impressions continue to count. Wall hooks for coats, hats and umbrellas, a basket for shoes are all ways to mitigate the mess.
Use this as an opportunity to show your own flair and ideas. Your local interior designer will have a plethora of home suggestions that you may not have considered.
Look at lighting, art work and minimising clutter to accentuate areas you want your visitors to focus on. A well planned layout with everything in its place will bring pleasure to the householder and visitors alike.
10. Get your fence maintained
With the winter storms and gusts that can reach 100km per hour our fences are exposed to the elements. Planned and regular maintenance by your local fencing contractor taking necessary precautions can keep your fence in tip-top-shape.
- Prevent Rust, timber rot and termites – maintain the material integrity before local damage can progress to a more structural expensive issues
- Avoid Algae, Mould and Mildew
- Weather Issues – check your fence immediately after weather events such as strong wind or hail
- Painting – additional weather protection can be provided when installed under manufacturer guidelines
- Pressure Wash – removes built up dirt and grime to help your fence look like new again
HIREtrades can help you find the right tradie for the job. Simply post your job 24/7 online, or use the app, to post your requirements in minutes. HIREtrades will help you get up to three free quotes from local competitive tradies.