In winter, we tend to dust off our gas heaters and turn up the underfloor heating, which makes our electricity bills high and our wallets light.
South African homes are also designed to keep cool in summer months with large windows, tiled floors, and open verandas for entertaining; which can make it even more difficult (and pricey) to heat our homes in winter.
However, by making some clever adjustments and using what you have, you can beat the worst of the chill as we get through the last of the colder months, and push your heating bills down.
Here are 5 easy and affordable ways to heat your home this winter.
1. Use the sun
The sun is by far one of the most affordable ways to heat your home. Take advantage of this natural heat by keeping your curtains open during the day and allowing the light to filter in.
Once the sun has set, close your curtains or blinds immediately to trap all the warm air inside the room. Your curtains act as another form of insulation that is already available – so make sure that you use them.
2. Check windows for draughts
Cracks in window frames can be a key escape point for warm air, so check windows for draughts by running your hand along the edge of the frame.
If you feel cold air, you can patch the hole with putty or a form of sealant. It won’t cost much and it will ensure that your windows stay insulated.
3. Invest in a door snake
One of the most affordable ways to heat your home is to use a door snake. Whether you make your own or buy one, it’s an easy way to keep heat in and cold air out.
Quite a bit of energy can be lost through the gap underneath a door and by placing something in front of it; you can prevent cold air from entering.
If you don’t want to buy one, use items that you have around the house to make your own. A simple door snake can be made from an old sock, or an old pair of jeans and some sort of stuffing – even lentils or rice can work. For step-by-step instructions on how to make your own, click here.
4. Keep doors closed
Closing the doors of any unused rooms is an alternative way to keep warm air in. If you are using a heater in the lounge, closing any inter-leading doors will mean the heater won’t have to work as hard to keep the room warm, and you can turn the temperature (and your electricity costs) down.
5. Cover it up
Your home loses a lot of its heat through the floor, especially if most of the rooms are tiled. An easy way to heat your home without using electricity is to cover up the floor with a rug or carpet.
You can splash out on a lovely shaggy rug or opt for a cheaper alternative. Either way, you’ll find it will make a huge difference to the overall temperature in your home.
- By food & decor editor, Claire Badenhorst