4 ways to warm up your home but not the planet

Don’t despair – you can keep warm and be kind to the environment at the same time. Here’s how to do it this winter.

It’s human nature to aim for comfort. In winter, that often means getting out the Ugg boots, making big pots of soup and switching on the heater.

But did you know that a lot of the heat generated by the heating in your house doesn’t actually stay where you want it?

Buildings leak heat through windows, out of cracks around doors, into the ceiling space, and even through solid walls.

This is bad news not only for you and your energy bill but also for the environment. High electricity use associated with heating houses in winter contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

But it’s not just about throwing on an extra jumper or scarf.

You’ll be pleased to know that by rethinking a few aspects of your home you can keep your family warm while protecting the earth. Here’s how:

1. Let the sun in

The easiest way to remove household chill is to let the sunlight come in. In the Australian winter the sun sits low in the northern sky. Removing obscuring trees, and opening blinds and curtains on the north side of your house will provide a natural heating mechanism – and it will brighten your day as well.

2. Make smart choices

To boost the effects of any sun that’s around, make sure the heating you do use is efficient – that is, it provides heat without high economic and environmental cost. Do your research – there’s plenty of information and advice on choosing the best heater for your needs, and ways to improve the effectiveness of your heating. 

3. Build with efficiency in mind

If you’re lucky enough to be building or renovating a home, you have the opportunity to set up energy efficiency during the design process. You could also consider installing solar panels as a renewable way to generate electricity for heating and other activities in your home.

4. Keep the heat in

Reduce how much heat your house loses by installing good wall and ceiling insulation, and use effective shades or curtains on windows that aren’t capturing sunlight. Good old-fashioned draft protectors that sit along the bottom of doors are also effective. Perhaps your grandmother had one in the shape of a sausage dog? Try and track it down, or find a modern version.

With these tips in mind, you won’t have to be a martyr and shiver through the cold months like our pug in a rug.

Want to know more? There’s plenty of other ways that you can play your part in tackling global warming.

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