Winter has finally clasped its icy hands around Brisbane, and for a few short months we will feel the cold change. While our sub-tropical homes have been well designed to keep the heat out, they’re not always the best at keeping in warmth when the summer heat and humidity dissipates.

Here are some tried and true tips for keeping warm in the winter months without generating a huge power bill.

Insulation:

Check the insulation in your roof space and if you’re able to do so, have a foil covered heat blanket added. A thermal roof blanket will help to keep your house cooler in summer, warmer in winter, and also reduce noise from heavy rain – this is particularly helpful if you have a metal roof.

Draft prevention:

Avoid any cold drafts by replacing the door sweeps on your entrance doors, or using a door snake.

For windows, check the caulking around the frame on the outside of your house. The caulking will deteriorate over time but can easily by fixed with a tube or two of exterior caulking from the hardware store. You can also try adding block out curtains on the inside, but remember to open them during the day to allow the winter sun in and then close them before sunset.

If you have timber floorboards then rugs are a great way to stop drafts coming from entering, and you can also close the doors of unused rooms to keep things cosy at home.

Heat packs:

Instead of turning on the heater to warm your whole house, try using a heat pack for personal comfort. Microwavable heat packs or hot water bottles are a great way to keep warm when sitting still. They’re also convenient for heating your bed.

Alternatively, electric blankets can also be very cheap to run if you’re only using them to warm up the bed before getting in. They only cost 4c an hour on average to run, so why not retire to bed with a book or a podcast when the evening chill hits instead of turning on the heater.

Add layers:

Dressing with layers will ensure you stay toasty. Look for natural fibres like cotton, silk or wool, and if you’re at home why not wear slippers or sheepskin boots.

A small collection of lap rugs around the house will also keep you cosy. You can pick up some beautiful handmade knits at charity shops, or buy polar fleece blankets quite cheaply in some department stores.

Photo credit: Giulia Bertelli

Get moving:

It might be the last thing you feel like doing on a cold and dreary morning, but jumping out of bed to do some exercise will get your blood pumping and have you feeling warm in no time. Even just five or ten minutes of stretching, yoga, or light jogging will help to set you up for the day. It also has the added benefit of an endorphin hit.

Photo credit: Bruno Nascimento

Thermal comfort is important:

While it’s great to save some money and lessen your environmental impact by using less power, it’s just as important not to let yourself get too cold in winter. Getting too cold, or too hot in summer, can have consequences on your health as well as your productivity.

Photo Credit: Matthew Henry