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Winterising the house

(22 Posts)
readingrainbow Mon 21-Nov-16 12:55:37

This is our first winter in our new house, and the downstairs especially gets freezing, very quickly. I was hoping for a few ideas to plug up the gaps, around the front and back doors, windows, etc. Things such as - something to stop cold air flowing through the letterbox, heavy/thick door curtains, and so on.

What do you do to keep the house cozy in winter?

Bluntness100 Mon 21-Nov-16 12:57:25

We have this problem and at the moment we supplement with fan heaters and are about to put a wood burner in.

You can get draft excluders, and yes heavy curtains will also work. Depends on personal taste.

PurpleWithRed Mon 21-Nov-16 12:59:18

do you have carpet? if you have stripped floorboards they can be really draughty. A nice thick rug over them is good. I put up thermal curtain liners in winter. And in one rented house I was so desperate I stapled bubblewrap over the window frames in one cold north facing room. Worked a treat.

readingrainbow Mon 21-Nov-16 13:04:48

Ah, yes, we do have wooden floorboards and tiled flooring all throughout the downstairs. And a basement/cellar, so I'm sure the cold is wafting in from below! Didn't consider that.

I'm glad to hear thermal curtains work. I have been looking at Dunhelm Mill for them, not as expensive as I'd feared. At this point, I don't care what it looks like as long as I'm not shivering all the time!!

80sWaistcoat Mon 21-Nov-16 13:04:51

Big thick curtain over draughty doors, made a huge difference. You can get a curtain rod that lifs up automatically when you open the door. I think they can look quite good when done well.

Draught excluders, make sure there's something blocking any draught coming in through the key hole/letter box.

Windows - keep the curtains closed as soon as gets dark.

Keep doors shut in the house.

Big blanket on the coach.

Electric blanket....

marthastew Mon 21-Nov-16 13:04:55

I made draught excluders. Old tights filled with rice inside a nice fabric cover. Reflector things behind radiators and a few nice blankets around the house - on beds and next to sofas to snuggle under. Make the most of sunlight and keep curtains open when the sun is out so rooms warm up and close them when it's dark to keep the heat in.

80sWaistcoat Mon 21-Nov-16 13:06:12

You can get nice looking ones - not much nicer mind.

marthastew Mon 21-Nov-16 13:13:15

Is your loft insulated? Have a look as some times it can settle and become less effective. It can be quite easy to put more insulation in yourself.

marthastew Mon 21-Nov-16 13:15:16

Hot water bottles!

NattyTile Mon 21-Nov-16 13:18:40

You can staple or sew cheap fleece onto the back of regular curtains for additional thermal insulation.

hang curtains so they go behind radiators or sit on windowsills, rather than falling prettily in front of them to the floor, so the radiators heat the gap behind them not the room.

Draught excluders - stuff old tights with something heavy - sand, rice, kapok, whatever you've got - and put them at the foot of each door.

You can get a film to put over windows if they aren't double glazed.

Keep doors closed to any unheated rooms, and if the garage has a door into the house consider hanging an extra thick curtain with it too.

Rugs on floors, blankets on chairs, blankets under you as well as over you in bed.

You can get letterboxes with springs on them which stay closed, or you could seal it up altogether and go for an external letterbox with a lock and key.

There's insulating tape you can put into door frames which catches breezes nicely.

We have a shedload of candles in our sitting room which make that the warmest room in the house in the evenings.

And once we've finished cooking with the oven, I always leave the door open as it cools down; releases the heat back into the kitchen rather than leaving it behind glass. On a similar note if it's particularly cold, I'll cook things by boiling them on the hob, as we seem to get more heat generated that way than by using the very well insulated oven.

Best of all though, consider getting cats. They'll find the warmest spots for you, and they'll act as animated hot water bottles whenever you sit down. Just make sure the cat flap is draught proof!

Bluntness100 Mon 21-Nov-16 13:19:17

We have wooden floor boards with gaps too, and I have big rugs down, it really does make a difference, it also, as a point of interest, stops the house getting so dusty.

littlemissneela Mon 21-Nov-16 13:20:38

Our house gets some awful draughts. We have curtains hung on the front and back door from Dunelm, which help hugely. I have a single glazed window in our downstairs loo which I tape clingfilm over it as a secondary glazing (if you take your time it doesnt look awful).

80sWaistcoat Mon 21-Nov-16 13:53:26

Our house had wooden floors with a cellar underneath and in the winter the draught would lift the rug up. I stapled loft installation under the floorboards and put some boards up as well to stop the draught. All very makeshift but no one was going to see them!

readingrainbow Mon 21-Nov-16 13:54:35

All good ideas, thank you. I shall be getting some heavy curtains today, and discussing other DIY efforts with dh tonight!

PigletJohn Mon 21-Nov-16 15:36:10

The curtain rod for doors is called a Portiere Rod

It is made so that it lifts and opens when you open the door. It has a lever and pivot design, pretty simple so not likely to go wrong.

Curtain shops and some larger DIY sheds have them, or mail order on ebay.

PigletJohn Mon 21-Nov-16 15:42:39

And this is the window film. It sticks to clean, fresh paint, but not to dirt or rough, flaky paint. If you fix it to the casement you can still open the window, if you fix it to the frame you can't, but it will seal draughts around the casement.

Other hardware stores may get it in just for winter

if you're buying draught strip, get EDPM not foam. Available in white or woody brown. For doors, brush-pile strip can be better as it allows the door to brush past it. It is more like fur fabric than brush. Again, it sticks best to clean new paint.

readingrainbow Tue 22-Nov-16 09:16:08

Thank you PigletJohn. Wealth of information, as usual!! smile

drspouse Tue 22-Nov-16 09:36:56

We have this in our floorboards (you can put a knife down some of them!)

PausingFlatly Tue 22-Nov-16 09:40:50

Have a look at the Stormguard website for lots of draughtproofing products you may not have thought of.

I like the brand, but you can buy similar stuff elsewhere once you know what you're looking for.

PausingFlatly Tue 22-Nov-16 09:48:58

Bear in mind there are different profiles of draughtstrip as well. P-shaped fills a larger gap than E-shaped. V-shaped is good in the hinged side of a door.

drspouse Tue 22-Nov-16 09:50:10

(And when I say put a knife down, I don't mean you can fit the blade between the floorboards. I mean you can actually lose a knife, handle and all).

readingrainbow Tue 22-Nov-16 10:36:20

It should be easy for us to add insulation under the floorboards, as we have a basement and can access the flooring from underneath. I will look into the stopgaps product, as well. Feeling warmer already! :D

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