EECA building expert Dr Gareth Gretton joined the Breakfast team to share some tips on how to prepare your home.
How quickly the cold seeps into your home depends a lot on how well it’s insulated, Gretton said.
“The best place to start is actually underneath… that keeps the heat in and stops the drafts coming up.”
He recommends checking the ceiling space too, and if you have less than 200mm of insulation in the roof space it’s worth considering a top-up. Insulated walls “are one of the bigger ticket items to consider in the longer term.”
“There’s not much point in heating our homes if the heat is just leaking our straight away.”
However, not all will be able to afford new insulation this year, or a heat pump.
For cost-effective measures, Gretton recommends products such as a foam weather seal, which can be found in hardware stores and will keep cold drafts from entering through windows.
Another option, he said, is secondary glazing film — a near-invisible film which is like double glazing but can pay itself back in a single winter.
“Windows are a really big source of heat loss, curtains are another big part of the puzzle in terms of really just making you feel a bit more comfortable.”
Gretton’s tip for those who do have heat pumps is to keep your filters in good condition. “If you can’t remember the last time you’ve done it then it’s definitely time to do it,” he said.
“We know that cold, damp homes have a really significant impact on people’s health.
“We’re talking asthma and we’re talking a whole lot of respiratory infections and those things really ramp up as we go through the winter months… it’s not much fun living in a cold, draft home and feeling cosy in your home is a really important part of getting through the winter.”