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​9 low-cost ways to keep a small house warm this winter

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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To the world, South Africa is known as a country with a hot climate; however, we locals know all too well how those temperatures can plummet in certain areas come winter (Bethlehem and Sutherland, we’re looking at you!). And with the icy season already in full swing in parts of the country, it becomes time to pack away the beach gear and pull out the blankets.

Let’s see 9 subtle yet successful ways in which to keep your house warm this winter without having to go bankrupt!

1. Keep the cold out

50m2 Sugar Gum Cladded home with decking - work in progress.: scandinavian Houses by Greenpods
Greenpods

50m2 Sugar Gum Cladded home with decking—work in progress.

Greenpods

Duh! It sounds stupid, but it’s true – how do you expect your house to heat up if a cold draft keeps entering? 

Make sure your doors and windows have airtight seals around them (duct tape can work if you’re in a pinch). Roll up rugs and put them up against cracks at the bottom of your doors and make sure everything is latched.

And keep those doors and windows closed as far as possible!

2. Use your curtains

  by Emily May Interiors
Emily May Interiors

Curtains for a New Build Bungalow

Emily May Interiors

Make the most of that little bit of sunshine while you can—open your curtains and let the sunlight in during the day. As soon as dusk hits, shut your curtains, which act as a layer of insulation.

3. Move your sofa

Yes, we know it’s pure heaven to lounge on that sofa right in front of the radiator or fireplace, but it’s absorbing heat that could be warming your home. Rather move it away so that the hot air can circulate freely.

4. Reverse your ceiling fan’s direction

Isn’t science wonderful? Ceiling fans rotating in a counter clockwise direction push air downward and create a draft. So come winter, simply reverse your fan's rotation to push cool air upward and mix with the rising heat. The mixed air will then spread downward, making your room feel warmer.

5. Cover your floors

 Walls & flooring by Crown Floors
Crown Floors

Silver Birch

Crown Floors

Indoor heat also easily escapes through uncarpeted floors. Your option? Lay down a large area rug or even an extra piece of carpet from a local store over those wooden- or linoleum floors. 

Any insulation is better than none!

6. Close the doors

Shut up any unused rooms, as keeping interior doors closed will prevent cold air moving into the rest of the house, plus help contain the heat you’ve generated in a smaller area.

7. Shower with the door open

Leaving the bathroom door open while showering allows warm, steamy air to travel through the rest of your house.

8. Dig out that hot water bottle

Guest Bedroom: classic Bedroom by Tru Interiors
Tru Interiors

Guest Bedroom

Tru Interiors

Countless people may be getting rid of these old thingies, but they really work! Pour boiling water into a hot water bottle and slip it under the blanket at the foot of your bed. Toasty toes are the best thing you can have during winter!

9. Get some bubble wrap

Who knew bubble wrap could be used for something other than stress popping? Wrap it on your windows to cut heat loss in half. 

Granted, it's not the most attractive option, but it will save you money on your energy bill.

Let’s get lovely and warm with these 6 spectacular fireplaces right here in South African homes.

What other tips and tricks do you use to keep your home warm?
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