Cranking up the thermostat on your central heating might help you stay warm during cold winter months, but it can exacerbate dry skin problems and lead to dehydration, which causes symptoms like headaches and lethargy. Rising fuel costs and awareness of increased carbon emissions and global warming might also prompt you to explore more cost-effective and eco-friendly ways to make your room feel cosy. Approximately 35 per cent of room heat escapes through walls and 25 per cent is lost through the roof. Doors and floors each enable 15 per cent of heat loss, and 10 per cent escapes through windows. So it makes sense to identify and block potential heat escape routes in your room if you're looking for ways to reduce your heating bills.
Arrange for insulation of wall cavities, and fill minor cracks in your walls using do-it-yourself thermal gap filler.
Arrange for installation of loft insulation to reduce heat loss through the roof.
Apply weather stripping around doors and use a draught snake to exclude draughts that flow underneath a door.
Arrange for insulation of the floor to exclude draughts from gaps in your flooring. Choose carpets rather than laminate flooring or wooden flooring as they have a softer and warmer feel, although the latter are easier to keep clean. Wool retains heat, so a wool and nylon mix carpet provides flooring that is cosy and hardwearing. Vinyl flooring is an easy-clean option that is slightly warmer underfoot than laminate and wooden floors.
Arrange for installation of double glazed windows or use a good quality do-it-yourself secondary glazing kit.
Install thermally-lined curtains and draw them together as soon as dusk falls. Keep them open during the day to maximise warmth obtained from the sun's rays. Install a pelmet over your curtain rod, or lay a draught snake or heavy blanket over the curtain rod to close the gap between the window and your room.
Colour your room warmer! Decorate your room using paint or wallpaper that has predominantly red, orange and deep yellow tones. Colour consultant and interior designer, Doreen Richmond explains that warmer, darker colours like deep reds, oranges and yellows can make a room feel warmer than a room that is painted in light hues like pastel blues or pale greys. "Experiments have shown that a difference of five to seven degrees can be experienced when rooms are dominantly painted in cool or warm hues," explains Richmond.
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