1. Prune those sun-suckers
Shady plants are great in summer, especially on the north and western sides of your property. But at this time of the year you want to get as much sun into your house as you can. Now is the time to prune plants blocking out your sunlight, if possible.
2. Let the sun in
When the sun is shining, remember to open curtains and blinds during the day, especially on the northern side of your home, but also the east (in the morning) and the west (in the afternoon).
However, you might consider leaving south-facing blinds and curtains closed on days when it is colder outside than in as the sun won’t hit those windows. It’s very common to see homes shut up all day long with the curtains drawn. But before you head off to work or out for the day, opening the blinds and curtains on windows that get the sun can mean coming home to a much warmer property.
3. Draughts be gone
Gaps around doors and windows can let in a lot of draughts. Block them up with an appropriate draught-sealer. Your local hardware store will have plenty of options.
Consider also a good old-fashioned door snake if you find it hard to seal the bottom of doors, which is often the case in older houses where steps may have worn, or doors are not quite square.
If you have particularly cold rooms in the home – the spare bedroom or laundry, for example, consider draught-sealing the door that separate that room or rooms from the rest of the home.
However, it is important to note that if you use unflued gas heating or an open fire, you will need to ensure you have adequate ventilation at home.
4. Cook up a storm
It really is a time of year for baking and slow cooking. The house will definitely warm up, but will you be able to resist all that yummy food?
5. Control the thermostat
Running your heater at 18-21 degrees will keep you comfortable without toasting, and will also keep your winter heating bills down. Just one degree more in temperature can increase your heating costs by 15 per cent.
Source : www.domain.com.au (15 May 2012)