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Melbourne homes are just like Swiss cheese…. Full of holes!

Jul 6, 2016 | News

 

I thought this piece may have been a month too late.
When in May, the temperature in Melbourne was sliced in half from 25 degrees down to 12 degrees in a little over 2 weeks.
And boy, did I feel it in the Victorian Terrace I call home!

My home has double brick walls, single glazing and is naturally long and narrow.
It’s a great home in summer with the exposed brick walls keeping the house beautifully cool.
But, the lack of insulation and exposed brick walls capturing very little sun caters to a freezing cold home winter.

After having the coldest Melbourne day since 1998 and last year we had the coldest July in 20 years.
Where’s this ‘Global Warming’? I hear you ask.

The thing is, colder winters occur over Europe and Australasia in years where there is lower levels of Arctic ice.
I’m not going to try and make myself out as a scientist (because I’m not) but this has a lot to do with the jet stream which determines our weather.
I’ll let you research it yourself!

But the point is, we are currently having colder winters, and colder winters in Melbourne mean a horribly uncomfortable home, exacerbated heating bills and higher carbon emissions.

We as the home owner or occupier don’t have the power to change the weather but we can dramatically increase the comfort of our homes.
And the first aspect to improve an existing home is the fabric of the home.

Consider the external perimeter of your home (walls, floors and ceilings) as a blanket for your home.
Naturally if your blanket has holes in it, it’s going to let in the cold air and leak out the warm air you’re paying for with your hard earned!

There’s a few simple things you can do cheaply to decrease your heating costs and have a more comfortable home.
Three steps to a cheaper and more comfortable home;

Step 1 – Only heat the area you live in.

Zone your house so the room you spend most of your time in is shut off from the rest of your house. This way you’re heating less area and the internal walls being used to zone your home add more space between your heating source and the external extremities.

Step 2 – Seal everything.

Seal around all windows, doors and even the internal doors used to zone the home. Get down to your local hardware to pick weatherseals for windows and doors that don’t seal all the way around and even a tube of liquid nails for you to caulk all those tiny gaps around your architraves and skirting boards. These gaps really add up. Sealing your home will help your heating source be as efficient as possible and not allow any of that nasty cold air in or warm air to escape.

Step 3 – Make the most of your windows.

When the sun is shining, let it shine into your house through your windows. But, when it’s gone cover your windows with some thick curtains to stop the heat exiting. You can use some thick blankets or your local curtain store will have some good thermal curtains which will be a great investment in preventing up to 50% heat loss through your windows.

Stay warm this winter by any means possible!

 

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