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Brace yourself: winter is officially here. As New Zealand moves into its coldest and wettest months, here are five handy tips to help you keep your house warm and healthy.

Five ways to warm your home
by: Veda Dante

Reverse ceiling fans

  • It may come as a surprise to you, but turning on your ceiling fans in winter can help you save energy while also directing warmth back into areas where they’re most needed.

    Look for the small switch in the centre (you might have to remove a couple of screws to get it), which enables you to turn the blades from counterclockwise to clockwise: most fan models have this option.

    The fan will then draw cooler air upwards before forcing it downwards along the walls, where it can rise again. You’ll notice a gentle updraft redirecting warm air down to where you’re sitting, especially if your home has high ceilings and an open-plan layout.

    But how exactly does this reduce power bills? Thermostats are usually located around eye level, so keeping the warm air low where it’s needed enables to you turn the temperature down a few degrees and still stay warm.


Seal cracks and gaps

  • Living in a warm house is not just a comfort: it’s extremely important for staying healthy throughout the cold season.

    According to a 2017 study by BRANZ, nearly half of all New Zealand’s houses had poor insulation, which contributed to 49% of properties being damp and mould.

    To reduce heat loss, start by sealing up cracks and gaps. To locate them, look for:

    • Visible light under and around windows and doors
    • Movement in curtains and moving air around windows, doors, fireplaces etc.
    • Rattles or whistling around doorframes and windows, especially on windy days.


Change your bed sheets

  • Have you ever wondered why flannel sheets feel warmer than cotton ones, even though neither is capable of generating heat? It’s all down to their fluffy surface, which traps warm air for longer and helps keep your bed nice and warm on cold nights.

    It is commonly known that cooler temperatures produce better sleeping conditions, which makes switching to flannel sheets a much better option than switching on the heater. And one that’s significantly cheaper.


Re-arrange your furniture

  • Smart furniture placement can play a huge role in the retention of heat.

    For example, moving the lounge away from a large window or outside wall will ensure radiant heat isn’t lost from your body. Plus, avoid positioning large lounge chairs or your couch directly in front of the heater, as they will absorb the heat instead of it dispersing around the room. And if your bed is next to a cold external wall and the room is too small to move it, why not separate the two with an upholstered bedhead?

    Lastly, don’t forget to cover cold surfaces with shag rugs or faux fur throws: it’s a cost-effective way to add warmth to spaces.


Focus on keeping yourself warm

  • Bear in mind that keeping yourself warm is a lot easier and cheaper than heating every room in your house. From footed pajamas to a pair of classic uggs, comfy bathrobe or luxurious lounge throw, wearing an extra layer can help. Closing the doors to unused rooms and putting a blanket under your bottom sheet can also reduce your power bills.

    Physical activity is without a doubt the easiest, cheapest and most eco-friendly way to warm up without turning up the heater. But if it’s time to invest in a new heating system, Energywise’s website offers plenty of information about the different types of heaters on the market, and which is the right one for your home.

  • Use a calculator to get an estimate of how much you can borrow.
    Try one here

  • See if you qualify. To get a more accurate idea of how much you can borrow with RESIMAC Direct,
    click here

  • Call our Lending Specialists and they can do the calculation for you over the phone plus answer any questions you have at the time. Talk to us on 0800 466 656