Be wise now…winterise!

Sounds like an ad on radio.  My hands and feet are so cold right now…it is absolutely freezing here in Gauteng.  This will be our 2nd winter here.  Icy temperatures with sunshine all around.  I absolutely love it!  It is such a welcome change from the wet, rainy winters of Cape Town that I am used to.

However, the fact that we live on a huge exposed property does not help at all.  Our closest neighbours are about 50-100 metres away.  It is a fact that homes that are properly insulated create more cost-effective neighborhoods.  See illustration below:

Heat loss

We live in an old house that has not been insulated properly.  We are trying to make it more livable as budget allows it.  Currently most of the rooms have tile-flooring.  This is great in summer…but a draft in winter!  Speaking of…the girls’ room is particularly cold.  My mom-in-law came to visit for a week and surprised us with an electric blanket for their bed…so that helps a bit.  But there is a definite draft.  This is how the room looked before we moved in:

Girls bedroom before

And this is how it looks now…

Girls room now

To help insulate the room there are a few I decided to try:

  1. The window frames are not properly sealed resulting in a draft coming through.  I did a simple test by lighting a candle and keeping it close to the window.  Move the candle along the window frame.  It will flicker to indicate where the draft originates.  I rolled some newspaper and fitted it in the gaps.  This is a temporary solution while we save for a more permanent one.
  2. Heavy curtaining remains one of the most effective ways to insulate a room.  The thicker the curtain, the better.  So I double-lined the curtains.  I took the existing white one and layered it on top of another heavier curtain.  This keeps the cold out and keeps the heat from escaping.  I will change it back in summer for a breezier feel.

I also think I should make some sort of shutter for the two smaller windows to block the cold.  Sort of like illustrated below:


Proposed idea for girls bedroom

I plan to use inexpensive off-cuts and I will fix it with hinges at the bottom.  It will then open to the bottom during the day to let the sunshine in.  I will decorate it with art and fun stuff.  I am actually thinking of making a whole feature of that wall.

I will keep you updated.  In the meantime, we are trying to stay warm in this frigid cold weather.

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