Answering the Most Googled Property Questions When Approaching Winter: Preparing Your Home for the Cold Season Ahead

With the winter season here and temperatures dropping further, the last thing any homeowner wants is a cold home. Whilst winter weather conditions such as snow can look lovely, the impact on your home’s temperature may not be so favourable. Therefore, preparing our properties for the cold season ahead becomes a top priority. There are plenty of ways to keep your property warm that doesn’t require switching the heating on – whether that’s better insulation or fitting thermal window treatments.

We analysed Google Search Volumes to reveal the most searched for winter property questions. This allowed us to provide answers to the most sought-after information regarding homes when approaching winter, as well as pointers on keeping your home warm during the cold season.

The Most Googled Winter Property Questions

  1. How can I keep my house warm during winter?

During the colder winter months, there are numerous ways to ensure your home remains warm. In the UK, a typical household’s heating will account for over half of their energy consumption. Therefore, we strive to find ways to reduce this – whilst keeping our properties warm.

A practical approach to keeping your home warm this winter – set a timer so that your boiler turns the heating on earlier. For instance, program your boiler to switch on 30 minutes before you wake up in the morning, but at a lower temperature. This approach is more energy efficient than turning the heating on as soon as you need it, at a higher temperature.

Heat from the sun is openly available and therefore it should be utilised. Open your curtains and let sunlight naturally heat up your room. When the sun sets, draw your curtains to retain this heat and provide an extra layer of thermal insulation. More importantly, ensure windows and doors are draught proofed and well-sealed. This will help reduce the chances of heat from escaping your home and doesn’t require a professional, making it a simple and easy way to keep your home protected from the cold.

Double or triple glazing for windows is an effective way to keep your home warm in winter. As well as glazing, these types of windows also have heat efficient frames, and both use two or three panes of glass with a small space in between them. This gap traps warm air inside and prevents it from escaping to provide improved window insulation.

Other ways to keep your property warm ahead of the cold season include freeing anything that blocks the radiator (for example furniture) so heat can run through the house evenly. Fitting cellular blinds are not only a stylish addition to a property, but their honeycomb-shaped cells create additional insulation too.

  1. What is the cost of insulating a property?

Those in the market for a property consider insulation to be the second most important feature of a home. Insulation comes in many different forms, from loft to wall insulation, and even floor insulation – these can all vary in price. You will also need to take into consideration the materials, as these can differ in cost too.

The best way to calculate the cost of insulation is by considering the size of your property. It’s believed that on average wall insulation could cost approximately £200 per wall. On the other hand, insulating an entire detached property could cost up to £20,000. Therefore, it’s important that you discuss with a qualified architect or builder first, to ensure that it matches up with your home’s requirements.

  1. What counts as good insulation?

There are several types of home insulation that can help keep your energy consumption lower and your house warmer. In general, the following materials are the most popular home insulators for residential and commercial buildings, and each has their own benefits:

  • Spray foam – best for adding insulation to existing finished areas, and irregularly shaped or hard-to-reach areas. It’s extensively used due to it being a fantastic air barrier, and its high R-value, moisture resistance and longevity.
  • Fibreglass – best for DIY insulation of unfinished walls, floors and ceilings. Perhaps one of the most popular forms of insulation, it’s best known for its non-flammable qualities, being mould-resistant, durable and easy to install on your own.
  • Mineral wool – best for fireproof doors, partition walls and ceilings. Its popularity is owed to it being an excellent fire barrier, soundproofing qualities and moisture resistance.
  • Cellulose – best for areas that have corners, obstructions or are unusually shaped, like attics and existing closed walls. It’s hugely popular due to its eco-friendly properties and flexible nature.

Wall insulators are inclined to be the more favourable choice for reducing heat loss in the cooler months. And with heat rising, loft insulation becomes especially vital, as much of the heat that is lost in properties is via the roof. As always, it’s important to liaise with a qualified builder or architect, in order to get the correct insulation for your home.

  1. Do blinds keep heat in?

Research conducted by the University of Salford found that drawing your blinds at dusk can reduce heat loss by 13 to 14%. Therefore, blinds can be great as a form of home décor that works to retain heat. Heat can escape through gaps that can sometimes be found on windows as well as doors, walls and the roof. Therefore, when blinds are made to measure and fitted correctly, they can work to insulate your home by trapping a layer of air between the blind’s fabric and window. Remember that not all types of blinds can keep the cold out as efficiently as others. For instance, Venetian blinds won’t be as effective as roller and Roman blinds (so long as they cover the whole window when closed). Therefore, if keeping cold air out is an important factor for you, made to measure blinds are better suited. However, keep in mind that blinds shouldn’t be relied upon solely, and will need to be used alongside other methods, such as draught-proofing gaps, setting schedules on your boiler etc.

If you’re looking for blinds that add an additional layer of insulation, consider thermal or blackout blinds. With thermal blinds, their lining is designed to help trap heat in the room. Blackout blinds do the same, but they’ll also keep unwanted light at bay too. Or if you want to take things a step further, electric blinds offer great insulating properties due to their automated nature. For instance, you can set schedules for your electric blinds to automatically open during daylight hours. This maximises the natural warming properties of the sun, allowing heat to spread into the home. Electric blinds can also be rolled away to ensure the full expanse of glass is exposed to the sun’s heat during the day. This allows maximum light and warmth into the room, therefore reducing the need for artificial lights and heating.

  1. How do you heat a conservatory in winter?

In winter, the conservatory tends to get colder due to it being predominantly glass, and therefore the area isn’t used as often. However, if you ensure the warmth is locked in, and the cold kept out – you can enjoy the space all year round.

A long-term solution could be to consider replacing the roof of your conservatory. For instance, tiled roofs and hybrid roofs not only offer excellent thermal efficiency but they’re also easy on the eye too. Or by undertaking simpler measures such as ensuring external doors and windows are effectively draught proofed, you’ll be able to retain as much heat as possible. Try putting a large rug down in your conservatory – it’s a quick and simple way to warm the area up and add insulation. And if you follow the recommendation of the aforementioned, installing blinds (or curtains) in your conservatory can be an effective way to bring in an extra layer of insulation.

  1. How can you keep the garage warm?

If you have converted your garage into an extra room, then keeping this space warm is likely to be a high priority, in order for you to be able to enjoy it during the cooler months. You should always ensure insulation is fitted correctly in the roof and walls, and adding clear plastic shrink film over windows is a great solution for additional protection against the cold. When converting the space, it’s advised to opt for thicker flooring to maintain warmth. High-quality windows and doors are also essential for a converted garage, as they will keep the area warm, welcoming and draught free.

Electric ceiling panels can be an effective solution for heating your garage in winter. These thick panels mount on the ceiling and can be an energy-efficient solution that heats up quickly and cools down just as fast. If you not only need your garage to function well, but look pleasing to the eye, these ceiling-slimming panels work superbly.

  1. How can you keep a summerhouse warm in winter?

If you want to be able to use your summerhouse, even in the colder months, there are various ways to keep the area warm and comfortable. For instance, floor and wall coverings can make a huge difference, as well as placing rugs on the floor (even more so if they’re made from wool). An underlay will also add an extra layer of warmth and help to stop the rug from slipping. You could also consider wall hangings, which not only keep out draughts but are incredibly practical if your walls aren’t particularly thick. For quick and easy fixes, consider a portable heater, and ensure windows and doors are draught free – these are excellent solutions to keep heat in and the cold out.

Tips to Keep Home Warm During Winter

  • Service your boiler – ensure your boiler can meet the demands of a cold winter. If your boiler is old, there’s a high chance that it won’t work as efficiently as it once did.
  • Rearrange furniture – when trying to keep your home warm during winter, think tactically about the arrangement of your furniture. Ensure that sofas or beds aren’t blocking the radiator, as this can prevent the entire room from heating up. Alternatively, arrange furniture like desks, beds or sofas around any heat sources, but without obstructing them, to make the most of the warmth. And aim to keep them away from any draughty areas, such as by a window or door.
  • Fill the floorboards – small gaps in floorboards can let cold air in. Using a gap filler to seal the gaps is not only a simple and easy DIY job, but it also combats draughts instantly.
  • Layer floors with rugs – a quick fix solution, if you don’t have time to fill the gaps in your floorboards, is to add extra rugs to your flooring. If you have a carpeted home then it will naturally improve insulation, and if you have hard flooring, plush rugs are best at stopping heat from escaping.
  • Utilise heavyweight curtains – thermal-lined curtains are effective at keeping out cold air and retaining the warmth inside, particularly if you have single-glazed windows.
  • Fit radiator panels – these are easy to install and ensure heat from radiators warms up the room and not just the walls, by reflecting heat back into the room.
  • Draught-exclude letterboxes – if your letterbox doesn’t already have a second flap or ‘brushes’ within in, it’s a good idea to fit either one of these to help keep heat in.
  • Loft insulation – ensure your loft has at least 10 to 11 inches (270 mm) of insulation. Any property with 4 inches (100 mm) or less must have it topped up.
  • Smart thermostats – these enable you to remotely control your heating via an app. Therefore, you can turn it on when travelling home, to warm the house up in time for when you arrive. Or off if you’ve accidentally left it on when leaving the house.

With both the days and nights getting colder, it’s important that we keep our homes warm over winter, in order to establish a pleasant, comfortable and inviting space. There are many considerations when it comes to heating various rooms or converted outdoor buildings. Therefore, it’s essential to weigh up all factors in line with your personal needs, so that it can be determined which will work best for your own property. With the correct insulation, maintenance of windows and doors, optimised heating and other simple measures, you can improve energy consumption whilst preparing your home for the chillier months.

Methodology

Data was sourced using Google Search Volumes to determine:

  • The most Googled winter property questions

This data allowed us to provide answers to the public’s most burning questions when it comes to their properties ahead of the winter season.