Don’t let it, with these top tips for creating a cosy, harmonious, and safe environment in the home.
Hazard-proof your abode
Check the lint filter on the front and back of your clothes dryer. You’ll be using it more over winter. Empty it after each use - even the smallest amount of lint can spark a fire if there’s a fault with the machine.
Renew batteries in all smoke alarms, and replace old alarms. Quality alarms can be priced as low as $9.98, like the Quell 9V Ionisation Smoke Alarm.
Ensure all cables and electrical appliances are dust, cobweb and crack-free. Ditto for power points, power boards, heaters and gas outlets. If any appear weary, replace them immediately.
Have a reputable electrician come to your home to guarantee all fuses are working safely. Replace anything that looks even slightly faulty.
Be diligent with your insurance plan. Ensure it has fire and floods written into it, just in case the unthinkable happens.
Remember the Golden Rule: “At least a metre from the heater.” Apply it to all household objects, pets, children and adults.
Make sure electric blankets comply with – or surpass – Australian Safety Standards.
Be extremely careful with wheat packs and hot water bottles, as they can cause severe burns.
In case of severe storms, keep a first aid/emergency kit handy, including torches, candles, spare batteries, and tinned food in case of lengthy blackouts, your insurance company helpline, all emergency services and other precautionary bodies.
If you are advised to evacuate your home at any time during storms or adverse weather – do so immediately.
Stay warm (without spiking heating costs)
Add an extra layer of clothing before turning on the heater, especially during peak times when charges are highest. If the sun hits your home, keep blinds and windows open at that time of day to maximise nature’s own heating system.
If you can afford it, install insulation to save on heating bills. It will also serve you well when summer rolls around.
Ensure curtains are thick and have backing to help keep the heat in and the cold out.
Invest in a door snake to prevent drafts sneaking under door crevices.
Embrace rugs – especially if you have wooden or tiled floors. Choose bold, bright colours, which will also help lift your mood.
Combat dry air with a humidifier – buy one that allows you to add warming essential oils such as frankincense or cedarwood, which will double as a mood enhancer.
Fight mould with moisture-absorbing products in cupboards and corners of dampness-prone rooms. Also, clean gutters and outside pipes regularly. Fallen leaves can clog rainfall and cause mould to spread, or allow water to enter the roof space.
Seal gaps in your walls or windows to prevent cold air sneaking in. Try the affordable Selleys 3-in-1 Adhesive Sealant and Gap.
Invest in a quality doormat to keep mud outside and decrease time spent cleaning. Try Madras Link Rubber and Coir Cairo Mat.
Air your house regularly to combat the positive ions emitted by heating, electrical devices and computer monitors. This also brings a fresh flow of oxygen into the house, which will lift your spirits enormously.
Install solar lights around your garden. It’s likely that you’ll be coming home in the dark during winter, and it will be delightful to see the beams of light welcome you as you arrive. Try Duracell Silver LED Solar Pathway Light. Bunnings sells a 4-pack for less than $30.