In Australia many houses have been built to keep cool in summer.
In winter, however, this lack of insulation means interior drafts and expensive heating bills.
Heating and cooling together contribute up to 40 per cent of energy use in the average Australian home, according to energyrating.gov.au.
Better regulation of indoor temperatures won't just make you comfortable; it will also reduce energy use and benefit your budget. A recent government study has shown that an energy rating improvement of just one star can increase a property's market value by an average of three per cent.
The most effective way for homeowners to overhaul their energy inefficient houses is to target the main sources of draft and heat loss - windows and doors.
Warming up with cool views
Although you may love to admire the wintery landscape, windows are a significant source of home heat loss. During the coldest months, up to 40 per cent of heat escapes via windows alone, according to yourhome.gov.au.
Therefore the quality of your windowpanes and frames is not only a factor in regulating your home's temperature, but also your house's overall energy efficiency.
"Windows can influence interior temperatures by acting as a form of insulation. High performance glazing which is Stegbar's standard can also improve thermal performance by reducing air infiltration," Christine Evans, Marketing Director, Stegbar said.
"This reduces the amount of energy you'll use to replace lost heat, ultimately lowering home energy costs and improving home energy ratings."
Double glazed windows are especially effective, as they contain a sealed air or gas filled gap between two panes that acts as an added layer of insulation. This feature can decrease heat loss by almost 30 per cent in comparison to single glazed windows.
And you don't need to sacrifice style for comfort. Stegbar's latest double glaze series, Alumiere, are acoustically constructed to filter exterior noise, and its minimal frame supports an expansive glass surface area, providing unobstructed views and an open ambiance to living areas.
Window furnishings, blinds and curtains can enhance performance and be an effective way to overcome problems with existing windows. Most of your home's energy is lost through windows and research reveals that up to 30 per cent of total heat loss from your home occurs through uncovered windows.
"Insulation is key to maintaining room temperatures, and a few small changes can help your home be more energy efficient and keep bills down," Vera Meharg, Marketing Communications Manager, Luxaflex Window Fashions said.
She said that for example, Luxaflex Duette Architella Shades provide superior energy efficiency. The unique design features a patented cell within a cell construction, creating insulating air pockets to trap air which reduces heat loss in winter. As well as preventing heat from escaping, insulating window coverings can help regulate the warmer temperatures of the day.
"During the day, your windows let in more radiant energy than gets out; sunlight can enter through the glass, but the window is opaque to the infrared radiation trying to escape," Ms Meharg said.
"Our PowerView Motorisation uses clever technology so Aussies can now schedule their blinds to lower immediately after dusk - the optimum time to close them to help prevent heat loss," she said. Each individual window covering can be powered by remote, smartphone apps, and integration with third-party systems such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
Draft Proof Doors
Doors can be easily overlooked as a source of heat loss so it's important that they are correctly fitted with sealed frames.
Amy Ryan, Marketing Manager at Corinthian Doors, said it is no longer an option for insulation to be an afterthought.
"Home energy ratings have a significant impact both financially and environmentally. Energy ratings now corollate to market value," she said.
"Drafts from around doors account for a quarter of heating and cooling bills, so investing in quality doors and frames that seal effectively will save you money in both the short- and long-term."
Corinthian Doors' Enviroseal frames provide insulation by sealing all four sides of a closed door from draft, wind, noise, and water. They have been designed for compatibility with Corinthian's range of entrance doors, independently tested for wind and water resistance, and satisfy the requirements of the Australian Standard AS2047.
For the experienced DIYer or handyman, sealing your existing windows, internal and external doors is the most immediate and practical step you can take to significantly improve your home's heating conditions and energy expenditure.
An interior door seal supports temperature control by helping contain cold air to closed off and lesser used quarters of the house. An all-weather perimeter seal is ideal for windows and external doors, as it will deter draught while shielding against extreme elements such as strong winds and heavy rainfall.
Cowdroy's Weather Seals combat air leakage and can be easily fitted to jambs, faces or edges of doors and windows. These seals not only reduce drafts and contribute to energy efficiency, but they also deter dust, insects and intrusive light and sound, both inside and out.
You can also use Cowdroy Gap Filler for a quick and easy option for filling larger openings, such as those around door architraves and along skirting boards, ensuring that you enjoy a warm winter.