This Winter, Give Your Home the Gift of Warmth

This Winter, Give Your Home the Gift of Warmth

The following contribution is from another author.

Winter is the coldest season of the year – unless you live in a tropical zone. Scientifically speaking, winter is the result of the hemisphere you live in being oriented away from the Sun, which is why the dates of winter differ from a hemisphere to the other – in other words, the Australian winter occurs during the US summer.

But aside from its calendar definition, if there’s one thing most people associate with winter, it’s cold. Whether it comes as a cultural association – the result of classic novels such as Dickens’s Christmas Carol that depicts a white Christmas – or an accepted fact, for most people, the simple name of the season is enough to create a sensation of cold.

Even though winter has been part of human history since the beginning of times, it’s interesting to note that we, people, are surprisingly poorly equipped to sustain the drop in temperatures. In fact, while some animals develop thick fur in winter, human beings are left without any mean of protection. Hypothermia, seasonal depression, norovirus, and influenza, to name but a few, are common illnesses that are associated with winter. In other words, the human body has little defense mechanism against the cold season. That’s precisely where houses play such a significant role in our survival – without mentioning appropriate clothing too. Consequently, your best protection against the harshness of the cold season is to winterproof your home. Using the best technology, knowledge, and tips, you can turn the heat on – both figuratively and literally. Because, ultimately, the best thing you can do for your home is to make sure it can keep you warm and healthy during the winter. Indeed, it’s time to embrace the magical sight of a white Christmas instead of fear the disease and low temperatures.

Smart heating systems can be a life-saver

Smart homes are not a novelty anymore. But too many homeowners fail to see the advantages a smart home can bring when it comes to staying warm in winter. Indeed, at the core of it, your smart system is designed to learn a routine and manage your house whether you’re inside or out. Giving you direct access through digital technologies – an Internet connection and the dedicated smartphone application can let you adjust settings even while you’re away. Consequently, the number One priority in cold weather is to get your smart thermostat installed. You can set a routine so that your thermostat can get the home to temperature as you get up in the morning or as you’re ready to come back from work in the evening. The app lets you arrange for any event that doesn’t follow the routine schedule. More importantly, the thermostat can also learn more about your comfort temperature, ensuring that the house never goes under, even during the day so that it’s easier to maintain in the long term.

Smart tech needs  maintenance too

Admittedly, it’s fair to say that your smart thermostat can only help you so far. It’s designed to maintain your heating at the best possible temperature for your comfort. But, ultimately, you need to make sure you can rely on your heating system in the first place. If your furnace is 10-years-old or older, it’s fair to say that you might need to consider replacing it if you want to avoid an emergency furnace repair job in the middle of winter. Regular maintenance service – once a year is a typical frequency – can highlight potential problem areas as they arise, giving you the opportunity to check and change all necessary elements ahead of the cold season. If your heating system is damaged, you won’t benefit from installing a smart thermostat in your home. Additionally, an old furnace – even if it’s still functioning – might be wasting more energy that recent models, meaning that it’s inherently more expensive to keep your home warm with an old system than it would be with a new one.

Modernizing an old structure for green heat

Another common issue that can be overlooked if you’ve got a working heating system is the quality of your insulation. Indeed, when your furnace keeps pumping out heat to fill the room, you may not notice that your house lets the warmth out. However, most buildings that were built in the 1980s or before can suffer from poor insulation if the structure has never been renewed or upgraded. Indeed, most insulation solutions have a limited life expectancy – between 20 and 30 years. Failing to stay on top of upgrading schedules can put you at risk of wasting money on your energy bills. Contrary to common belief, your windows don’t let as much heat out as you might think. But the roof is the primary energy vampire, letting up to 30% of the heat out. Insulating your attic can be the best solution to maintain your house warm without breaking the bank. Additionally, attic insulations don’t only reduce your energy consumption, but they can also prevent waste in the world if they are made out of green products. Cellulose insulation is, therefore, a popular choice for environmentally-conscious households.

Creating a decor that is soul-warming

As surprising as it might sound, insulation and heating solutions are only one side of the problem. Feeling warm at home in winter also relies a lot on how your interior design makes you feel. Indeed, a futuristic and minimalist style, while being one of the big decor trends, can affect your emotional attachment to the space. Human beings are creatures that are guided by their emotions. Consequently, feeling at ease indoors significantly impacts how you perceive the temperatures. That’s probably one of the reasons why the Hygge design has grown to become such an interior trend in Nordic regions such as Scandinavia. Indeed, Hygge – pronounced hoogah – creates a space that eliminates stress and ultimately builds a feel-good sanctuary. The personification of a laid back and relaxed attitude, Hygge multiplies comfort elements such as soft pillows, quilts, heavy layers of blankets, combined with the unique smell of winter through spices, candle lights, and alpine-like decor. Think of it as a way to create a heart for togetherness and warmth within your home, the perfect spot to enjoy your Christmas holiday with the family without feeling cold!

Spruce up the bathroom

What is the coldest spot in the house in winter? If you’re unsure about the answer, picture a typical morning routine. Just after a hot shower, you turn the water off and step into the bathroom. The cold air feels like a dagger against your warm skin. You shiver as you wrap yourself in a bathrobe, bringing the material tightly against your body. Nobody enjoys leaving the shower in winter; the world feels freezing in comparison. But you can quickly transform that feeling by improving your bathroom with a few tips. Firstly, you’ll be surprised to know that a towel warmer can make a great deal of difference, not only by ensuring that your bathrobe is comfy and toasty as you wrap it around you, but also because its gentle heat can change the room too. For early morning bathroom routines, you’ll find that a heated toilet seat is the perfect companion. A heated floor is also the most common addition to modern bathrooms, and it’s something that will bring extreme coziness to your shower exit!

Fuel your body to stay warm in the kitchen

The human body is not equipped with a protective fur. But it doesn’t mean it can’t produce its own heat. Admittedly it’s important to note that while you can fuel your body to be the best and strongest it can be in winter, it won’t be enough to protect you from hypothermia on its own. But, an appropriate diet can go a long way in helping you to stay warm at home. It all starts in the kitchen, and essentially in a smart kitchen that can work with you towards building up heat. You’ll find that an intelligent coffee maker that can get you the perfect brew at the right temperature – at a click or even through voice command via Alexa – can go a long towards feeling cozy. Similarly, a WiFi-connected slow cooker can prepare your favorite stew during the day, making sure you’ve got something hot and tasty when you’re back from work.

For sleepers who are always cold

Last, but not least, getting your bedroom temperature right can be tricky at the best of times. But if you and your partner have different metabolisms, it can feel like an impossible task! Some sleepers get warm and need a cool environment while others can feel too cold to sleep comfortably. If you’re not keen to sleep apart, you need to be smart to create the ideal sleeping temperature for both of you. However, you can improve your bedding with a smart duvet that can create a dual-zone climate to keep both of you happy. Controlled via an app, you can choose the best temperature for each side of the bed.

Can smart decor and smart tech make your home warmer? Technically, yes. But throwing a cozy atmosphere can also make a significant difference in how you experience winter.

 

Author

Eric is the creator of At Home in the Future and has been a passionate fan of the future since he was seven. He's a web developer by trade, and serves as the Director of Communication and Technology for a large church in Nashville, TN (where he and his family are building a high tech home in the woods).

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