In South Africa we are lucky to have a mild winter, giving us a variety of flooring materials that are suitable all year round. Although tiled floors are a great relief from the summer heat, they become awfully cold in winter and you need to find ways to provide more insulation to keep the heat indoors.
Some flooring materials are warmer than others and be mindful to pick flooring materials that are naturally warm underfoot, for example, wood and laminate flooring. We share easy ways to warm up your floors.
Extra Carpets and Rugs
Bedrooms, family rooms, and living room areas are perfect for carpets. It may be too late now to install carpeting throughout your home, but it is a good option to consider before next winter. Carpets with longer, thicker threads tend to have the most benefits in the winter, by protecting and insulating the room against heat loss.
A good-quality carpet pad beneath the carpet, such as dense foam or wool, will not only make a carpet feel warmer, but it improves the R-value (its resistance to heat loss).
Rugs are a quick solution to cold winter floors and can do a lot to make space feel warmer and more inviting. Area rugs can be placed strategically to create conversation corners and reading and studying nooks. Use them close to beds, doorways, and in bathrooms where people tend to be barefoot and exposed to the cold floor.
Keep Cold Air Out, Warm Air In
Start with the simplest solution, which will help provide a comfortable temperature for the whole house, not just the floor. Stop drafts and heat loss by filling any holes or cracks in the walls or between your baseboards and the floor with a sealant.
Door sweeps are also a functional way to keep the cold seeping in and cooling your floors even more. The sweeps, available in three basic varieties (strip, bristle and under-door), seal up that gap so cold air doesn’t seep in
Heaters come in many forms and quickly warm your floors. In South Africa, traditional heaters have been our go-to for yonks. The Department of Energy in South Africa recommends the following:
“When selecting the best heater for your house, consider where and how you will use it. Some space heaters are better to warm a small area quickly for a shorter period. These are referred to as directional heaters, and examples include gas heaters, fan heaters and bar heaters. These are ideal for warming a body or few bodies quickly, rather than heating and keeping a room warm. Convection heaters, on the other hand, are better for warming and maintaining the warmth in a room for more extended periods. They are typically controlled with a thermostat, switching off once the temperature setting of the room is obtained and automatically back on again when the temperature drops. Examples include oil fin heaters, wall panel heaters and it is best to do a bit of research to decide what is best for your needs”.
Keep in mind the purchase price and the cost of running the heater. The purchase price is an easy, direct comparison. Running costs depend on the type and cost of the fuel source and the efficiency with which the heater turns this fuel source into useful heat.