Over the winter, we tend to spend more time indoors. It’s cold outside, there are plenty of wet days, it’s often grey and dull, and the outdoors isn’t particularly appealing. You might spend the year looking forward to days cuddled up on the sofa, watching Christmas movies on Netflix and enjoying warming hot chocolates. 

This winter, with restrictions, social distancing, lockdowns and periods of self-isolation, we’re all bound to spend more time at home than usual, and it’s more important than ever that our homes are warm and inviting. This year, when everything has been so different and strange, and anxiety levels are high, we need our homes to be inviting and comforting havens from the world. Here are some things that you could do to prepare for a cosy winter at home. 

Check Your Boiler

It’s impossible to be warm and comfortable at home if your boiler cuts out. Which, unfortunately, they often do just as the weather turns. It can be a good idea to get your boiler serviced, even if it seems to be working well. If you do need a replacement, take a look at the best combi boiler guide from Boiler Central before you make a purchase. You can also use Boiler Central to compare costs and financing, to make sure you’ve found the right boiler for your home and specific needs, and even order your new boiler online. This simple process makes a significant investment much less confusing and worrying, and means that your home can be warm and cosy much sooner than you might expect. 

Check Window Seals

Your boiler is working well, but your home still feels cool and draughty? This is a very common problem for many homes. 

Spend some time checking window seals, to make sure they are still keeping cool air out and warm air in. Do this very simply by running your fingers around the edges of your windows from the inside, feeling for cold air draughts. 

Sometimes, seals might just need cleaning well to be able to keep the cold out again. In other cases, you may need to replace the seals. But, if your windows are old, cracked or otherwise damaged, replacement windows might be the best option. These are an expense, but like a new boiler, they can help your home to run more efficiently, reducing the costs of energy bills for years to come. 

Bleed Radiators

Another common problem which makes it hard to get warm and cosy when it’s cold outdoors is that while our boilers are working well, our radiators don’t seem to heat up, or parts of them do, but big sections of them remain cold. 

The good news is that in most cases, a partially cold radiator just needs bleeding. It’s usually a simple process that you can do yourself using a radiator key but look at a guide if you need any help. 

Find Other Ways to Warm Up

Of course, sometimes everything is working as it should, and it’s still not as warm and cosy as you’d like it to be, especially when you’ve just come in from the cold and need to thaw out. 

Adding draught excluders to your external doors can be a wonderfully easy and effective way to keep cold air out, and it’s always fun to make your own. Pulling large furniture away from the radiators will help warm air flow more effectively around your rooms, and closing your curtains when the sun goes down will trap warm air inside. 

Maximise Soft-Furnishings

Another fantastic way to warm up this winter, and to add a cosier atmosphere to your rooms is by adding extra soft furnishings. Add cushions and throws to your seating to create an inviting space, and to give yourself an easy way to warm up when you settle in for the evening. Add a pile of thick blankets to a chair, so that you can grab one whenever you need to, and hang heavier curtains, in deep colours, to add texture and warmth, and keep cold air out. 

If you have wooden flooring or thin carpets, you might also want to add thick rugs to your floors to warm your feet up as you walk around, and increase insulation. 

Add Extra Lighting Options

Lighting is perhaps the most effective way to create atmosphere at home. As soon as you turn the Christmas tree lights on for the first time, you feel festive and joyful. This doesn’t have to be exclusive to Christmas. Add soft lighting such as lamps, lanterns and candles to create a warmer, cosier space. Turning your main lights off, and lamps on can instantly help you to feel warmer. 

Your home décor isn’t the only way to warm up this winter, of course. You can also get wrapped up yourself. What’s cosier than snuggling up in a pair of soft, flannel pyjamas and putting your big fluffy slippers on? Make sure you’ve got comfortable pj’s, warming slippers and soft hoodies or woolly jumpers that you can wrap up in as soon as you get home for the day.