Keeping warm in the rainy season

Thursday May 17 2018

During rainy seasons, the cold from the outside easily creeps indoors. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

During rainy seasons, the cold from the outside easily creeps indoors. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BARACK ODUOR
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During rainy seasons, the cold from the outside easily creeps indoors. For those who have a fireplace, warming up the inside is not a challenge but those who don’t might need tips on warming up safely.

Since cold weather often causes runny noses, coughs and other ailments, some people light jikos indoors, but this is very dangerous. So, how can you  regulate indoor temperatures indoors to make rooms comfortable and keep out the cold?

Jack Okuthe, an interior designer, says that nowadays, there are modern homes built with temperature regulators. However, those who do not have such facilities have to modify what they have and improvise to combat the cold.

To reduce heat loss, Mr Okuthe advises homeowners to close doors and vents in unused rooms.

And If you have a chimney but are not using it, make sure its closed,

“Open chimneys can suck the heat right out of a home. This is one of the biggest issues with open fireplaces as they lead to  the loss of too much heat from the room,” says Mr Okuthe.

And in extremely cold weather, you can hang blankets on the walls since they can radiate cold if they are not adequately insulated.

If you have big window and want to reduce heat loss, you can tape a large, clear shower curtain to the inside (just past the frame). It will allow sunlight in during the day and still provide an air gap to reduce heat loss. Adding a curtain or shades over it at night is advisable.

HEATING CONTROLS

Mr Gordon Odhhiambo, a solar expert with a local solar company, says that since heat from the sun is free, we should make the most of it. So during sunny intervals, draw back your curtains and let the sunlight in during the day.

When it gets dark, draw your curtains, which act as another layer of insulation, to keep  the warmth in. You should also ensure you don’t have any leaks or gaps so that the warm air can remain in and the cold air stays out. This also helps to reduce condensation.

If you have a hot water tank, make sure it is properly lagged – or insulated. This will keep the water warmer for longer, and reduce heating costs.

The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum temperature of 21°C in the living room.

Mr Odhiambo suggests that you install heating controls and thermostatic radiators valves, which result in energy savings of up to 40 per cent. 

These work by allowing you to programme your heating to come on at predetermined  times, such that  you use energy only when you need it.

New smart thermostats can also be controlled remotely via a  mobile phone, so you can turn on the heat on the way home to ensure it’s cosy when you arrive.

Radiator panels are relatively cheap, easy to install, and ensure that heat from your radiators warm up the room, and not the walls. They work by reflecting the heat back into the room.

Mr Okuthe advises  that you seal any gaps in your bedroom windows, or any other windows properly because they can allow air from the inside to ‘leak’ out.  It is, therefore, important to  check all windows and doors that open to the outside. Some homes have  draft detectors, special burning sticks that detect  air movement.

Its also important to caulk or plug leaks around windows and doors. This will not only  reduces energy wastage, but also keep bugs out.

You can also use  an electric blanket, an electric mattress pad, which warms up your whole bed from underneath the sheets.