Winter is right around the corner, and with energy prices on the rise, everyone is looking for ways to cut costs. Heating is expensive, and there is nothing more frustrating than heating a room for hours on end only for all that heat to dissipate once the radiators are turned off. You’ve insulated the walls, treated the attic, and sealed draughty windows, what else can you do? The answer may surprise you, wood flooring is one of the best ways to save energy and money!
“Wooden floors can help to regulate temperature by absorbing and releasing heat, which can help to keep your home more comfortable during the colder months.”Richard Kelly, Home Renovation Expert, Unique Home Guide
Carpet may feel warmer, however, it’s a bit of an illusion. Wood is a conductor, whereas carpet is an insulator. Carpeted floors will stop heat from moving, while the wood will absorb the heat and allow it to circulate. The common misconception is that carpet holds onto heat, but the reality is that it just reduces the overall flow of heat throughout the home, meaning you’ll have to leave your heating on for longer to heat the entire building.
Due to their composition and their higher thermal mass, wooden floors also maintain heat for much longer. Solid building materials found in your home, like wood, greatly reduce the fluctuation of temperature as they can store and absorb heat, whereas carpet just ends up working as a barrier.
“Using materials with a high thermal mass in your home will save you money on utilities by making sure your house doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain cool or warm air.”Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO, Lawn Love
“You can keep your home warm with hardwood floors since wood conducts heat well. By absorbing heat and circulating it throughout the home, it keeps your house warm. This reduces the energy your heating needs to circulate heat and keep your home warm.”Jason Farr, Owner, AviaraPavers
Creating the Feeling of Warmth
While wood floors do make your house warmer overall, they can still be cold underfoot! On those cold winter mornings, walking on a carpeted floor is far more pleasant than a wooden one, so what can we do to counteract this?
“If for some reason, your hardwood flooring feels cold in certain areas, it is probably because that spot is by a window or door, be sure to check for possible drafts and add additional sealing if necessary.“Kalyn Johnson, Energy Expert, Clearsurance.com
Firstly, lay some rugs! These will help offset the coldness and give the same warming feeling as a carpet.
“Rugs and mats can also help to insulate your floors. Heavy rugs or carpets will trap heat underneath, making it less likely for the floors to become cold. You can also use smaller mats or rugs in high-traffic areas to help reduce wear and tear”Adam Roper, Sustainability Expert, adamdroper.com
Keeping your floors clean and free of debris is key also.
“Rugs and mats can also help to insulate your floors. Heavy rugs or carpets will trap heat underneath, making it less likely for the floors to become cold. You can also use smaller mats or rugs in high-traffic areas to help reduce wear and tear. Consider using a humidifier in your home during the winter months to help offset the dryness that can cause wood floors to crack and warp.”Jen Stark, Founder, Happy DIY Home
How To Keep your Floors Warm
It’s important to note that hardwood floors retain heat for far longer than softwood or carpeted floors. Although there is little sunlight throughout the winter months, try and utilise as much of it as possible, as it can indeed warm the floorboards themselves. Open your curtains during the day and let the wood absorb as much heat from the sun as it can.
“Wood is an excellent conductor of heat, so it can absorb and retain heat from the sun or from a heating system. This means that wood floors can help to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.”Inez Stanway, Live Laugh Create
Spending time draught-proofing your home’s hardwood flooring is extremely worthwhile. Although it does take some time and effort, the results are worth it. In most circumstances, you can use a sealant to make your hardwood floors draught-proof, this is a very straightforward job that can be done by almost anyone. Your floors will be warmer, and you’ll spend less money on energy bills as a result. This will help to increase the heat in your home since it prevents cold air from entering while keeping warm air inside.
Finally, and despite it sounding incredibly obvious, keep your doors closed! During the winter months, you need to be keeping your internal and external doors closed as much as possible as this will stem the flow of cold air throughout the house.
Engineered wood flooring & heating
If you’re looking to go above and beyond, you could install underfloor heating. This will keep your feet toasty throughout the cold snap; however, you’ll need to choose the right type of flooring to accommodate the heating system. Engineered wood flooring is your best option, with a solid wood top and a specially designed base layer, these floors are built to withstand the fluctuation in temperatures that comes with installing underfloor heating. Get in touch with our team today to discuss our engineered wood flooring options or explore our wide variety of bespoke designs, including chevron, herringbone, Versailles or long plank wood flooring.