Why is My Home So Cold? With Quick Fixes

Is yours always the first house to put the heating on when it starts getting cold? And even when the heating is on, your house, or some rooms in it, are constantly cold? There are a few reasons why this could be.  Here, we look at the main causes of a house being cold

Why is my home always cold?

Your house is cold mainly because of heat loss that is escaping from the gaps in doorways, windows, floorboards, and through the loft.  Or the insulation in the loft or the walls are inadequate and have failed. Radiators full of sludge will not heat up the house properly, leaving it cold even with the boiler is on all the time.

Even if the heating is turned on full, routes for heat to escape means it feels cold, or the rooms feel unevenly heated, especially as cold air from outside replaces the lost heat through these same gaps.

why is my house so cold?

Causes for your home being cold

Look into each of the following areas where heat loss can be prevented:

Draughts through doors and windows

To block draughts coming from under the door, a draught excluder can be placed at the bottom of your doors to keep the cold air from coming inside. 

Use weather stripping around the edges of the doorframe if you can see any sunlight coming through.  Also, close off any unused rooms in the house and lock the door, as this keeps the heat contained within the area that you need. 

Draughts cause a lot of cold air to enter quickly so check which windows need to be sealed better.  To check, hold up a candle close to the window and move it around near the frame, if it flickers, it’s likely due to draughts and will need sealing.

Use caulk sealant which matches the window frame and do this on the outside of window frames as well to cover any gaps. 

Radiators not working properly

A room in particular can feel cold all the time if the radiator isn’t getting hot enough.  This can be because of trapped air (cold at the top) or sludge (cold at the bottom), the flow of hot water going to it or even the pipework going to the radiator that needs to be insulated. 

If you aren’t able to check any of these yourself, call in a professional to get your system running smoothly again. If the problem is severe, you may need to replace the radiator.

Gaps in floorboards

Older houses with suspended floors and homes with solid concrete floors are most liable to lose heat through the floors. Improving the insulation of your home is the main way to battle heat loss through floors. 

If you can access or see into the crawlspace under your flooring, you should be able to check what insulation, if any is already in place.

Wooden floors can use a sealant to fill any gaps between floorboards or between skirting boards and the floor.  Alternatively, a thick, insulating layer of underlay underneath the carpet will improve its insulating qualities as well as providing extra comfort.

Draughts through basements

Can let cold air in which works its way up to the upper floors.  Check the basement when it’s sunny outside to help you spot leaks around the exterior walls and foundation. 

Seal small gaps with caulk and you may need to use drywall filler or expanding foam for larger holes.  This will help stop cold air leaking up from inside the house.

Fireplaces and chimneys

Can lose a lot of heat as hot air rises and escapes through the chimney.  This pulls more cold air in to replace the lost air and makes the room feel cold even if the fire is on. 

You can use a form of draft excluder to stop losing warm air out through the fireplace when it’s not in use and it has an open chimney.  Modern fireplaces are sealed well enough to not lose too much heat.

Thermostat positioning

Could be located in the wrong room – If your thermostat is in a sunny room that cools slowly, there will be a delay before the heat kicks in. If the room warms quickly, it shuts off the boiler too early. 

Or it might be placed near a heat source which makes it turn off before the house has warmed up.  Move the thermostat closer to the colder room or invest in the Nest or Hive thermostats.

Your body temperature

If you can’t get warm even when wrapped up in warm clothes and the heating is on, you might have a problem not related to the weather.  Some health conditions such as poor blood circulation and diabetes that isn’t controlled well can make it difficult for your body to maintain its proper temperature.

Inadequate insulation

This has the most impact on your home’s energy efficiency, in particular through the walls and the loft.  A third of all heat loss occurs here and you will save most by insulating these two areas. 

Luckily, energy suppliers tend to have discounts and offers for insulation so firstly check with them.  Other government schemes are also usually available.  If you have already insulated the loft, it may need topping up or relaying insulation (link to Amazon) in missed areas.

loft insulation

Why is my home cold when it’s warm outside?

If your home is cold even when it is hot outside it suggests the insulation is good and you’re insulated from the weather outside.  By opening all doors and windows the temperature should equalise.

If, on the other hand, your house is struggling to warm up then check out what insulation you have and try improve it.

Is it unhealthy if your house is too cold?

A house that is too cold can lead to dampness and mould and your health can suffer, especially from respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia.    It can also make you more vulnerable to catching colds and flu. 

Other health problems can include joint pain and poor sleep as you do not have a comfortable temperature in the house.

Summary

The main reasons your house is always cold are:

  • Draughts coming through doors and windows.
  • Radiators sludged up and not working properly.
  • Gaps in floorboards.
  • Draughts through basements.
  • Heat loss through chimney and fireplaces.
  • Inadequate insulation.
  • Your body temperature.

*The information in this article should be used for general guidance only and not as financial advice.  Full details are on the link in the footer to our disclaimer page.  Always discuss your requirements with a competent and suitably qualified professional before undertaking any work.

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