When the days get colder and the nights get shorter, we know that Winter is well and truly here. Whilst some love the idea of curling up inside next to the heater - book and cup of tea in hand – many of us are simply waiting for the warmer days to reappear.

As we find ourselves inside more than ever this Winter, we have a few suggestions that you might want to consider for your home to help make the colder months that much cosier without busting your budget.

1. Is your heating up to date?
Don’t wait until a cold snap hits to check your heating units and pay top dollar for urgent fixes. Take time now to clean or swap the filters, check the thermostat, or schedule in a seasonal service – this will ensure you are prepared for when the cold weather arrives. If you are finding that your heating unit just isn’t working for you, a portable electric heater can be a great alternative. However, keep in mind that they can be an expensive option when heating larger spaces, so if you need to warm the whole house it might be worth investing in a new gas heater or a reverse cycle air-conditioner. If money is a bit tight, a great option could be an interest-free purchase via a participating supplier, meaning that you would make regular repayments without having to outlay a large initial sum and allowing you to stay on budget.

2. Covering the cold
If you are living in a house with tiles or hardwood floors, you have probably already noticed how cold they can get. Whilst this is great during the warmer weather, these surfaces do not hold in any heat – meaning that you could be in for a very cold Winter. Covering these with a carpet or a rug will not only keep your feet warm, it also helps your house retain heat, meaning that you can give your heater a much-needed break.

Bunnings have just come out with a new range of rugs at a cheaper price point, and Kmart and Target have also released some lovely on-trend floor coverings at good prices. Also, don’t forget to look online or at your local discount store for well-priced options.

Another great way to keep your home warm and save on heating costs is to install interior blinds; not only do these blinds keep the heat in but they also absorb sunlight and further insulate the rooms.

3. Decorating for warmth
Jumping into a cold bed at the end of the day is less than ideal. A wool or feather doona, thick bed spread or set of flannelette sheets can make all the difference - or if you are still struggling, an electric blanket should do the trick. Decorating your lounge or bedroom with some extra chunky throws and cushions or adding some fluffy towels in the bathroom are other great ways to add warmth to your spaces without a big investment.

4. Clean up outdoors
To avoid having to clean out your gutters or calling someone at high rates to patch a leaking roof in the middle of a huge downpour, start ticking off these tasks now while the weather is still fair – your later self will thank you for it. Beating the rain and storms to tidy the yard and the property exterior will also help you avoid broken drains and foliage build up down the track.

5. In the Garden
Growing Winter veggies and herbs - think radishes, carrots, broad beans, and garlic - is also a great way to keep your garden in shape and tended to, whilst also providing you and your family with budget-friendly, fresh produce for immunity-boosting meals. Some nice bulbs can brighten your garden and mood too.

If you think that you are ready to start the home buying journey, contact HomeStart today and take the first step in getting into your own home, sooner.