BoilerJuice Bob with radiator

12 Cheap Ways to Keep Your Home Warm

January 29, 2015 | Energy Efficiency, Fuel Poverty

With temperatures plummeting and snow clouds sweeping the country, it’s important to make sure that your home is prepared for the cold weather ahead.

Luckily, there are several low-cost ways to keep your home warm during winter. Simply follow our top tips to stay snug and cut-down on your heating bills today!

Free Heat Sources

 

1Oven Power: As well as warming you up, cooking a hot meal can also help heat your home. If you’re using the hob, make sure you open the kitchen door. Likewise, if you pop something in the oven or AGA, leave the door open after it’s finished cooking to make the most of the extra warmth.

 

2Bath Time: When running hot water for a bath or shower, simply leave the door open to allow warm air to circulate around the adjacent rooms or hallways.

TIP: If you plan on doing this frequently, make sure you have adequate ventilation and check the rooms frequently for signs of damp.

 

3Let the Sun Shine: During the day it’s important to make the most of our biggest natural source of free heat – the sun. Age UK suggests that you leave blinds or curtains open during the day and then close them as soon as the sun sets, to help retain heat. This works particularly well with thick curtains, which are brilliant at cutting the amount of heat lost through windows.

 

Make the Most of Your Radiators

 

1Don’t Block Your Radiators: If you are using radiators to heat your home, avoid placing large pieces of furniture (e.g. sofas and cabinets) in front of your radiators, as they will absorb some of the heat.

 

2Bleed Your Radiators: Make sure you bleed them regularly to remove excess air. This will make your heating system more efficient at heating your home and maintaining temperatures, which can lower your heating costs.

Bleeding a radiator is easy – check out our infographic guide for simple instructions.

 

3DIY Radiator Panels: Reflective radiator panels can be purchased online from as little as £4 each (£20 per pack of five) and promise to cut your heating bills by up to 30%. However, pieces of cardboard wrapped in good quality kitchen foil can work almost as well. Simply insert one of these panels behind your radiators to reflect wasted heat back into the room.

Retain Heat

 

1Focus on Key Areas: It’s much easier to heat a small area, than it is to heat a large one. By closing off unused rooms (e.g. hallways and bathrooms) and focussing on areas such as the living room and main bedrooms, you can contain heat and stop cold air from circulating.

 

2Insulate: While professional insulation can help cut heat loss, there are plenty of ways to insulate your home without breaking the bank. Use tape, cloth or homemade draught excluders to block breezy areas around your windows and doors, and make sure any wood or tile flooring is covered with a rug (this can help retain heat and keep your feet warm!).

 

3Eliminate Chimney Drafts: If you have a fireplace that you don’t use often, invest in a ‘chimney balloon’. These plastic ‘balloons’ can be purchased for as little as £20, and are inserted into the chimney just above the fireplace. This helps to reduce the amount of cold air entering the room through this route, as well as stopping warm air from escaping.

WARNING: Always remove the balloon before using your fireplace. If you have a gas fire, make sure that the gas supply is capped by a professional before you place anything in your chimney.

 

Generate Heat

 

1Wrap up: One of the easiest ways to feel warmer in a cold house is to raise your body temperature. Add an extra pair of socks, jumper or hat to your outfit, pile on the blankets and use a low-cost heating system such as a hot water bottle, electric blanket or microwaveable heat pad to stay snug for less.

 

2Eat Warm: Enjoying a warming bowl of soup, delicious hot chocolate or a steaming cup of noodles will help raise your core temperature and keep your hands warm!

TIP: When using the kettle, save energy by only boiling as much water as you need.

 

3Get Moving: 20 minutes of vigorous exercise can help generate body heat and improve your circulation. A quick aerobics session, 20 minute dance-off or energetic game of ‘duck, duck, goose’ with the kids will keep you warm well after you hang up your sweatband.

 

 Have we missed anything? Share your own money-saving tips below! 

 

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  2. Wear a pullover in the house – this seems to have gone out of fashion these days!!!

  3. Hi all I’m new to having oil,my house is a brand new build it is a 6 bed detached with garage.
    I have a 1225 ltr oil tank and a Worcester cam ray utility system 18/25 boiler which heats my water and heating,this is on a timer and combined is on for 8 hours a day to do water and heating,the thermostats are both set on 18 degrees.

    My problem is I’m using a 1000 ltr’s of oil every 8 weeks but I cannot find any leaks and the plumber cannot find any other signs of problems ! !
    Please help

    • Hi Richard,

      A lot of our customers (and our staff) have reported high oil usage over the past few weeks as a result of the weather. Unfortunately detached properties tend to require more oil to maintain a warm temperature, as there are more outside-facing walls for heat to escape through. However, there are several things you can try to help reduce your oil use:

      * Get your oil tank / boiler serviced regularly (at least annually). The engineer will be able to check for leaks and also clean or replace any clogged or broken parts, which can improve the efficiency of your system.

      * Add an additive to your oil – this will make it burn cleaner and can prevent tank build-up such as rust or sludge.

      * If possible, set your central heating and water systems on a timer (e.g. to turn on half an hour before you get home from work, or before you wake up) rather than leaving it on during the day.

      * Check that your home has a good level of insulation (at least 10 inches of loft insulation, plus draught-proofing around any windows and doors).

      * There are also several ways that you can cut your heating oil costs – Check out our blog post for more info.

      This blog from MyBoilerService may also be of interest – Energy Saving Myths – and there are a number of low-cost energy-efficiency gadgets that you can invest in which can help to cut your heating bill – HERE.

      Hope that helps,

      Beth

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