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
Oven 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.
Bath 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.
Let 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
Don’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.
Bleed 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.
DIY 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.
Focus 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.
Insulate: 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!).
Eliminate 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.
Wrap 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.
Eat 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.
Get 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!