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Winter is coming.
And, for those of us who live in the UK, we know what winter means. Short days, long dark nights, chill and damp and ice lingering around our doors. For some of us, especially further north, it also means snow, and lots of it. Which all leads to one thing: staying inside and keeping warm.
But let’s face it. Heating this year will cost more than ever, both in financial terms and in terms of our rapidly heating planet. So, with gas prices rising and energy companies going out of business seemingly every other day, what’s the best way to keep your home warm this winter without breaking the bank? Here are some of our top tips for keeping your home warm during the long dark of winter:
Mind the gap(s)
Stopping up cracks and gaps in windows, doors and floors is a simple way to keep draughts from coming in, and expensive heat from going out. ‘Sausage dog’ draught excluders and self-adhesive rubber seals are relatively inexpensive ways to stay cosy this season.
Wrap It Up
If you have a hot water tank, make sure that it’s properly insulated. This will help the water to retain heat more effectively, reducing your heating costs. In fact, it’s been shown that an insulated hot water tank can save up to £150 off your heating bill when compared to a non-insulated tank!
Let it Radiate
Do curtains cover your radiators, or perhaps a permanent selection of damp clothing? Or is your sofa is in front of the radiator? All of these things stop precious heat from radiating properly through your home, so move the sofa, hang the clothes on a rack, and keep the curtains short where possible. And, for an extra burst of heat, put reflector plates behind your radiators; they stop heat escaping through the walls.
Baby, it’s cold outside (so insulate)
Heat rises, so insulating your loft will keep warmth in your home, rather than letting it dissipate into the air. Cavity wall insulation is more expensive to install, and may not be suitable for some homes, but is also an extremely effective way to keep the heat inside where it belongs.
Rise and Shine
We may not get a lot of sunlight during the winter months, but making use of that which we do get is a smart way to maximise heat and light. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day, letting those golden rays into your interior. And, when dusk falls, close them again to prevent heat loss through your windows. Another thing to consider is adding a thermal lining to your curtains, making them an even more effective barrier against the cold.
Tick Tock Timer
Using a timer to manage your heating is an effective way to maximise the warmth in your home. Keep things cooler during the night, when people are sleeping under covers, and set the timer to come on a half hour or so before you wake.
Get Me An Upgrade
If your boiler is more than ten years old, it may be time to trade it in for a newer, more efficient model. You’ll get the double benefit of both a cost saving and an energy saving, as a newer model uses less energy to produce the same amount of heat, bringing savings to both your wallet and the planet.
If you live in an older home with original fireplaces, heat can be lost up the chimney if the fireplaces are no longer being used. Chimney balloons are a simple and effective way to block heat from leaving and cold from coming in. But don’t worry; we have it on good authority that Santa is still able to get around them.
Grab that Cash
There are various national and local energy efficiency grants and schemes available across the country. To find out what’s available in your area, visit https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/grants for more information.
You know your home and how it works. Perhaps there are rooms that catch more sunlight than others, so are perfect for use during the day, whereas other rooms are cosier at night. Turn off radiators in the bedrooms if you feel you’ll be warm enough at night without them. Put rugs down on stone or timber floors, hang tapestries, and keep blankets on the sofa for those long winter evenings spent watching Netflix.
So there you have it. Our home is probably the biggest single investment we’ll make in our lifetime, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure yours is in the best shape possible, keeping you warm this winter and all the winters to come.