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Keeping your home warm on a budget

by admin

Winter is well and truly upon us, and as the weather’s got colder, many of us have turned the heating on already –  and probably won’t be turning the thermostat down until after February!

Although energy prices are falling, the average family still spends over £1000 a year on gas and electricity, which is no small sum.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to cut your energy costs without shivering all winter. If you want to keep warm without breaking the bank, here are five top tips.

Maximise your radiators

How many of us have our sofa up against the radiator in the living room? It might be keeping the back of your sofa toasty warm, but the heat won’t get much further than that. Moving furniture away from the radiators, even just a few inches, lets the heat circulate through the room and warm it properly, as well as saving on damage to your furniture.

To make your radiators work even harder, consider investing in radiator panels; reflective panels you put behind a radiator to reflect more heat into the room – these really do make a difference: using them on every radiator in your house can cut your heating bills by as much as 15%! And if you don’t fancy buying them, you can achieve a similar effect by lining the wall behind your radiators with tin-foil.

Keep your home warm this winter.

Photo by Fredo, displayed under a creative commons licence.

Stop losing heat

You may already use draught excluders to keep heat from escaping under doors, but what about your windows? Even with double glazing, thin curtains or blinds can let heat out. Consider replacing yours with a heavier option to keep the warmth in the room, or line them with a thermal lining – a cheap fleece material will do.

And curtains aren’t just for windows! Try placing them over external doors for extra draught exclusion, as well as a bit of interior design flair. However, don’t keep curtains or blinds drawn in the day, as sunlight will warm your rooms up naturally.

Don’t heat what you don’t need

If you have a spare bedroom or second bathroom that’s rarely used, turn radiators off in those rooms, and shut the doors to them so that heat from the rest of the house doesn’t escape into them either. It might be unpleasant if you have to nip in to find something, but it’ll be worth it for the savings!

Additionally, if you have radiators in the halls or corridors of your home, these can be turned down slightly – if not shut off altogether – as you’ll only ever be passing through them for a couple of minutes at a time.

Insulate

Professional home insulation can be costly, but DIY loft insulation is relatively cheap and simple. Foam insulation is cheap, and three 8inch rolls should be enough to give most lofts a decent layer of insulation. Make sure you know what you’re doing before you start, and wear protective clothing and goggles to stay safe, though.

Another part of your house to insulate is the hot water tank and pipes. You can buy a jacket for the tank and foam tubes for the pipes, both of which are easy to fit, and will keep the heat inside the pipes – so it heats the water, not your airing cupboard.

It’s all about timing

It’s a basic tip, but putting the thermostat on a timer is a great way to make sure you’re only heating the house when it’s needed. Set the timer for 20 minutes before you wake up and 20 minutes before you get home from work, and you’ll feel toasty 24/7 without having to think about it.

Additionally, try to keep the heat setting at 18C – this is the temperature that most of us should feel warm in a jumper and jeans, and ensuring your heating doesn’t go above this temperature often will save you cash. If it seems too cold at first, try bringing the temperature down 1 degree every few days until you’re acclimatised.

Liberty is writing on behalf of Lifestyle Blinds.

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One Response to “Keeping your home warm on a budget”

  1. Tenant Guide says:

    Actually, for some people 18C really doesn’t cut it. I know people who feel hot when it’s 15C and people who put another jumper on at 20C.

    Bodies react differently.

    Also, I feel like I need to argue on another argument as well. If you have a double glazing installed properly, you should pretty much live in an air sealed environment. There is a reason why they cost so much and it’s because they really do work.

    A good option is to install a thick carpet instead of investing in thicker curtains. A thick carpet under your feet will do marvels to insulate you from the cold floor and will make you feel warmer, especially on those cold winter mornings.

    Regards,
    Move out Mates

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