Keeping your home warm this winter
With energy prices increasing and the public becoming more conscious of their environmental footprint, now is a very good time to think about looking into keeping your home warm this winter.
While it is best to ensure you have the best installation installed that is possible, most people only need to make some small changes in order to warm their homes and save money. Making some small changes can not only help you keep your home warm, but reduce your energy bills and help the environment.
Curtains retain heat, and using thicker curtains will retain heat better than thinner curtains. This applies to doors as well as windows and many people hang curtains across their house doors as well as the windows.
The thickness of a duvet or blanket is measured in togs, where the higher the tog level, the thicker the blanket. For winter duvets, you should be looking at a duvet with a thermal insulation between 12 and 13.5 tog. You can buy blankets that add up to that amount too.
Move any furniture out of the way of any radiators. The heat emitted is absorbed by the furniture, meaning less is used to heat your room.
Doors can allow draughts of air in through the bottom, depending on how it was fit. You can make draught excluders or purchase them online. We found this draught excluder to be cheap and decent. Place the excluder in front of the door to block out the cold air.
A radiator without a reflective back panel is almost half as effective, as the back of the radiator absorbs heat. By fitting a reflective panel you can reflect the heat back out. You can buy a reflective panel from most DIY places as well as online. They're often very easy to fit too. It is possible to just use standard kitchen foil but naturally it would be less effective at doing so.
Cover bare floorboards
If you have bare floorboards such as laminate flooring, then consider using rugs during the colder months. Rugs retain heat better than floorboards do.
If you have rooms that are not being used (such as a spare bedroom, an office, etc.) then consider shutting the doors to them while they are not in use. This will keep the heat in the rooms that you are trying to keep warm.
If you have finished using the oven, leave the oven door open once you've turned it off. The heat from the oven can then contribute to the rest of the room. Don't use the oven solely to heat the room though!
The piping to your radiators loses heat too. The amount of heat loss can be reduced by fitting insulation, also referred to as pipe lagging. You can purchase pipe lagging from most DIY places and you can even use them as a DIY draft excluder.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to claim additional money from the Government to help either with the cost of heating your home, such as the Warm Home Discount Scheme, the Cold Weather Payment, and the Winter Fuel Payment. Further information for grants and loans can also be found on the Energy Saving Trust website.
Bleed your radiators
Most if not all radiators will experience trapped air. This reduces the effectiveness of a radiator and can be released by a valve usually located near the top of the radiator. You can buy a cheap radiator key from pretty much any DIY shop. Simply use it on the valve, listen to the air hiss and close the valve once water starts to come out.
Switch energy providers
Many people don't bother to switch energy providers and as a result spend a huge amount of money when they could make hundreds of pounds of savings. It's really easy to switch providers and you can compare the prices of providers that serve your address at USwitch - a free and independent comparison site that has been accredited by Ofgem, the regulator.
Green Homes Grant Scheme
In August 2020 the Government announced a new Green Homes Grant scheme to help homeowners and residential landlords pay towards the cost of installing energy efficient improvements to their homes. Some of these improvements include home insulation as well as low-carbon heating and it is worth taking a look to see if you are eligible. Also have a read of the analysis that Martin Lewis wrote at MoneySavingExpert. The deadline for redemption is 31 March 2021.
Do you have any other tips or advice? Let us know on social media and use the hashtag #WinterWarmHome on Twitter!