10 tips for staying warm at home this winter
Winter is upon us, and in Shropshire as with many other parts of the country, many people struggle with the cost of heating their homes.
However, there are lots of ways to keep yourself and your family warm, without spending a lot of money. Here are 10 simple and cost-effective tips for staying toasty – and reducing your heating bills – this winter season:
Keep internal doors shut
This may sound obvious, but it’s one of the things we most often forget to do. If you have central heating on or a log fire burning in your sitting room, but you leave the sitting room door wide open, heat will escape and you won’t feel the benefit. Make sure you close all your internal doors to keep heat in and stay snug.
Close your curtains
Temperatures drop at night, so give your house an extra layer of insulation by closing all your curtains early on in the evening to help keep the cold air out.
Bleed your radiators
If you find that any radiators in your house aren’t producing enough heat, they may have trapped air inside which is preventing the flow of heat. Some radiators might make an occasional clicking sound, which is another indication they need to be ‘bled’. To do this, you’ll need a radiator bleed key (which you can buy from most hardware stores) and an old towel, then simply follow these steps.
Cover draughty areas
A quick check around your doors and windows on a particularly cold and windy day will reveal whether any draughts are getting through. Cold air from even the tiniest cracks (like a keyhole without a key in it, or small gaps around your window panes) can make a huge difference to the warmth of your home. Cover any small holes with a strong electrical tape, and place self-adhesive rubber seals around your doors and window frames. Block out draughts from underneath external and internal doors with a sausage draught excluder – you can buy one or make your own.
Insulate your water tank
Hot water tanks and pipes that are properly insulated (or ‘lagged’) will keep water warmer for longer, which in turn can help to reduce your heating costs. You can buy hot water cylinder jackets for as little as £10 from most hardware stores. It’s also worth investing in pipe insulation, which costs even less; these foam tubes simply slip onto your pipes to reduce the amount of heat lost.
Switch around your furniture
A lot of houses are designed in a way that means you have to place large furniture like sofas directly in front of heating. Sometimes it’s the only place your furniture fits, but it’s worth considering whether you could move things around so that none of your radiators are blocked.
Reflect more heat into rooms
Placing a large sheet of card covered in tin foil behind each radiator will warm up your rooms faster, because heat will be reflected back into your living spaces. You can also buy these directly, from as little as £10, from most hardware stores.
Leave your oven open
If you’re making suppers or lunches in the oven, don’t close the oven door when you’re done. Switch it off but leave the door open, so your kitchen can benefit from that heat too.
Cover bare floors
Tiled floors and even some wooden floors can let a lot of heat escape; cover with rugs where possible for extra warmth, even if it’s just for the winter months.
Keep your thermostat consistent
Keeping your home at a temperature of between 18 and 21c, and setting your thermostat to come on only when you’re there, is the most efficient and cost-effective way to heat your home.