Winter is coming and it’s set to be a cold one, if forecasts are to be believed. The energy companies, true to form, have upped the cost of energy once again, leaving many wondering how they’re going to heat their homes to a satisfactory level over the coming months.
Although the cost of electricity and gas has risen a lot over the last few years, it doesn’t have to mean you’d be left shivering in a cold house. There are many ways to make the most of the heat you do manage to create and to keep the cold from getting into your home.
1. Insulate, insulate, insulate!
The more insulated your home is, the better it will hold heat in and keep the cold out. Insulating loft space and walls is important and can be relatively cheap if you do it yourself. If you have solid walls, you may be looking at a higher cost, so think about this carefully before making a commitment.
2. Set your heating on a timer
Keeping your heating on a timer can help you to use less as you’ll never have to remember to turn it off at the right times. You can set your heating to come on just before you wake up too, so you’ll feel the maximum benefit.
3. Keep radiators clear
Don’t put large pieces of furniture in front of radiators as this blocks the heat from coming out into the room. Instead, keep them clear and put up a shelf just above the radiator itself. This will deflect heat back into the room instead of up and out of the window.
4. Use a chimney balloon
Chimney balloons go up your flue and are inflated to fit, but can only be used if you don’t use the fireplace itself. This keeps the cold out and the warmth in. No-one likes a draughty chimney!
5. Let the light in
In the daytime, open your curtains and let the sunlight into your home. Although the windows may feel cold, even just a little light can make a difference, and it’s good for your mood too.
6. Keep the cold out
If you can, replace blinds and thin curtains with heavy ones during the winter. The thicker the material, the better, as they will help to deflect the heat back into the room.
7. Tin foil your radiators
Putting tin foil behind your radiators will prevent any heat produced by them from being soaked into the wall and disappearing. You can buy special foil for this very purpose, but kitchen foil does just the same job.
8. Draught excluders
Preventing draughts from coming into your home can make a huge difference to how warm it gets. Letterboxes, cat flaps and badly fitted doors and windows can all let in more cold air than you realise. Use foam or ‘sausage dog’ draught excluders to block up any gaps.
9. Slippers and blankets
Wrap up warm when the weather gets colder, rather than put your heating on whilst you’re still wearing a t-shirt. Always go for the layers first, and you’ll find that you don’t have to have the heating on as much.
As tedious as it can be, exercising is a great way to get your blood pumping and to keep your extremities warm. If you’re cold at home, popping out for a brisk walk around the block can make a huge difference, and you’ll really feel the benefit when you’re inside again.
This article is a guest post by Coral Pearce-Mariner. Coral regularly writes articles for a number of top finance related sites. She recently published one titled Plan Your Budget with your Mobile – check it out.