Stay warm whilst saving money and energy with these top tips.
Keeping warm at home is a top priority in freezing temperatures, but saving money and energy is just as important too.
There are some simple ways to reduce heat loss in the home during the winter months.
Insulating your home is one of the best ways to reduce your energy bills and make your house warmer and more comfortable. Warm air can escape from your home in all directions – including the roof, walls, floor, windows and doors – meaning lots of the energy you pay for can go to waste.
Unused chimneys are another common way for heat to escape. If you still use your chimney, then a removable chimney balloon can be used to prevent excess heat being lost at times you don't have the fire on. If you don't use your chimney at all, consider having it capped by a professional.
Draught-proofing strips work well around windows. Draughts can also emerge from cracks between the window frames and the surrounding walls. If this is the case, try using either sealant or putty to close up the gaps.
Draught-proofing strips are also useful between doors and their frames, both internally as well as externally. For gaps between the bottom of the door and the floor, you can buy a special 'brush' or hinged flap draught excluder.
5. Timed extractor fan
If you have an extractor fan in your bathroom or kitchen without a timer, you run the risk of leaving it on unnecessarily, which can chill your whole house. A timed extractor fan will shut off automatically and remove this risk.
6. Bleed your radiators
Trapped air in radiators stops them working efficiently. If there are cold spots on your radiators, particularly at the top, it's a sign they need bleeding. This releases the air and ensures your heating system is working to its full potential.
7. A radiator shelf
A shelf positioned just above a radiator helps to throw heat forward into the room, rather than letting it rise to the ceiling. Most hardware and DIY shops will stock purpose-made shelves which clip easily onto most radiators.
8. Disused vents
If you upgrade your boiler, it's likely to have a balanced flue, meaning you no longer need an air-brick in an external wall with the boiler. If you seal up any disused vents you can stop valuable heat from escaping.
9. Gaps between floorboards
Gaps between floorboards can also let heat escape, but filling medium-sized gaps with papier-mâché can be an effective and inexpensive solution – assuming you're not intending to expose the floorboards as a feature! To do this, just mix wallpaper paste with torn newspaper and press it into the gaps.
Curtains are great at preventing heat loss. You can buy heavy-duty curtains, or thermal lining for your existing ones, for extra insulation. But try not to let your curtains hang over any radiators, as this can stop the heat from warming the room.