Winter’s all about being cosy and there’s nothing snugglier than sitting in front of the fire with cocoa and a fleecy blanket. It’s all well and good being wrapped up warm when you’re on the sofa, but how do you keep the rest of the house toasty when it’s cold outside? There are the obvious solutions – double glazing, insulation – but these cost money. So here are some top tips for staying warm without busting the budget.
- Fit draft excluders: Little draughts can add up to a big chill, so cover up letter boxes and doorways. You can even make your own excluder – it’s easy and you need no crafty skills whatsoever. Just take a metre or so of fabric, stitch up one short end and the long end and stuff it with old socks or tights, then sew up the last short end – et voila – one homemade draught excluder.
- Line curtains: Thick curtains will retain the heat in your home, so fit a lining to the back of them or invest in some weighty ones.
- Rugs: These are great for brightening up dreary winter days and a few choice rugs dotted around the floor can help keep heat in – around 15% of all heat loss is through the floor.
- Clear gutters: Autumn debris can clog up gutters and downpipes which can result in damp over a period of time – which can seep in through walls making rooms cold.
- Clear radiators: Don’t leave your socks and pants on the radiator to dry. If you do, your rads will need to pump out more heat just to warm the room to how you usually like it.
- Let there be light: During the day, keep curtains open so you benefit from the warmth of the sun.
- Tin foil reflectors: these are good not just for sunbathers, but lining the walls behind radiators with good quality aluminium foil will reflect the heat back out to the room rather than the wall absorbing it.
- Block up the chimney: if you’ve got an unused chimney, think about blocking it up (newspaper stuffed in carrier bags works); it’ll save you from wind chill from the down draught – just remember to remove anything if you do decide to light a fire.
- Keep unused rooms closed: doors to spare rooms should be shut, it’ll keep in the heat in the areas you use better.
- Wrap up warm: not just you, but your boiler too; a boiler jacket keeps water warmer for longer and so lowering heating bills; it could save you about £150 a year.
But let’s not forget one major change you could make that won’t cost you anything – and that’s to compare and switch gas or electricity supplier. It’s easy to switch and you could potentially save hundreds each year (perhaps even enough to get some winter sun) and with the switching guarantee provided by some suppliers you don’t have to worry about things going wrong – so don’t wait until Jack Frost makes an appearance – stay warm this winter.