IT’S almost as regular as clockwork – winter arrives, householders the length and breadth of the country put heating on, and energy companies put their prices up.
And while we have no say in how much they charge us to warm our fingers and toes, by following some handy tips around the home you can hang on to a few pennies.
Investing in thick winter curtains will most certainly keep the chills out from the window. If you can’t afford to buy thick curtains, sew some thermal linings into the ones you already have up to keep the chills at bay. Whichever curtains you use ensure you open them during the day to let that bit of winter sunshine in to heat your rooms.
And don’t forget, it’s not just windows that lets the heat out of your home, doors are just as bad. Fitting a curtain over the front door or to the entrance of an integral garage is a must.
While double-glazing is the best way to heat efficiency not everyone can afford to have windows and doors in their homes replaced. If this is the case, and you feel the draft, buy a special film that you can put across single glazed windows which can imitate the same effect. Available from all good DIY shops, simply attach it to the window frame using double-sized tape and fix using a hairdryer. But be aware you won’t be able to open your windows while this is in place.
Use draft excluders at the bottom of your doors, and make sure you are no gaps anywhere. For just a few pounds you can buy foam adhesive strips which will help seal any gaps.
And if you still feel the chill from the bottom of your doors, a good old fashioned draught excluder will do just the trick. To save money, make your own by cutting an old pair of tights and stuffing them with socks, towels, or even rice – anything will surfice.
In your lounge, while it’s tempting to place your sofa in front of the radiator, this will only absorb the heat getting into your home. If possible, place it to the side so the warmth is still free to roam.
A good trick to stop the heat rising if you have high ceilings is to put a shelf above the radiator. This will
channel the heat into the centre of the room, rather than upwards.
The key to a warm home though is full insulation – both loft and wall – and certain householders could be
eligible for free or part- funded help. Check to see if your energy provider can help. This could help you save hundreds of pounds a year on your energy bills.
If you’re not eligible, DIY loft insulation is a possibility but remember to always wear a face mask, goggles and protective clothing and get a proper step-by-step guide. Better still, get the professionals in.