Stay warm at home - without turning up the heat

Hands around a fireThe cold weather is closing in, and with energy prices higher than ever many of us are preparing for an expensive winter. There's nothing worse than being cold at home, but turning up the thermostat can be costly, so what's the alternative?

1. Put your heating on the timer

It's a total myth that leaving your heating on all day at a lower temperature is cheaper than having it up higher for shorter periods, so make use of your timer.

Set the heating to come on for a few hours in the morning, and a few in the evening starting just before you get home from work so your home has warmed up nicely for your return.

2. Stay wrapped up

It might sound obvious, but make sure you get out the winter duvet, some extra blankets and thick jumpers. Do you really need to turn the heating up or could you just put on another layer?

3. Only heat the room you're in

If you're spending the whole evening in the lounge make sure the radiator in there is up high, but those in other rooms are turned right down - there's no point heating the kitchen if you're not in there!

4. Maximise the heat from your radiators

Don't use your radiators to dry washing - it makes your rooms damp and stops them from actually warming up the house. Also, get some tin foil, or insulation foil and put it behind your radiators. This will prevent heat being absorbed into the wall and instead reflect it back into the room - it really works!

You can also try a radiator booster which uses a small fan to better distribute the heat from your radiator around the room, making yor heating more efficient.

5. Insulate

Stop drafts from windows and doors with an easy bit of DIY. If you don't have double glazing, this ingenious magnetic secondary glazing from Nigels Eco Store is a great solution.

Get brush draft seals for doors and even your letterbox - they'll cut that cold draft for just a few pounds. And try rubber seals around windows to prevent any drafts there too.

For extra warmth, you could consider investing in some thermal curtains, or add an extra lining to your current curtains. Then as soon as night falls and the temperature drops close them and keep the warmth in and the cold out.
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