The cooler weather is here and to go with it comes some steep energy price hikes. It's a tough time and many are looking for ways to make the most of their heating. Today we've got a few ideas that might help you keep your home warmer, while keeping the costs down as much as possible.
A lot of these seem obvious, which they are. It's good to get ideas all in one spot though. If you have any tips to keep bills down then please do share! You never know who you may help! Don't forget to mark any comments that you find useful as helpful. That little green tick helps highlight the best ideas and of course shows some appreciation, to our ever growing community members
Much love, stay warm!
I'm starting this with Joey
It's easy and most as kids were pretty fed up with hearing it. "Just pop a jumper on" As much as that annoyed me to hear as a child, it's something that does work. We have our limits though and we shouldn't be uncomfortable trying to keep warm. After all, our homes should be warm enough without resorting to Joey levels. I actually didn't want to add this in, because I think it's a natural most of us do anyway.
We know how to dress ourselves, but maybe have a dig around to see what might be hiding away. I've found a couple of old base layers that might come in handy, from when I used to run a fair bit. Check your insulation
It's a good idea to ensure you have sufficient insulation and the quickest and easiest insulation method is going to be your loft. It's relatively cheap to do and you'll probably find that you're able to do it yourself. If you're not then do get someone to check for you, from a reputable local business. How much insulation is enough?
Current guidelines suggest between 250mm and 270mm.How do I lay loft insulation myself?
For those wanting to do it themselves, B&Q have a good article
that should get you through it! Shop around to make sure you get a good deal and ensure you don't buy more than you're going to need - Insulation deals will go here
Go check your heating settings
Messing around with timers might seem a little daunting to some, especially if you've never had a tinker before or you're a bit of a technophobe. If you can get the manual for it and make some adjustments, you may be able to get it working much more effectively for your needs. Turn the thermostat down
Everyone likes to be toasty and warm, however if you can try lowering the thermostat and find a nice spot that you're comfortable with, this can go a long way in saving energy. Just have a play around and see if you can find a sweet spot. This one is super obvious, although we can get used to just spinning that dial to a specific number and getting on with things, just out of habit.You can also
turn down or turn off radiators in rooms that you're not really using. Bleed the radiators
This is a vital thing to do, to ensure that the warm water is circulating properly through your central heating system. It's really easy to and the only things you need is a radiator key and a decent paper towel or rag. You'll know if your radiator needs bleeding, because while your heating is on, a radiator will be warm at the bottom and cold at the top. This is because you have air in the system and you'll want to get that our using the key.
These air pockets will keep your room from heating up at a good rate, so it's 100% worth checking!See the below video on how to bleed a radiatorShut the doors
Everyone know to shut the external doors, right? Well, internal doors play their role too.
If you're heating your home and there are rooms that aren't really being used, then ensure the doors are shut. There's little reason to transfer heat into them if you don't need to. Maybe sling a draft excluder down if you think it's worth it in your case.
For me, I like to relax in an evening and play some games on the PC. Even though I have limited the power usage of my PC, it naturally kicks out some heat. Keeping that heat in by shutting the door to the room is really nice. The total opposite to what we experienced with the crazy heat waves earlier this year.
Even consoles will ditch that hot air, so we may as well seal it in to the room with a shut door!Go handle the windows
Keeping the windows closed is easy, but are they shut tight?
Sometimes windows get pulled to with the handles turned, but other times not fully. The gap that this leaves might seem insignificant, but you can lose heat there for sure. Just eyeball them and make sure you check those rooms that aren't used so often as well. Draughty Windows and doors?
So, you've done your checks and your windows are tight, but you're feeling cold air coming through. You could benefit from adhesive backed draught excluders. These are good for both doors and windows too, assuming that the issue isn't more serious than faulty seal. You can get someone in to do this for you, however it would be much cheaper to do it yourself.
If you've got a rather large gap on a door, you'll want to get that sorted. Over time doors can drop a little and will need to be re-adjusted at the hinges. New doors can do this after a few months, so don't assume that your door has had it just because it's an older one. It shouldn't be expensive, although if you can do it yourself, or know someone that can help. Get it done
There are also cheap solutions for your internal doors, that just need a little measuring and a few screws. They're not the most attractive things in the world, but may be very beneficialNote: Some may need their windows slightly open to manage condensation issues, not necessarily caused by structural problems. Consider your options carefully as not all solutions are going to fit everyone's needs. It's also good to get fresh air in when you can!
Video on fitting adhesive backed draught excluders:
If you're cooking you'll naturally be heating up some of the air along they way. Once you've done with the oven, turn it off and open up the door and make use of all that heat in there. You'll probably want to close any nearby doors to keep it in there for as long as possible. The bottom line is, if you can use excess heat, then do. I've seen some mention they do this with their kettle too!Free heat from the conservatory
If you have a conservatory you'll know just how warm they can get in the Summer months, from the sun battering through the glass. You still get this at colder times of the year and it can actually be quite nice in there. You can of course just use the space, but better still you can filter that warm air into the home, simply by opening the door to the rest of the house.
As it gets later into the day, you'll totally want to make sure you remember to shut that, as the tides will probably turn and you'll end up losing heat. If you've not given it a go... try it out.
For anyone that tends to use a single room during the day, that doesn't want to heat the rest of the house, but focus on that one are, space heaters could be the way to go. Below is a little rundown of the main types and they're in general running cost order. The top being the cheapest and the bottom the most expensive.Note - Wattages vary for all of these as there are so many models out thee, so keep that in mind. This is just an average / general guide Halogen heater
is perhaps the cheapest option. That said, they aren't really great for heating up a whole room. They'll offer a nice warm blast of heat in front of them though.Oil Filled Radiators
in general are more expensive to run than halogen, but running costs tend to be lower than convector models. You'll usually get good heating control from them and they hold on to heat for longer, which means they'll still give off some warmth once you turn it off. Convector heaters
are more expensive to run, but are much better than halogen models at heating rooms up. Good for small to medium size rooms. They take longer to get you warm, but do a better job for the whole room, instead of just for the person sat in front. Fan heaters
can warm a small room up pretty quickly, as the cool air is pulled in, then pushed over a heating element, then blasted out of the front. The downside is that the fan will quite obviously product noise.
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