Winter is definitely on the way and the nights have started drawing in. If you haven’t already flicked the switch on the heating, the moment won’t be far away, but it brings with it concerns of how to cut heating bills during winter.
Keeping your home warm isn’t always easy, especially with energy bills being one of the biggest expenditures for any household. Added to this are the worries about the environment that make us more reticent than we might have been previously to switch the heating on. So, if you’re wondering how to keep your home warmer this winter at no extra cost, we’ve assembled some top free heating tips to keep you toasty.
1. Bleed Your Radiators
It might be an old trick, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good way of keeping your home warm. You can tell if a radiator needs bleeding by turning the heat on and seeing how much of the radiator warms up. Place your hand on the top of the radiator and see if it gets as hot up there as it does at the bottom of the radiator. If it doesn’t, you need to bleed your radiators to get the most out of the energy being pumped around your home.
Simply use a radiator key (they’re only a few pounds if you don’t already have one) and open the valve on the top of the radiator until the air hisses away and a drip of water appears. Within a few minutes, the radiator will be far more energy-efficient.
2. Rearrange Your Rooms
Warm air needs to circulate rather than getting sucked into the fabric of the sofa right in front of it. Admittedly, it isn’t always possible to move large pieces of furniture around so they’re not blocking the radiators, but it should always be considered if it’s an option. Moving chairs, beds and beanbags away from the radiators, even by just a few inches, will help air circulate instead of getting trapped between the radiator and the furniture.
3. Draught-Proof Your Home
Draughts can make all the effort you’re putting into keeping your home warm feel redundant when they sweep under doors and through gaps around the windows. Starting by locating these draughts and then work out how best to get rid of them. Making a “sausage dog” draught excluder can be done easily by stitching old material together and putting it in front of the gap at the bottom of the door. For windows, try similar methods, perhaps by taping or tacking wedges of material to the frame if appropriate to keep draughts out. It might not look like the prettiest decoration you’ve got in your home, but when you’re looking at how to keep your home warm for free, it can be useful.
4. Keep the Curtains Closed
If the heating is on, keeping the curtains closed will keep the heat in. Windows allow heat to escape through the glass, undoing all your hard work in keeping your home warm during the cold months – blinds help keep heat inside too! While we’re not suggesting you should live constantly with the curtains closed, be sure to shut them early on an evening when the heating kicks in to preserve as much heat as possible. For bonus points, put some thicker curtains up to stop even more heat escaping.
5. Control Your Thermostat
Only turning your heating on for short periods might seem like a good way to reduce heating bills, but it actually uses more energy and it will cost you more to frequently raise the temperature from low to high and back again. Instead, if you’re looking at how to keep your house warm during the winter, keep your heating on at between 18 to 21 degrees to save both energy and money.
6. Let the Sunlight In
As we mentioned above, you can reduce heating bills by keeping curtains closed on an evening but be sure to make the most of the daylight. The natural light filtering through the window even on a winter’s day can make a difference to the amount of heat in the room when the sun begins to go down. For best results, keep the curtains and blinds open from the moment the sun comes up and benefit from that little bit of winter sun.
7. Wrap Up Warm
Finally, if you’ve taken advantage of all our free heating tips and you’re still a little on the cold side, you could always wear a few more layers. Dig out the warmest, most unattractive jumpers and pyjamas that you’ve got tucked away at the back of the wardrobe and make use of them during the winter. Just remember to hide them if anyone comes to visit.
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