Christmas being an expensive time of year isn’t helped with the rising cost of keeping the house warm, which is why we’ve put together our ten top tips for winterizing your home.
Clamp down the draughts
Wasted heat means wasted money so why heat the house if it’s all going to be sucked away outside? Prevent heat being lost by checking draughts, and this goes beyond gaps under doors and cracks in windows. Blocking off an unused open fireplace can make a huge difference as does the littlest of things like getting a cover for your keyhole.
Tip: A chimney balloon is a cost effective way to instantly block chimney draughts.
Double glaze the thrifty way
Leading on from draughts, most of our heat escapes via the windows which is why double glazing is so useful. Not all of us can either get or afford double glazing though but all you need to do is to create a barrier between the air in your house and the cold air outside. To do this you could either invest in some thermal or heavy curtains, check and touch up the sealant around your window panes or invest in insulation film that you apply directly to your windows. Combined, these methods work a treat and cost much less than refitting your windows.
Move that sofa
Consider giving your living room a quick rejig by keeping large furniture away from radiators as they absorb a lot of heat which stops the warm air from circulating. Plus it gives the illusion of redecorating without the expense.
Not only does furniture absorb heat, so does the wall behind your radiator. Putting a layer of aluminium foil behind your radiator will reflect the heat back into the room.
Tip: You can buy radiator reflectors but a good quality kitchen foil is just as effective.
Close off and Switch off
Now this one may seem pretty obvious but is always worth a reminder. If you have an unused room (spare rooms are always a culprit!) then turn off the radiator and close the door. This stops cold air moving into the rest of the house and means you’re only heating the bits of the house you need.
Hot water bottles without the kettle cost
Hot water bottles are great but regularly boiling a full kettle to fill the rubber bottle isn’t going to be easy on your electricity bill. Why not pick up a microwavable heat pack that’s filled with wheat, gel or warming beads? Pop it in a microwave to warm up and in just a few seconds, with a fraction of the electric used, you’ve got instant heat.
Tip: Better yet make it yourself by filling a sock with rice and lavender oil, tying the end up and you have yourself a DIY heat pack. However be careful not to leave it in the microwave too long or you may burn yourself.
Let there be light
We often think of the winter as being nothing but snow and gloom but the sun does come out, honest. When it does, make sure you open up those insulating curtains of yours and let the rays in. Not only will it brighten things up a bit but the sunlight will warm up the house too.
Layers, layers and more layers
Insulating your home needn’t be as hard as it sounds. Though slightly more expensive than the other methods it is the most efficient and just remember you should have atleast 10- 12 inches of insulation in your loft. Popping on insulating foam jackets over hot water pipes or layering up your lush wood flooring with rugs will instantly bump up the temperature in your home. For interesting and practical advice on home insulation why not take a look at the Energy Saving Trust website.
Life can be sweeter with a portable heater
Used excessively, portable heaters can be expensive. However if you often find yourself mainly inhabiting just one room in the house (maybe your lounge and then your bedroom) rather than using the central heating to heat your entire home you could just warm the one you’re in. This way a portable heater can save you a lot of money and as it’s portable you only need one. Just watch out for the chilly treks to the bathroom!
Go old school
If all else fails cosying up under a mound of blankets with a loved one never goes amiss! As does a hot mug of cocoa (with a cheeky touch of Bailey’s to keep you extra warm) whilst warming up your hands and fingers too.
So there you are some great and affordable ways to keeping your toes warm and your wallets at bay this winter. If you have any other handy tips to warming your home on a budget head over to our Facebook or Twitter page and leave us a comment. We’d love to hear your suggestions however creative or practical they may be!