Brrrr, it’s certainly chilled down this last week which means that energy bills are inevitably going to climb as we begin switching the heating on. Staying warm can certainly get expensive but keeping the household cozy shouldn’t mean having to cut back on gifts and good food at such a wonderful time.
That’s whys we at Noddle have ten top tips for keeping cosy without the cost.
Don’t be daft with draughts
Checking for draughts is one of the most important things you can do as all that fuel and money being spent heating your home is for nothing if it’s being sucked straight outside. Draughts don’t just come from under doors and cracks in windows, they can also come from extractor fans and unused chimneys. The Centre for Sustainable Energy has a great article on DIY draught-proofing here.
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 thick curtains, check and touch up the sealant around your window panes or invest in insulation film that your apply directly to your windows. All three used together would work nicely too. Thick curtains can be expensive to buy, but by searching online or even looking in charity shops and second hand furniture shops you can find some excellent deals.
Hot water bottles without the kettle cost
Hot water bottles are great but this is a money saving list and 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 reusable and microwavable hot water bottle that’s filled with a gel or even warming beads? Just 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.
Thermostats and timers
Unless you work from home, chances are you won’t need to heat your house all day so why not try timing your thermostat so it’s only used when needed? Many modern houses have thermostatic timers which allow you to control when the heat kicks in. Set the radiators to come on an hour before you aim to get up and turn off just after you leave for work. Do the same again for just before you get home in the evening. This will make a massive difference to your energy bills.
Put your dressing gowns on the radiator at night so when you wake up you’ve something to put on. Consider doing the same with other items of clothing – you can’t beat a pair of radiator pants.
Happy heads like hats
If your mother was anything like mine then you’ll have been told off for ever thinking of wearing a hat indoors but did you know that a lot of our body heat escapes through our heads? Putting on a hat (and perhaps even a pair of gloves) will not only warm you up quickly but also prolong you putting on the central heating.
“Here comes the sun, do do do do”
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 light in. Not only will it brighten things up a bit but the sunlight will warm up the house too.
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) then 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 don’t need to buy more than one. Just watch out for the chilly treks to the bathroom. Alternatively, if you have thermostatic valves on your radiators then why not turn them off in the rooms you’re not using?
Heat up with hot chocolate
Drinking a warm drink will heat up your core body temperature and is a tasty way to warm up.
Insulate – the savings are great
Along with stopping draughts, insulating your house is a great way to ensure all the heat stays where you want it. It might sound like a big job but insulating your house can be easy and not too expensive. Whether you’re lining your attic, popping an insulating foam jacket on your hot water tank or even just putting rugs down to stop the heat escaping through the floor boards, you’ll find your home quickly warms up. For interesting and practical advice one insulating your home why not take a look at the Energy Saving Trust website by clicking here.
Cut the chill with a romantic night in
Life is stressful and we all need to unwind from time to time so why not treat your loved one to a home cooked, candle-lit meal (the oven will keep you warm in the kitchen, the candles will keep you warm at the table) followed by curling up on the sofa with a good movie. Body heat’s an excellent way to stay warm.