Once the weather turns colder, heating becomes a priority. Living in a cold home is plain miserable, but if you can’t afford to have the central heating on for more than an hour a day, you may have little choice but to wrap up in lots of thick, woolly jumpers and dance in front of the TV when your toes turn blue. So what cheap things can you do to ensure your home stays warm and cosy this winter?
Prevent Heat Loss through Windows
A large percentage of heat is lost through windows. Installing expensive double-glazing will make a difference, but if you can’t afford to do this then try replacing your thin, fashionable curtains and blinds with some thick, heavy duty drapes. And if you can’t afford to replace your curtains, buy some old blankets and hang these up over doors and windows at night, or line existing curtains with an extra layer of fleece.
Credit to: www.bbc.co.uk
Window Film for Single Glazed Units
Extra heat protection for windows can be bought in the form of self-adhesive window film. It is very easy to fit – apply to the window frame using tape and fix in place with a hot hair dryer. You won’t be able to open the window once you have fitted window film, but it’s cheap enough to replace every year.
Keep Radiators Clear
Radiators need space around them. Placing large items of furniture in front of radiators means the heat they emit will be absorbed instead of spreading out into the room. You can also maximise heat from radiators by putting a shelf above it to channel the hot hair outwards. This is particularly useful if a horizontal radiator is fitted beneath a window, as it will stop the heat from being trapped behind curtains and blinds.
Another way of making radiators more efficient is to stick aluminium foil on the wall behind the radiator. This works to reduce heat loss through walls by reflecting heat back into the room. It is very useful for radiators fitted into external walls. Purpose designed aluminium foil can be bought very cheaply. You can also use regular household tin foil, but this is not as effective.
Drafts make a home feel cold. Most drafts creep in under doors and between gaps in window frames. These can be fixed with simple foam strips and draft excluders. Other drafts are more insidious and you might not be aware of where they are coming from. If you find drafts coming through the letterbox and/or keyhole in your door, buy a purpose made cover to keep cold air out. Cat flaps are also great for letting drafts in – either lock your cat flap and persuade Fluffy to become a house cat, or fix a thick piece of fabric over the opening and hope that Fluffy is smart enough to push it to once side when he wants to go outdoors for a wander.
Live in a Smaller Space
There is little point in paying good money to heat rooms you don’t use. It is a lot easier (and cheaper) to heat one or two rooms, so if you are trying to save money, close off rooms you don’t need and concentrate on heating the rooms that you use regularly. Just remember to air these rooms out regularly or damp will become a problem.
There are plenty of things you can do to reduce your energy bills and stay nice and warm. There might even be grants available to help pay for the cost of extra loft insulation or cavity wall insulation, so check out what’s available to find out if you are eligible.