Keeping Warm this Winter.
10 low-cost tips to improve your home heating & cut energy bills
1. Get Energy Wise:
Visit our energy-saving page for some in-depth advice on reducing heating costs while keeping warm.
2. Turn off the central heating:
If you are spending most of your time in one room, why are you spending money using the central heating to warm up the whole house or flat? Use a portable space heater to warm the room you're in and set your boiler to hot water only.
Have a look at our Portable Heater Guide to see how to choose the right heater for your needs.
3. Block those draughts:
Under doors, around wall sockets, letterbox, keyholes etc... But don't seal yourself in, leave enough ventilation to allow some fresh air to get in and moist air to get out or you may start to get condensation.
4. Radiator Wisdom:
If you're using central heating don't waste heat warming your walls, get a pack of these purpose made aluminium foil Radiator Reflectors and put some behind your radiators.
Also, move any furniture from in front of them, radiators work by warming up the air in the room, make sure there is space around them so the air can circulate.
Another tip is to put shelves above radiators, especially ones under windows, this stops the warm air being trapped between the curtain and the window.
5. Cover the windows:
About 10% of heat is lost through windows, get some heavy curtains to hang over them, you only need them for the winter months so visit your local charity shops, you can pick up decent quality thick curtains for a few pounds.
On sunny days leave the curtains open so the suns rays will help to warm up your home, as soon as dusk falls close them to trap the heat in.
If you don't have double glazing you can use some Temporary double glazing plastic film, it's cheap and very easy to fit.
6. Seal the fireplace:
If you have a hearth and don't use a live fire or stove then make sure the chimney flue is blocked so warm air doesn't escape up it.
This can be as simple as stuffing an old blanket up there, or you can buy a proper chimney balloon, you put one up the chimney then inflate it.
7. Dress for the weather:
It's winter so why swan about in a t-shirt & shorts inside, then spend money on turning up the heat to stay warm?
Layering your clothing keeps you warm so wear a vest, T-shirt (or two), put on a jumper and wear socks, then turn down the thermostat. Wearing a woolly hat will make you feel warmer.
8. Close off empty rooms:
If you have spare rooms turn off the radiators in them, draw the curtains, shut the doors and put a draught excluder across the bottom of the door, don't waste money heating up a room nobody is using.
9. Put rugs on bare floorboards:
Stripped floorboards may be fashionable and look good, but come winter you pay the price. Get a few rugs (plenty of cheap good-looking ones down the market) or try e-bay.
Your local British Heart Foundation shop has good quality second-hand ones or take a look at these reasonably priced thick shaggy rugs. Like thick curtains, you only need them for winter so you don't need to buy expensive ones
10. Use your doors:
Shut the doors to rooms you don't need to heat and open doors to let heat circulate between the rooms you want to be warmed, i.e: If your bedroom is off the lounge then open the door and let the warm air in the lounge circulate into the bedroom. After using the oven open the door and let the heat out into the kitchen.
Keeping warm and keeping safe:
- Never completely seal rooms you use Calor Gas heaters or solid fuel fires in. You must ventilate these rooms to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and suffocation in. See our Calor gas heater information page.
- Avoid fires by not sitting or leaving furniture too close to radiant heaters.
- Use portable heaters safely by not leaving them on unattended or hanging laundry to dry on top of them.
- If you do block your chimney flue, remember to unblock it if you do light a fire.
- Always have a smoke alarm fitted and test it regularly.
- If using a gas or solid fuel fire have a carbon monoxide detector CO2 fitted
- Read our Guide to Portable Heater Safety
- Read our Surviving the Winter Page to find out how to prepare for power cuts this winter
Installing a wood burning stove can cut your heating bills by up to 90%
Free yourself from the nightmare of power cuts and rising fuel prices by getting a wood burning stove installed. Visit The Home Fire Shop for great deals and advice on buying, installing and using them and find out how to reduce heating bills by up to 90%
Or visit our partners at Machine Mart for some really great winter deals on wood burning stoves & accessories