How To Keep Your Home Warm This Winter

Insulate your windows, close your curtains, and five other tips for keeping warm and saving money.
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Heating your home is expensive business – especially with energy bills set to rise in October once more.

Thanks to a package announced by prime minister Liz Truss, most families won’t face the horrendous 80% rise in bills straight away. This is because, from October 1, a new Energy Price Guarantee is being introduced which will mean the typical UK household will pay no more than £2,500 a year on their bills for the next two years.

This supersedes the £3,549 price cap announced by Ofgem last month. Experts had also predicted that the cap would rise to more than £5,500 from January, and even higher next spring. With the Energy Price Guarantee, the typical household should save an average of £1,000 a year for the next two years.

But even with this support package, bills will still be rising for many families this winter. So, how can we get creative in our homes to maximise on heat and (hopefully) save some pennies?

1. Close your curtains

It’s thought around 10-20% of the heat in homes is lost through windows and external doors. It might seem simple, but closing your curtains (or blinds) at night will help keep the heat in and limit draughts coming from your windows. If they hang in front of radiators, tuck them behind so the heat can still get into your room.

Or, go one step further and buy thermal curtains. The thick woven designs are made to provide maximum insulation and warmth in a room – and you can pick them up for relatively cheap from places like Dunelm and Amazon.

Make sure you open your curtains in the morning though, as letting sunlight in can help to heat up your home during the day.

2. Be radiator savvy

Got a room (or two) that you don’t spend much time in? Turn off the radiator(s) or set them to the lowest level and shut the door(s) to save energy.

In the rooms you do use, try to keep your radiators and heaters clear so they can effectively heat up the room. Otherwise, the heat will be directed into the back of your sofa (or whatever item of furniture is blocking the way).

3. Block any draughts

If you live in an old building, you’re probably no stranger to draughts. But there are ways to reduce these gusts blowing into your home.

First up, make like your granny and buy a draught excluder to stop the chilly breeze blowing under your door. Or, use an old rolled up towel to block the gap. Next, seal up any cracks in your floors and skirting boards using a sealant, gaffer tape or, if the gaps are quite large, a product like DraughtEx, which uses small tubes to fill the gaps.

Lining your letterbox with a specially-designed draught excluder and blocking an unused chimney could help reduce your heating bills by up to £25 a year, according to MoneySuperMarket. Chimney balloons are also a cheap way to block off the space, and work by inflating to fill the chimney.

4. Turn down your thermostat

You might be tempted to turn up your thermostat to the maximum temperature when you get home on a cold day, but it’s better to flick it to around 18-20ºC. Otherwise your house is likely to overheat and you’ll be left wanting to open the windows – a huge waste of energy.

It’s estimated that turning your heating down by just one degree could save up to £75 a year.

5. Insulate your windows

If you’re living in a property without double glazing, you can insulate your windows to prevent draughts. Thermo insulating films cover the whole window and work to keep heat in and reduce moisture on the window pane.

6. Use your oven

If you’ve been cooking – and you don’t have pets or small children – leave your oven door open after you’ve switched it off as it’ll release all the hot air and warm up your kitchen.

7. Wrap up

Add an extra layer of clothing to the mix when you’re sitting around watching TV. If you feel the cold quite badly, pile on the blankets, put some warm socks on and fill up a hot water bottle. And, if your bedroom is eternally cold, pop one in your bed, too.