With the cold weather firmly settling in for the foreseeable future, now is the time to do some home-improvement to keep your home toasty throughout these winter months. Whilst it is easy to sit back and hope for the best, it is better to address issues before they become a problem; remember a lot of maintenance firms will shut early over Christmas and New Year, and it will be no fun eating your turkey in the freezing cold! So, read our top tips on keeping your home warm this winter.
1. Exclude the draughts! - This is an inside and outside job. Start externally and check for any cracks in the brickwork and roof, it can be an easy-fix and will stop the heat leaking out of your home. Next, go inside and using a candle, hold it against all the doors and windows, if the flame flickers, there is a draught that needs excluding. Don’t forget about keyholes, letterboxes, chimneys and cat flaps – although make sure you don’t exclude the cat!
2. Don’t forget about the Floor – According to the National Energy Foundation, floors can be responsible for the loss of 10% of heat in a home. If it is available to you, get your floors insulated, but if not, check for any gaps or cracks in the floors and skirting boards and seal them with filler, or even use scrunched up newspaper (this works much better if you already have grey floors). For that final cosy feeling invest in some rugs to keep in the warmth.
3. Energy Efficiency – I don’t know if anyone has been able to answer the questions of - is it more advantageous to keep your heating on low all day, or whack it up high in small periods to get a nice blast of heat when you need it? But what we do know is that it is more energy efficient to use your heating system, rather than portable heaters such as halogen or electric. Additionally, don’t waste energy by heating up rooms you’re not using, if possible, turn the radiators right down in these rooms and shut the doors of the room you are in, to retain the heat. Another good way to conserve heat is to invest in some radiator reflector panels, that reflect the heat back into the room rather than let it escape out the walls, or to hang a shelf above radiators to push the heat into the room rather than letting it rise out the room.
4. Utilise Existing Heat – The cheapest and best source of heating is unsurprisingly, the sun. Any rooms that you know get a lot of sunlight in the day, keep the curtains open and let it naturally heat up your rooms. However, as you I’m sure you’re aware, the sun does not always make an appearance at this time of year, so what other ways are there to utilise existing heat? Once you have finished cooking your dinner, turn the oven off but leave the door open and let that heat escape into your room. Then, once you’ve taken your evening bath, leave the water in the tub until it turns cold and then drain it, although this isn’t going to be able to heat your home by itself, every little bit helps.
5. Look after your Boiler- Get your boiler serviced annually, there are many reasons for this: It will save you money by avoiding future repairs, in many cases it will ensure you meet your insurance requirements, and, it will reduce your bills by ensuring your boiler is working at maximum efficiency. For further efficiency, ensure your primary pipe is insulated, according to The Energy Saving Trust it can save you about £10 per year. Check your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), most houses have one, and it will advise you on the ways to make your home most energy efficient.
Our final tip is to never underestimate the power of a good woolly jumper! If you have any of your own top tips on keeping you home warm this winter, then we want to hear from you! Email us onor message us on any of the socials using the hashtag #winterwarmers