As the days become shorter and the temperatures drop, you might not be looking forward to the cold days ahead for a number of reasons. Maybe you just aren’t cut out for winter—the dry air causes havoc with your skin or you simply don’t like the snow, ice, and cold. Or perhaps you feel like you’re throwing money away since you have to switch on your heating. So how can you stay warm in the winter without the guilt of spending too much money? Fortunately, there are ways to achieve this, starting out with your home.
- Make sure your home is sealed
Take a good look around your house and search for draughts. If you feel cold air coming in where it’s not supposed to be, that means warm air can leak out at that spot. Although draughts can appear in any area, there are certain spaces that are especially susceptible. These are windows, doors, roof, loft, and fireplace.
Make sure that your windows are properly sealed. If they are fogging up or there is condensation, it might be time to replace glazing and caulk to make sure it is effectively keeping the elements out. Doors are often a source of draughts; buy or make your own draught excluders to block the gap at the bottom. The letterbox, keyhole, and cat or dog flaps are often overlooked when it comes to draughts. Place a cover for these holes or block the opening with wool or a piece of a blanket.
- Keep a balance between sun and shade
When it comes to your windows, winter is the time to hang up your thicker curtains. The thicker the better, and there are some that have thermal lining specific for retaining heat. Wool or fleece drapes work really well to keep your home warm and toasty. Shut your curtains during the night or when you have your heating on. However, even though you want thick curtains to keep warm air inside, it’s also important to open them up during the day. Let the sun enter your home throughout the day—don’t ignore the natural and free heat from the sun!
- Check up on your heating
Before winter creeps in, arrange an inspection and servicing of your central heating system. Having an annual check on your boiler and the system is crucial to maximising its efficiency. Better yet, why not upgrade your heating to a more efficient, effective system? The latest models are reaching energy ratings of 90% or higher.
A great tip to boost the heating of your home is to switch on your ceiling fans too. Set them to spin clockwise or reverse at a low speed. Warm air rises, so having your fans on reverse will push this air back down. With your radiators, your ceiling fans will help circulate the warm air around the room.
- Move your furniture around
Speaking of radiators, check for anything that could obstruct the warm air. For example, although you might want to place your sofa against the radiator to make the most of the space, this actually diminishes your home’s heating capabilities. That sofa is absorbing heat, preventing the hot air from circulating throughout the room.
The same goes for any other piece of furniture. Chairs, tables, dog beds, or shelves placed in front of the radiator all absorb that heat, meaning plenty of wasted energy! Another tip for your radiators is to put aluminium foil behind the radiator. This reflects the warm air back inside, rather than seeping through the wall.
- Get a smart thermostat
If you want to take your warmth and energy saving to the next level, you can install a smart thermostat. These thermostats give you more control over the temperature of your home, along with additional, convenient features due to its online connectivity. You can set your central heating to turn on according to a schedule. Smart thermostats also develop an understanding of your living patterns, raising or lowering the temperature automatically before you wake up, or arrive home, or leave for work. With these thermostats, you can stay comfortably warm without having to worry about adjusting any settings, all while saving energy and money!