There’s no denying it, the cold weather has most definitely hit us now. The heating is on, the big coats are out and the clocks have gone back. For those of us who dread the onslaught of winter weather, the fact that there is an inevitable rise in our heating bills adds to the winter blues.
There are measures we can take in order to get our homes ready for the cold snap. Here are our top tips to winterproof your home:
Set the right temperature
The optimal temperature to keep your home warm is between 18oC and 21oC. The lower the better in regard to keeping costs down. If your home is very well insulated, you may even want to try 17oC. Turning your heating down by 1oC, could save you 10% on your heating bills.
Upgrade your boiler
Yes, this may seem like an extravagant outlay, especially if your boiler seems to be working fine. However, upgrading an old boiler is one of the best ways to save on heating bills. An inefficient boiler of 15 years or more is likely to be around 70% efficient. Put in tangible terms, for every pound spent on fuel, 30p is wasted.
Deal with Draughts
This may seem like an obvious one, but by even just ignoring what may seem like the smallest of draughts, could end up losing you valuable heat from your home. Windows are the main culprit for allowing cold air inside. Thick, full length curtains are the ultimate solution, but you can also add a simple lining to your existing curtains. If only a blind will do, then there are now thermal blinds on the market which help to keep the warmth on the right side of the glass.
Draught excluders for doorways are a tried and tested, old fashioned, instant solution for keeping draughts at bay. They don’t have to be an ugly inconvenience anymore, clashing with your beautifully designed home. There are hundreds on the market to suit all interiors.
Letterboxes and keyholes also allow cold air in. Simply install keyhole covers and letterbox brushes.
Bleed your radiators
This is another simple and cost-effective way to warm up your home. If your radiators don’t feel as hot as they should be then they may require bleeding. This is easily done yourself. Turn off the central heating and use a radiator bleed key to open the small valve at the top of the radiator. These can be purchased cheaply from any DIY store. Turn the key anti-clockwise and you’ll hear the air escaping. Once all the trapped air is released, liquid will flow quickly so be ready to tighten the valve again to prevent accidentally leaks!
Keep heat moving
Your room will feel warmer if heat is allowed to constantly circulate. It sounds obvious, but many of us prevent this from happening by covering radiators with curtains or furniture. Drying washing on radiators is also not a good idea as your boiler has to work harder in order to get your home to the right temperature. Consider drying your washing on clothes horses instead or maybe even invest in an energy efficient heated clothes horse. Even though these do cost in electricity when in use, they are much more economical than drying clothes on a radiator.
Invest in Insulation
There are various simple ways in which you can insulate your home yourself. Pipe insulation ensures your water stays hotter for longer and can be purchased from most DIY stores. They consist of foam tubes in various sizes which can be simply slipped around the pipes.
Loft insulation is important due to the fact that 30% of heat can be lost through your roof. You don’t have to get a professional in to install it if you are trying to keep costs down or if you fancy trying it yourself. There are plenty of comprehensive videos and ‘how to’ guides online.