The nights are drawing in and the days are getting colder and darker. By mid-October, most people will have already put the heating on and hope they don’t have a nasty surprise with the first gas or electricity bill. The cost of heating can pile up pretty quickly, especially in older houses. To help you save some money, here are some simple habits to get into.
Find and Tackle Those Draughts
No matter how good your insulation or how new your double glazing is, if your home has draughts it will drastically reduce the heat efficiency of your home. Draughts can come through windows and under interior doors leading to cold rooms. Draught excluders are a great way to aid heating and you can buy them relatively inexpensively. These fabric bolsters go along the bottom of doors to prevent the escape of warm air. You can also get draught strips for windows that cover up cold areas, effectively doing the same job.
Keep Interior Doors Closed
In the spring and summer, you want to keep doors open to keep the flat or house cool and keep fresh air circulating. In autumn and winter, the opposite is true. Keeping doors closed is a great way to keep a building warm by confining heat to rooms and not allowing it to dissipate through the house. This is especially useful when the living room backs onto something colder, such as a conservatory or bathroom where you may not have double-glazing.
Keep Your Boiler Serviced
We understand that servicing a boiler every year may seem like an unnecessary expense and you instead choose to do it every 2-3 years, but this can be a false economy. Boilers operate every day, all the year round, under constant stress and strain. They will acquire wear and tear and lose effectiveness over time, leading to increased cost of running just for saving the price of a service. Also, you run the risk of a breakdown during the worst and coldest months by continually delaying.
Be Selective with Heating Radiators
Do you really need to heat the whole flat or house? Doing so can lead to unnecessary costs. If you are more selective in choosing while radiators to have at which temperatures, or turn some off completely, this can help you save money. A bedroom beneath the living room – which is likely to be the warmest room in the house – will experience the benefits of the heat rising through the floor. It’s pointless heating spare bedrooms only used once in a while, so turn that radiator off until you know you will have guests.
Curtains and Rugs
Carpets are less popular than laminate or wooden flooring these days. While easier to keep clean, hard floors are not particularly warm, especially early in the morning. Rugs can help maintain a little heat in the important areas. Never underestimate the importance of curtains; we close them when it starts to get dark for privacy purposes but they do keep some heat in. You can also get special thermal curtains for extra heat retention.
Watch the Thermostat
It’s tempting to put the thermostat up to its highest setting but you don’t really need to do so. Keep it at a normal level – around 18-20C (64-6F) and acclimatise, only put it up higher than this when it gets really cold. Assuming your insulation is of a good quality, you won’t need to turn it up much higher, if at all. The insulation should do the rest. On average, you can save around £55 per year for every reduction in the Celsius degree level.