As September shifted us into Autumn we all felt that familiar change in the air. The cooler breeze, the darker evenings, those seasonal scents. From a practical point of view a change in temperature is a time when, especially considering the backdrop of rising bills, we wonder “is my home going to be warm and cosy enough this winter?”. It’s a question even the hardiest amongst us are asking themselves. Other than reaching for the central heating and the overrider how can we make our living spaces more heat efficient to help capture the warmth? Well here are a few tips…
Is there a draught?
Windows, doors and inlets in the home are typically places where a draught may be present. Are your windows closing correctly, are the seals intact? Are doors snug fitting enough? Could any holes or inlets that are not needed for safe ventilation be better sealed?
If you are not sure about a draught or cool spot, one tip is to stand close to a door or window with a lit candle or incense stick – if it flickers it’s a significant draught that could need attention.
Tips for draught:
- Use stuffed draught excluders in problem doorways
- Consider adding brush seal excluders to doors, including integral garages
- A heavy curtain hung as you enter front and back doors can reduce heat loss
- Is your letter box flapping when windy, it may need replacing
- Fix holes in skirting boards or flooring that can be sealed
- Check loft hatches, is it a close fit, if not it could be a problem
- Closing the curtains all around the home in an evening will help keep heat in
None of us should have to sit in a coat to keep warm within our own homes, but equally sitting around in shorts and a t-shirt, whilst whacking on the heating is a personal choice! We each have our preferences and budgets, but one thing most people do like is a comfy throw on the sofa. In addition to scatter cushions, not only do these fabric accessories look nice and add style, they really help us to keep warm and snug – perfect for watching TV or a movie in an evening!
Insulation and maintenance
Do you have adequate loft insulation? If not this is an area where you could make a significant difference to heat loss, as heat rises and is easily lost if the top of the house is not insulated. A quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home*. Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is an effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills. You may be eligible for free insulation, visit the UK Energy Support for example to find out more.
Lower running cost heating appliances
Lower cost heating appliances are a particularly great alternative for heating individual rooms, rather than having the central heating on throughout an entire property. This is especially helpful to those who may work from home and tend to be focused in one or two rooms. Look out for energy efficiency labels, plus you will often see information about running costs at point of sale online and in-store as manufacturers seek to highlight this product benefit.
For additional helpful information see our recent Blog ‘Efficient & Energy Saving Appliances & Tips’.
Further reading – Government guidance*
If you own a property in England or Wales visit the GOV.UK site for recommendations for home improvements that could make your property cheaper to heat and keep warm. There’s different advice on reducing your household’s energy use if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. Visit Home Energy Scotland if you want advice for Scotland or visit NI Direct if you want advice for Northern Ireland.
Other money saving blog posts you may be interested in:
GOV.UK website - Household Energy information https://www.gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency
Energy Saving Trust website https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/roof-and-loft-insulation
UK Energy Support website https://ukenergysupport.co.uk/loft-insulation-grant/