November is here, and for most of us in the northern hemisphere, winter is fast approaching or already upon us. There are plenty of things to enjoy about this season, from steaming mugs of hot cocoa and thick knit jumpers, to long nights curled up on the couch with a good book or an enthralling movie. One challenge the winter does bring, however, is how to keep our houses warm without spending a frightening amount of the household budget on heating bills. To help you out this year, here are some top tips for keeping your house toasty and warm:
Deal with drafts and heat loss
There’s nothing more frustrating than spending money on heating only to lose all that heat to the outdoors. Keep your house heat-efficient by eliminating drafts and heat loss as much as possible. For instance you could use draft excluders, keyhole covers or a curtain on your external doors, and use thick curtains on the windows at night (but keep them open during the day to let the sunlight in!). Bare floorboards can also be responsible for quite a lot of heat loss if they’re not insulated, so try covering them with a rug – which has the added benefit of being warm on your feet!
Upgrade your heating
The next step is to make sure that you have good quality heating. If your boiler is more than ten years old it might be time to consider replacing it with a more efficient one to save some money. It could also be worth looking into other types of heating systems, or maybe even a real log fire for extra coziness. If you’d rather not have live flames in the house, take a look at electric versions. You might be pleasantly surprised by electric furnace prices and how easily you can have an electric fire installed.
Maximize your radiator heat
It’s logical to want to make sure you’re getting the most benefit from your heating when you have it on, so here are a couple of suggestions. Firstly, don’t put anything big (like pieces of furniture) in front of your radiators. All that will happen is those items will absorb the heat and it won’t circulate through the room. Another idea is to put reflective aluminum foil on the wall behind your radiators. This will help to reflect the heat away from the wall and into the room instead, heating it up more efficiently.
Use your thermostat wisely
When it’s cold it can be tempting to turn up the thermostat temperature, but this is not always the best way to use your heating. It’s thought to be better to turn the heating on earlier and at a lower temperature rather than put it on at a higher temperature at the exact time you need it. Plus, if you can control the temperature in individual rooms separately, be sure to turn it down in rooms you don’t use very much to avoid wasting energy and money.