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YouGen's 10 top tips for a warm, energy efficient winter

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 14 October 2014 at 9:18 am

Brrr. Did you feel that? After such a balmy summer the sudden appearance of autumn is a bit of a shock, right? Now it’s turn on the heating time in many UK homes, here are our top tips to keeping the heating bills down this winter without compromising on warmth.

1. Buy a new woolly! It’s not glamorous and it’s not new, we know. But  imagine yourself in an episode of the Killing with a Sarah Lund-style Scandinavian jumper and a cool, thousand yard stare that says: “pah!” to ice on the inside of your windows. You might feel good about your warm core, even as the frostbite takes hold in your toes. Also think about layering – wearing several thin layers rather than one thick one keeps you warmer because it traps the air around your body.

2. Get your boiler serviced every year to make sure it's running as efficiently as possible. If the boiler's more 15 years old it's worth considering buying a new condensing boiler which can reduce your fuel bill by 25% or more.

3. Get a warm duvet (or an extra blanket) so you don't need the heating on overnight.

4. Take control of your heating. It's really easy to just leave it at the same times all year long, but you'll lose less heat if you take time to think about when you really need it on. You probably won't want it on as much in October as you will in January. And heating needs will be different on a day you're out at work than when you're home at the weekend. Many of us are tempted to turn up the thermostat when it gets colder, but it's  more energy efficient to leave it be, and put the heating on a bit earlier instead. For good control you need thermostatic radiator valves as well as the timer and a room thermostat.

5. If you want to take even more control, there are lots of gadgets and gizmos around now to help you use your heating more cost effectively. Most of them are linked to individual radiator thermostatic valves, but others turn your boiler off for a portion of each hour.

6. Let there be light! (then close the curtains) Rooms with south facing windows are warmer due to something nifty called ‘solar gain’ (that’s nothing more than sun warming up rooms, we’re showing off). Make sure curtains are wide open in those rooms during the day and then just as the sun dips below the horizon, snap those (doubled lined, of course) curtains shut and trap in the heat. Make sure the curtains are tucked behind the radiators too, so you’re not sending heat up into the gap between window and curtain instead of into your room. If you’re feeling really energetic you could get all Sarah Beeny and consider re-jigging your home layout so that the south-facing rooms are where you spend most of your time.

7. Draught proofing. From mastic between the floor boards and around window and door frames to covers over that leaky key hole, letterbox or cat flap in your door, there are plenty of measures you can take to keep those pesky draughts from whipping round your house.

8. Use radiator reflectors (or tin foil) behind radiators that are mounted on external walls to prevent the heat being sucked out of the room.

9. Put your feet up! The coldest air in any room is around the floor so keeping your feet higher will keep you warmer: If that’s not an excuse for a granny blanket and a box set I don’t know what is.

10. We started this list advising you to get a jumper, so you keep your body warmth in. If you haven't already, it's also worth getting a good thick jersey for your home. Unless it's insulated you'll lose a lot of that expensive heat you're generating straight out of the roof, the walls and windows, and through the floor.

Photo credit: László Bácsi vai Compfight CC

More information about Energy Saving and Renewable Energy on YouGen.

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Comments

2 comments - read them below or add one

Boilerdoctor247

Boilerdoctor247Comment left on: 12 November 2014 at 1:55 pm

Hi guys there are loads of ways to save on heating and energy bills small upgrades like thermostatic radiator valves , time abd temperature controls to your heating system and hot water if not a combi. Draft excluders can be a cheap but cost effective way. Also annual servicing of sppliances helps prevent high running cost

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JParker78

JParker78Comment left on: 24 October 2014 at 2:33 pm

At this time of year we always make sure we are stocked up on our heating oil. It's this time of year that the weather can be unpredictable and dangerous and depending on where you live, you can be left house bound dependant on conditions. So for us it's a stock up on food and keeping the Kerosene topped up!

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