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9 cheap and simple tips to warm your home this winter

Every winter we’re given the same top tips for saving energy in the home. Installing ceiling insulation and manually sealing every gap and crack in sight is all very well, but sometimes we just want a quick fix that won’t break the bank.

Before we share our top 10 energy-saving tips, here are some of the more ‘creative’ solutions that can be found on the wonderful world of the web…!

“A cost-effective way of heating left-over pizza while keeping warm: heat the base with an iron and use a hairdryer to melt the cheese!”

“It’s not for everyone, but I generate organic energy. If I’m cold I’ll complete 25 push-ups and 25 sit- ups. It’s green, and it keeps me lean.”

“To save energy costs our family camps on weekends and we catch and cook our own food (by campfire) two nights during the week. The act of catching food keeps you warm followed by an evening in front of a hot fire.”

Tempted? Maybe not. Here are our practical, cost-saving (and realistic) tips you can adopt this winter to help your family stay warm this winter:

1. DIY draught stopperdashund-draft-excluder_with-the-sound-of-musicx

The fondly named ‘sausage dog’ is essential furniture for many homes in the cooler months. For those that don’t know, it is used to cover the gap between the the door and floor, preventing cold air from coming in and hot air escaping. Before you Google ‘sausage dogs’ you might want to have a go at making one yourself. They’re simple to make and you can have fun decorating it (or you could mask the job as a game for the kids!).

Take a pair of tights and stuff them with whatever you fancy: old clothing, rice, or cottonwool. Or take the pool noodle out of hibernation and wrap it with bubblewrap or a towel — make it useful for a couple of months while the pool is unused…

2. Tin foil

Place tin foil on the wall behind your heaters as a crafty way of trapping the heat in your home. It prevents the heat from escaping through the wall, instead being reflected back into the room.

There is professional foil that you can use, or the DIY version – good old kitchen foil. If you opt for the

latter you could treat yourself to a pair of cosy bed socks with your savings!

3. Oven

After pulling your freshly-cooked dinner out of the oven, turn it off but then keep the oven door open. The kitchen may have a lingering smell of roast dinner but that’s not a bad thing! And best of all you can label yourself the ultimate multi-tasker — feeding and heating the family in one swoop.

This simple manoeuvre can also apply to shower time. Leave the bathroom door open and let the warm steam waft through the house — unless you live in a house-share of course, that could be awkward.

4. Re-arrange furniture

It’s an obvious one which makes it an easy one to miss. Do not put anything in front of the heating source, such as your gas heater or radiator. That includes an arm chair, clothes horse or dog.  Leave a gap between the bed and the wall, it’s surprising how such a small move can make such a big difference.

5. Heavy curtains

Did you know that up to 40% of heat escaping from your home in winter is from uncovered windows? Opt for heavy, lined curtains that reach below the bottom of the window frame.

6. Insulate hot water pipes

Insulating tape can be bought cheaply from your local hardware shop. Simply wrap your hot water pipes to reduce heat loss to the outside, which means that it takes less energy to heat your hot water.

7. Find and conquer the mini-draughtspeek-a-boo_simon-powellx

Homes are often full of sneaky areas responsible for the mini-draught, a draught small enough not to notice but big enough to make a difference. The source of a mini-draught, and areas of your home to look out for, include: a door’s letterbox, keyhole and catflap. Once you’ve found the culprits, find a way of blocking the gap, whether it’s a piece of material over the hole of the catflap, or a keyhole cover.

8. Let in the light!

If you’re lucky enough to have the sun streaming through your lounge windows then make sure you keep the curtains open by day to soak up the heat. But as soon as the sun goes down, close them to reduce the chill.

9. Get a rug down

Have you got wooden floorboards? If so you’re probably losing a lot of heat. Floors account for as much as 10% heat loss if they’re not insulated. You should be able to sort this on the cheap. If you watch TV ads you’ll know rugs are always on sale!

There we have 10 cost-saving tips for keeping warm while saving energy. Get to work on insulating your home, and if all else fails, treat yourself to a hot toddy and layer up!

7 Responses to “9 cheap and simple tips to warm your home this winter

  1. June 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm
    Marjorie Atkinson said:

    I just add another sweater. I rarely have to use the heater.

  2. June 21, 2016 at 2:48 pm
    george holding said:

    Regarding leaving the bathroom door open:beware if you have a fire detector near that door.

  3. June 21, 2016 at 5:04 pm
    Krissy K said:

    Put washing on an airer in front of the heater in wet weather and it soon dries without a clothes dryer running up any other bills

  4. June 21, 2016 at 8:35 pm
    A. Bywaters said:

    Window shutters make such a difference to the heating/cooling.
    We very rarely use the reverse cycle air conditioning.

  5. June 21, 2016 at 8:37 pm
    A. Bywaters said:

    Window shutters are a great idea for energy saving.

  6. June 22, 2016 at 8:50 am
    Robyn MacKellar said:

    As an aged pensioner, I am one of the “heat or eat” brigade, so I never put the heater on during the day, if it”s fine and cold, go for a brisk walk, if it”s raining (mostly is in Albany in winter) then I run on the spot till puffed (usually around the count of 100).
    Because I rent and putting heavy curtains up is not allowed under the lease agreement, I use bubble wrap on the window glass facing the cold wind, it”s also good for blocking out small draughts anywhere in the house.
    A good method for stopping heat leaks through a wooden floor (not tried personally though) is going under the house and stapling heavy cardboard on the floor joists, leaving that insulating gap.
    Plus all of the hints above, all help.

  7. June 23, 2016 at 9:27 am
    Mags said:

    Cellular blinds are amazing for insulation.