We are well and truly on the road to winter, and while there are lots to look forward to in the festive season, many people worry about the costs involved in keeping their families warm when the temperatures drop. Trying to keep a home warm while saving money can be a challenge, but it is possible to make it happen. You can minimize the cost of heating your home, but you need to identify the problems first.
If your home always seems to be cold, you may have issues with your heating system and insulation, or it may be that there are some changes you can make to your living habits which could help. From small changes you can introduce into your daily routine to making upgrades to your home heating and insulation, here are 11 handy hints and tips to help you keep your home cozy this winter.
Draft-proof your home
You might be surprised how much heat is lost through small cracks, holes, and gaps in your home. From gaps around doors and window seals, letterboxes, keyholes and pet doors, all of these small openings add up to a lot of lost heat. You can easily plug these holes with tape or sealant on cracks in window frames. If you tend to spend a lot of your time in one room in the evenings, turn the heating down in your other rooms and place a draft excluder at the bottom of the door, so you only pay to heat the room you’re using.
Lag your central heating pipes
Central heating pipes that carry hot water around your home will be losing heat. Adding lagging or insulation to the pipes will help to maintain the temperature of the hot water as it moves from the boiler to your radiators. The hotter you can keep the water, the less fuel you’ll need to use reheating it later.
Bleed hot water radiators
When you touch hot water radiators, you may notice that some areas are colder than others. If this is the case, it means that pockets of air are trapped in the radiators, which stop hot water from filling them up. You can resolve this by releasing the air via the bleed valve, which will enable the radiators to heat up more quickly and the boiler will use less fuel as a result.
Get your heating system serviced
To ensure your heating system is running efficiently, safely, and at the maximum performance level, it’s important to get it serviced by a professional HVAC engineer at least once a year. Doing so gives an engineer the opportunity to check the system over for any small issues and components that need cleaning, preventing breakdowns and prolonging the life of the heating system. In addition, annual servicing is also often required to keep the manufacturer’s warranty valid.
Upgrade your heating system
Servicing will help to keep a heating system in good condition for longer, but sometimes an old or severely broken heating system is not able to be rescued. This means spending money on repairs or maintenance won’t make a significant difference, so it’s best to upgrade the system. It will cost more money in the short term, but a more modern heating system will be more reliable and more energy-efficient, saving you money on heating bills in the long run. HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) companies will be able to recommend the best heating solution for your home so look for HVAC near me.
A more efficient heating system will also use less gas or oil, which will lower your carbon emissions and therefore reduce your negative impact on the environment. You’ll have a more comfortable home and a more reliable system, so you don’t have to worry about the heating system breaking down in the freezing cold of winter.
Keep curtains closed at night
A surprising amount of heat is lost through your windows and cold air can also enter your home this way. You can minimize this by keeping your curtains drawn at night to keep more of the heat where you want it and opening them during the day to let the heat of the sun into your home.
Put foil-covered card behind your radiators
While radiators heat from the front, they also emit heat at the back. Rather than heating the space in the room, it will be absorbed by the wall. You can reduce this by covering a piece of cardboard in foil and slipping it between the radiator and the wall. The foil will reflect the heat back into your home.
Keep heaters and radiators free from clutter
Heat will be absorbed by furniture and objects in the room, so the more clutter you have near the radiator, the less heat will make it into the space in the room. To maximize the heat in the room, try to clear space around the radiators as much as possible. You could also hang a shelf above the radiator, which will redirect heat traveling up to the ceiling into the room itself.
Cover hardwood floors with rugs
Hardwood floors tend to have small gaps between each floorboard and/or around the skirting. This may be allowing heat to escape, so consider laying a rug or even carpet to minimize the amount of heat loss.
Add to your insulation
A huge amount of heat is lost through the walls, roof, and floors of your home. In fact, up to 35% of your heating escapes through the attic space, so it really pays to insulate as much as possible. Improving the level of insulation in your walls, floor and attic may be costly, but it is one of the most effective steps you can take to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Install double glazed windows
If you have single glazed windows in your home, you should consider upgrading to double or triple glazing to improve insulation levels. If you cannot afford to replace your windows, you can add thermal window film to the glass to reduce heat loss and seal any gaps in the window frame.