It’s getting cold out there, so we’ve been thinking of the best ways to stay cosy at home. These are pretty easy changes, mostly DIY, and they won’t break the bank. A lot of the tips and products below centre around draught proofing and insulation, but there are a few other things you can try to make the most of your heating.
A fair bit of your heating can disappear through an unblocked chimney. Stop heat escaping, and stop cold draughts coming in, with a chimney sheep. These are easy to fit and remove and are the eco-friendly choice, made from sheep’s wool and recycled plastic.
Windows and doors
Lots of heat is lost through windows; because they are thin and transparent, they have a very low thermal mass. For quite a few people, double glazing isn’t an option – either because it’s outside of their budget, or because they don’t want to/aren’t allowed to replace the original period windows). Secondary glazing can be a great solution in these cases. It’s simple to fit – you just stick magnetic strips onto the window frames, and stick custom-made glazing panels on to these.
If you notice air coming in or out of your windows or doors when they’re shut, it’s well worth investing in draught excluders. They don’t have to be ugly and bulky – Dora Designs are made in a variety of cute animal characters!
Heavy curtains (when closed) can reduce heat lost through windows by as much as 40%.
It may sound obvious, but one of the best ways to keep warm is to shut doors between rooms. There’s no point your heating escaping into the room next door if there’s no-one in it! Use thermostatic radiator valves to set different temperatures in separate rooms, so you’re not paying to keep the heating on full-whack in parts of the house you’re not using.
It’s always worth insulating your home as much as possible, to keep it at a more even temperature and save you money on your bills. The most cost-effective type in terms of payback is loft insulation. It’s relatively inexpensive, can normally be fitted yourself, and will make a big difference.
We love 100% pure sheep wool insulation. It’s got loads of benefits that other insulation materials don’t have, but best of all its thermal qualities are unrivalled.
10% of household heat is lost through uninsulated floors – cover them with rugs and it might make a bit of a difference, and keep your feet warm too!
The heat from radiators can easily travel out through the walls behind them. Radiator reflectors are a cheap, discreet and easy solution. They direct otherwise wasted heat back into the room, making sure your radiators are as effective as possible.
Smart heating controls are key for efficient and comfortable heating. They allow you to control your heating in each room via your smartphone – some even from outside of the home. Systems vary depending on the manufacturer, but you should be able to find one that suits your budget – start with a smart thermostat and build from there.