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Let me paint you a picture, you know that feeling when the alarm goes off at 7am and you sneak one foot out of your luxuriously warm bed, only to discover the rest of your home is colder than the ice hotel?
Me too. I'm pretty certain that I'm a more productive, energised and frankly all round nicer person when during the warmer months.
Sadly, there's nothing any of us can do about the Arctic temperatures outside our homes, but we can keep the warmth in.
Let's start with the cheapest options first and build up to the big spends that can make years of difference to heating your home.
Are some of your radiators hotter than others? Does the same radiator have patches of hot and cold? It's time to bleed your radiators. This rebalances the whole heating system, meaning it doesn't have to work so hard to produce heat and you feel the benefit of a toasty radiator on full blast. Check out YouTube for a step by step guide to doing it yourself.
Price = Free (if you already have a radiator key, otherwise approx. £1 from your local DIY shop)
This tip is twofold, keeping curtains and blinds open during the day can have a significant benefit in terms of heat from the sun absorbed by the house during the day. So throw those curtains wide. However, when darkness falls, the best way to retain that heat is by closing a pair of thick curtains. You could even upscale your current curtains by adding a pair of curtain liners to trap in the heat.
Price = Curtain liners start at less than £10!
Doors are often a culprit for letting in drafts from the outside. Work out which doors are causing you problems (trust me, you'll feel it) and simply buy a draft excluder. Job done.
Price = Between £10 – 15
Slick hardwood or laminate floors look really stylish and in the summer months help to keep your home cool and airy, but when it gets to January you might be thinking of resorting to an unwanted carpet to keep those chilblains at bay. That's where a really great rug could save the day. All the benefit of a warm and fluffy layer between your feet and the floor, plus you can roll it up and store it when the weather improves.
Price = approx. £39+
The first double glazing unit was patented in the US in the 1860's. If yours were installed then, it might be time for an upgrade. Failed double glazing units can let in drafts and cause you problems with condensation. There are a number of options to choose from if it is time to have them replaced. Some companies offer great deals when you choose to have your whole home re glazed. Alternatively it's possible to simply have the failed glass units replaced without removing the frame, or removing units which are still effective which keeps down costs. If both of those options still stretch the budget, or you still have single glazed windows, then why not investigate window film? This can be purchased from most DIY stores and is a great budget quick fix for the winter months.
Price = Specialist window film can protect an entire house from £15, double glazing units start at approximately £70.
Successive governments have been trying to make our homes more energy efficient since the 1970's. One of the simplest way to do that is to insulate your home and the UK government have, for some time, been offering grants to help you do just that. If you haven't insulated your loft yet, now is the time as 25% of all heat from your home is lost through the roof. Energy companies are also looking to help their customers by offering reduced price and even free insulation. On average, cavity insulation can result in a £300 saving on your energy bill.
Price = Free to a few thousand pounds depending on grants available. But, stay in your home long enough and the savings you make on your energy bills will more than make up for any initial cost.
Got any other great tips for staying warm as the weather cools down? Let us know in the comments!
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