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Keeping the heat in

We all know how quickly our homes can get cold once the temperature outside drops. While a bit of ventilation is needed to prevent damp and mould, there are a few things you can do to trap the warm air in your home for longer.

Close your curtains

Keep your curtains and blinds closed once it’s dark and tuck them behind radiators if possible. This can reduce heat loss by as much as 17% according to researchers at the University of Salford!

Shut your doors

If there’s a space in your home you’re not using, keep the door to it closed. Most heaters circulate hot air around the room, so closing doors will keep the heat where you need it.

Homemade draught excluder

Homemade draught excluder

Fix the draught

Draught proofing the gaps under doors is a cheap and effective way to reduce heat loss. If you don’t have a draught excluder, you can use old clothes or scrap fabric to make one.

Check your loft

If you have loft insulation, make sure it’s not being flattened down by anything you’re storing – squashed insulation isn’t as effective.

Heat the human

It’s important to keep your home comfortable and not stop heating it altogether, but something like
a thick blanket can be a huge comfort, especially if you’re spending a lot of time sat in your home. Hot water bottles and electric blankets cost pennies per hour to run if you already have them.

Heaters and boilers

The Government recommends keeping your home heated to at least 18°C. With the cost of energy rises this might seem a bit daunting, but there are a few ways to bring heating costs down.

Combi boilers

If you have a combi boiler (the one without a hot water cylinder), you may be able to reduce the flow temperature. They’re often set to 70°C – 80°C, but run much more efficiently at 60°C.

Radiators

Over time radiators get air trapped inside which leaves cold spots at the top. Make sure you bleed your radiators regularly to stop this from happening and keep them efficient. You’ll need a bleed key to do this which are available from most hardware stores for a few pence. If they have thermostatic valves, make sure to use them.

Storage heaters

If you have electric storage heaters, always turn the dial to the lowest setting during the night and when you go out through the day. If it gets colder in the evening, turn the dial up higher to let the remaining heat escape.

Electric heaters

These are small but very expensive to run. If you need a burst of heat, a hot water bottle or blanket is a cheaper option. If you do decide to use an electric fan heater, use it on a low setting for a short time.

Appliance costs

Since 1 October 2022, most us are paying around 34p per kW per hour for electricity. We’ve outlined some estimated running costs in the table below. Your own costs will vary depending on how many kW your appliance uses.

AppliancekW per hour£ per hour
Convector heater (3000w)3£1.02
Tumble dryer (3000w)3£1.02
Fan heater (2000w)268p
Electric clothes airer0.258.5p
Electric blanket0.13.4p

 

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