When the dark and dreary nights start drawing in and the temperature drops, you no doubt start dreaming of the warmth of summer. The temptation is to just crank up the heating to maximum, but this is both expensive and bad for the environment. I’m sharing my 5 tips on how to keep the house warm in the winter to help you be efficient and save energy, which will be both eco-friendly and good for your budget, from insulation to heat loss through the windows to your central heating!
5 Tips for Keeping the House Warm in the Winter
Check if there are any insulation improvements you can make
This doesn’t mean you need to own a loft or have masses of work done. Insulation can be as simple as getting some lagging to wrap around pipes to make them more efficient. Pipe lagging takes seconds to fit and wraps around your hot water pipes, meaning your pipes are warmer for longer and protected against the cold – raising efficiency. Foam insulation can also be used to fill any gaps, cracks or even at the back of cupboards to make them better insulated.
Of course if you do own a loft, it’s critical to get it evaulated for insulation. Warm air rises and if your loft isn’t insulted you could be losing all your heat straight out the roof, forcing your heating system to be constantly working to keep up with it – definitely not efficient!
Get a central heating and boiler check
Most houses these days already have central heating, but if yours doesn’t, it’s definitely worth looking into central heating systems. These are the most efficient and cost-effective ways to heat your house. Although the cost of installation is initally expensive (we spent £5,000 when renovating our 3 bedroom house to buy and install central heating), it’s well worth it for the savings you will make on the electric bill, and the comfort levels that you’ll experience from having a warm house! Electric or gas fires simply can’t compare for heating an entire building.
Every year you will want to do a central heating check, making sure that everything is running well and bleed your radiators. It’s good to get central heating boilers serviced on a yearly basis, to make sure everything is ready for the winter as well.
Consider a smart thermostat for your heating
Setting a timer makes your heating system more efficient by not wasting heat when it’s not needed. You might want to wake up to a warm and cosy house, but when you’re under thick duvets at night, does the heating really need to be working? How about when you’re at work or out for the day? You definitely don’t want to heat an empty house. By setting a timer you can make sure the house is warm for the exact times you need it.
The downside of traditional timers is you need to set them in advance. A smart thermostat like Nest’s Learning Thermostat is now relatively inexpensive to buy and fit and ups your heating to a whole new level. You can then turn things on or off when you’re not home, allowing full flexibility wherever you are. They can also learn from your habits and adjust automatically based on your routine and have lots of other quality of life improvements. Smart technology is everywhere these days, I even use Nest smart smoke and carbon dioxide alarms, which tell me on my phone if there’s a problem whilst I’m not at home!
Take a look at your windows and doors
A lot of warmth escapes through the windows. Open your curtains in the day to allow the warmth to come in through the sunlight, but once the light fades, make sure you close them to keep the warmth trapped overnight. You can get thermal curtains which are extremely good at keeping the warmth in – we use them in our static caravan which doesn’t have central heating and it really does make a difference.
You also want to check that there are no draughts coming in through the windows. You can buy a roll of insulating tape which is really simply to add around windows and doors (it’ll be invisible when they’re closed and blends in well when open) and it’ll plug up any draughts. Window and door draught excludes can also be placed on the floor or window sill.
Check your flooring and roll out a rug
Wooden flooring is currently extremely popular – but it doesn’t provide any floor insulation. You’ll probably find the floor is very cold when you get up in the morning, making you immediately reach for the slippers. Your heat is being lost if you don’t have a rug on the floor, so consider a winter rug in large areas that don’t have carpeting. Your heating bill we be lower and your toes will be appreciative too!
This is a collaborative post.