How to Keep Your Home Warm
With Autumn well underway and Winter just around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to look at some effective ways to keep your home warm and energy efficient over the next few months. There are quite a few simple steps you can take before the cold weather sets in to improve energy efficiency and they don’t have to cost the earth (if you will pardon the pun!).
Check Your Loft Insulation
Most heat is lost through the roof of your home so getting up into the loft to check the insulation is important while the weather is still mild. Over time, insulation will be flattened and begin to degrade. Ideally, you want a minimum of 270mm depth of insulation to meet current insulation standards. If your insulation hasn’t been updated for a long time, it probably means that it’s below this level. The good news is that loft insulation is easy to install. It not only lowers heat loss through the roof, but it should also reduce your heating bills over the winter as your home will stay warmer for longer. A sound investment all round.
The Energy Saving Trust claim that about a third of all the heat lost in an uninsulated home escapes through the walls! Newer homes built from 1990 are likely to have cavity wall insulation, older homes are more likely to have solid walls. To find out more about cavity wall insulation visit the Energy Saving Trust website.
Update Window and Door Seals
Another area where we can often lose a lot of heat during the winter months is around the doors and windows. If these are relatively old, it’s worth checking the seals to make sure they are intact. Look to see if the seals have become dried and cracked or damaged. Buying and fitting new window and door seals is a quick and easy way to keep your home warm, particularly for areas like the front and back door which see the most traffic.
Invest in Some Draught Excluders
If you live in an older home, you might find individual rooms get a little draughty on occasion. The simplest answer is to invest in a few draft excluders that can fit at the base of the door. You can get some that are screwed onto the frame of the door or simply opt for portable ones that you can be laid at the bottom of the door. These will stop those drafts and keep the heat in.
Hang Heavier Curtains
Another simple solution to improve the warmth of your home is to invest in some heavier curtains. You may have the option of adding a thermal lining to your existing curtains, this will work just as well as buying new. Installing an old-fashioned pelmet can also help, particularly if you have a curtain rail that protrudes from the window. You’ll immediately see the difference this makes to your comfort on even the coldest of days.
Close the Doors, Keep the Heat In
It seems really simple but you’d be amazed the amount of heat that is lost by not closing internal doors. Especially in bigger houses that have draughty areas, open doors generally mean that cold air circulates a lot more and therefore it will take longer to warm individual rooms. Keep the doors closed, trap the heat in.
Move Furniture Away From Radiators
It’s surprising the number of homes where the sofa or other large items of furniture is pushed up against a radiator. Yes, it looks neat, and tidy, but it also effectively blocks the heat. If you are using your heating system, pull your furniture out so that the radiators can do what they do best.
Control Your Thermostat via Your Phone
If you want more control over your heating, consider installing a Smart Thermostat System, that way you can control your thermostat via a smartphone. You then choose when to put the heating on by simply tapping on a dedicated app. For example, if you’re at work and want to make sure your home is nice and warm before you get in, you can simply set the temperature and switch it on. It’s a great idea for those who have busy lifestyles and means you will only use your heating when you need it which of course helps you to keep control of your utility bills.
Stay Away from Portable Electric Heaters
Whilst very effective at providing warmth fast, they consume vast amounts of energy! Usually it is more energy efficient and therefore more cost effective to use your heating system, especially if you have a gas system.