As the conversation heats up around the cost-of-living crisis, many of us are looking for the easiest ways to stay warm at home – without running up the bills, writes Sam Wylie-Harris (PA)
It was an unseasonably mild autumn, but winter is here – and we’d prefer to focus on the joys of the festive season, rather than worrying about energy bills.
If you wanted to keep household costs down and your home nice and cosy, there are a few simple steps you can take to make a difference…
Bleed the radiators
First up, ensure your heating system is working efficiently, with the boiler pressure set between one and two bars.
Any DIY shop will have a radiator key if you’ve mislaid yours. It’s important to bleed the radiators to get rid of any trapped air, making sure they’re working to full capacity. Just don’t forget an old tea towel to catch excess water that might leak out in the process.
Rearrange the furniture
It’s understandable to want your sofa or desk near the radiator – but make sure they’re not positioned so close that heat can’t circulate around the room.
Likewise, you might want to move your bed or favourite accent chair away from the window so you’re not sitting or sleeping in a draught. This is also a good opportunity to bring in bright colour schemes and soft furnishings to visually ‘warm up’ the room.
Keep the doors closed
No matter how small or big your space, a door left ajar is an invitation for heat to escape – so keep doors firmly closed to make the most of the warmth.
Fit self-adhesive foam strips
One of the easiest DIY tricks is to apply self-adhesive foam strips to windows and doors. Place the strips along window joints and door jams – wherever you might feel a draught – and it will help keep the cold at bay.
Sites such as Amazon have a variety of options in different thicknesses and lengths, some for less than £10.
Draw the curtains and blinds
Closing the curtains and blinds will help keep the warmth in – and one of the bonuses of the clocks going back is you won’t feel like you’re shutting out daylight when it starts to get dark around 4pm.
And if possible, now is probably a good time to remove any radiator covers (lovely as they look), to maximise hot air circulating around the room.
If you’re determined to really cut down on central heating costs, you could consider using small, portable heaters – such as oil-filled radiators or smart fan heaters.
An oil-filled radiator (Warmlite 650W Oil Filled Radiator, £29.99, Ryman) can be switched on wherever you are, and are brilliant at retaining heat. With an adjustable thermostat you can choose the temperature you want, and it’s easy to carry between rooms.
Alternatively, smart fan heaters are a super stylish option.
Think thermal curtains
Thermal curtain linings can be a lifesaver, with various options out there. Designed to block out light (making them excellent in the summer), they are also specially coated to reduce loss of heat and regulate room temperature throughout the year.
You can buy them ready-made, with eyelet and pencil pleat options, or opt for lining kits – which are designed to hang behind your existing curtains, so they’re hidden from view.
Check out Dunelm, which stocks Keep The Heat In Pencil Pleat Thermal Curtain Linings, priced from £10.
Hot water bottles aren’t just for bedtime
Hot water bottles have always been popular this time of year, and are a cheap and cheerful way to keep cosy. Right now, faux fur versions with pom poms are trending big time.
Whether it’s a shaggy rug, fluffy blankets, woolly jumpers or cosy socks – layers can help keep you warm inside.
Hats are also a brilliant way to preserve body heat.