As the seasons change and we start approaching those dreaded winter months, no doubt the question of how you can keep your houses and families warm has begun to enter your mind. To make matters worse, with the cost of heating and electricity due to rise in the UK by 30% come April, it’s unsurprising that homeowners are now thinking of alternate ways to keep their homes warm in preparation for the colder months.
Thankfully, utility bills aren’t the only way to ensure that you and your family stay toasty this winter, and some of the ways you can do so might surprise you. By making a few simple changes to your household and maintaining a conscious effort to stick to these new methods, you can quickly heat your home and those within it without breaking the bank.
From investing in handy tools like smart thermostats and thermal vertical blinds to simple acts like closing doors and doubling up on sweaters or socks instead of running to the thermostat when you feel a chill. This winter, you can tell your father to stand down from his usual post in front of the thermostat because, in this article, we outline several ways for keeping your house warm this upcoming winter without solely relying on utilities.
Upgrade To Smart Technology
As the colder months begin to draw nearer, it’s an appropriate time to start thinking about your heating systems, what you could do to reduce your utility bills, and if your existing system is due for an upgrade. You can endeavor to improve your heating system in many ways, but arguably updating your thermostat is one of the simplest.
A popular option for homeowners looking to upgrade their heating system and save money on their energy bills is investing in a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats can be helpful in many ways and depending on whether you have a smart home system, it can even connect with that to use its information and get real-time weather updates direct from the internet.
Intelligent thermostats have become so popular amongst homeowners because, unlike traditional thermostats, you must remember to set back if you adjust the temperature. In contrast, smart thermostats automate and save you preferences, so it’s easier to switch between settings.
Additionally, these gadgets can also be controlled via your mobile phone, use real-time data and weather to control your home’s temperature, protect against frozen pipes, plus many more benefits.
Many models and styles of smart thermostats exist, so it may be beneficial for you to shop around before you decide to purchase one and use internet guides to help find the best thermostat for your needs.
Pay Attention To Your Window Space
You’d be surprised at how much heat can escape your home because of your windows; it is estimated that around 10-25% off your overall heating bill is due to heat lost through windows. Therefore, it is equally important to prioritize your windows and the space around them when winter-proofing your home.
You can improve the quality of your windows in many ways. From investing in double glazing, utilizing your curtains, sealing any open spaces with press-in-place rope caulk, creating pockets of dead air by purchasing kits containing plastic film and double-sided tape, or investing in aesthetic yet practical elements like thermal vertical blinds.
If you’re interested in the latter heat-effective option, peruse the range of thermal blinds from Lifestyle Blinds, whose website is full of a range of blinds designed to help keep your family warm in winter yet cool in summer. Look at their website for more information about their product offering and consider enlisting their services for a warmer home this upcoming winter.
Move Your Furniture Around
Another simple way to keep your house and family warm and save money on utility bills this upcoming winter is by thinking about the layout of your furniture. Covering radiators with furnishings will prevent heat from traveling freely around the room, no matter how small the blockage may be.
Additionally, you will feel colder if you’re sitting against an external wall instead of an internal one, so it’s also within your best interest (and your wallets!) to ensure that furniture is positioned against internal walls.
Therefore, before the winter months are upon us, it would be beneficial to survey the rooms in your house and see if any of your radiators or furnishings could be affected by these two problems. You’ll find that repositioning your furniture and uncovering all radiators will help you and your family feel snugger and that you’ll be less likely to touch the thermostat by doing so.
Identify Any Potentially Draughty Areas
If your property is dated, you might find that you’ll be more susceptible to draughts than those families living in new-build houses. Since older homes are less likely to have double glazed windows or reinforced doors, heat is more likely to escape outside. Ensure that you assess all your window frames and doors to see any visible gaps that could be filled with door brush strips or expandable foam in your window’s case.
Worst case scenario, you may have to consider replacing the offending windows or doors with newer, double-glazed ones. Alternatively, if you are on a tight budget, you could consider investing in draught stoppers available at an affordable cost from most stores. Or, if you think yourself a confident DIY-er, you could look at making your own draught excluder which only requires a piece of fabric and filling it with dried peas, rice, or another weighty substance.
Although slightly more evident than our other suggestions, striving to close the door behind you after you exit or enter each room is another simple yet effective way to stop heat from escaping.
Use Blankets, Hot Water Bottles, And Warm Clothing
Perhaps one of our more obvious yet practical suggestions, one way to break your habit of reaching for the thermostat each time you feel a chill is by making the most out of blankets, hot water bottles, and doubling up on warm clothing. Ensure to keep a blanket or a few draped across the backs of sofas or the bottom of beds during winter months, so that family members and guests will reach for those before the thermostat.
You could also enforce a rule amongst members of the household that the heating will only be turned on if everyone is wearing warm clothing (plus socks!) and still feels cold to try and minimize the amount of usage the thermostat gets. You could also encourage family members to use hot water bottles during intense periods of cold, whether they are relaxing on the sofa or heading to bed.
Let The Sunlight In During The Day
Providing that the daytime is still relatively sunny, it’s worthwhile to keep your curtains open during the winter months so that the sunlight warms your house during the day. The sun is a natural (and free!) source of heat, so taking advantage of it when you can is well worth the pennies saved on your utility bill. Just make sure that you close your curtains or blinds as soon as the sun goes down, though, as this will give your house a more significant opportunity to retain the free heat.