The festive season is finally upon us! However, with the fairy lights and mulled wine comes the Baltic conditions and the rising heating bills; the endless quest continues.
The internet of things is enabling us to make sure that we can turn our heating on remotely, or even up a notch when its particularly biting outside, but this only resolves half the problem, in the words of the fastidious Dwight Schrute, “ Gas ain’t free!”.
So just how do we pay homage to the perfect Christmas image of cosying up at home without running the risk of mortgaging our homes? Read on for a guide to retain both your warmth and your bank balance.
Make Your Radiators Work for You
Around 35% of heat is lost through walls, including those internal ones. Lining the back of your radiators with heat reflective aluminium foil will stop heat being absorbed into the walls and reflect it back into the room.
Remove any furniture that is in front of radiators, especially furniture that is upholstered such as sofas, arms chairs and large foot stools as they will absorb the heat.
Using shelves above a radiator can help to prevent the hot air rising and channel the heat into the room, reducing the amount that is lost. This is particularly effective in older properties with high ceilings.
Consider Your Soft Furnishings
The increase in home improvements such as conservatory’s and orangeries also means an increase in the volume of glass and unfortunately the new additions get made redundant over the festive season.
Paul Matthews from AH Orangeries offers some advice, “Glass will never insulate your property as much as an insulated cavity brick wall so it’s important to invest in the highest quality insulating glazing to retain as much heat as possible, this is known as a ‘u-value’ and should be as low as possible, a good quality double glazed unit should achieve a u-value of 1.0u W/m²K”.
To combat losing heat through glass doors and windows, invest in thick, floor length curtains to prevent heat escaping from the If you already have some floor length curtains but they could do with a little extra heat retaining power then making some lining for them.
Wooden floors are highly sought over and incredibly practical as well as aesthetically pleasing, but they also make a room seem much colder. If you have original floor boards, the gaps could be causing small drafts, so using a wood filler to stop this is a good idea. Using rugs on both traditional and modern wooden floors can prevent loss of heat through floors (roughly 10%) as well as keeping our feet warm!
The Old Favourites
There is always advice that has been given to us (usually by our parents!) which we fail to act on. Age old areas to retain in are as follows:
Draft excluders – Who can remember the sausage dog draft excluder?? Well fear not because you CAN find one that it more appealing. They might old fashioned, but they are certainly worth using.
Boiler Jackets – Unfortunately, our boilers don’t run as efficiently in the winter and they need a lot more energy to keep the home and water warm. Giving it a warm winter jacket means it will do a great job in returning the favour.
Lofts – 35% of a home’s heat is lost through the roof, so take the time to make sure the loft space is properly insulated.
“People use lofts for storage, so they get put off the hassle clearing it out ready to be insulated,” admits Peter Chisnall from the Energy Saving Trust, “But if you have the recommended depth of 27cm insulation, it’s like putting a hat on your house – amazing at keeping the heat in.”