As has been widely reported, many people are currently facing a brutal choice between heating and eating. Other people can heat and eat but still need to be very careful about how they manage their money. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, here are some tips on how to save heat. They can help you to save money you can use for food.
Give your windows extra insulation
Hopefully, you have already made sure that your windows fit snugly in their frames. If you haven’t, then deal with this as a priority. Ill-fitting windows are a common source of household drafts.
Your next step is to invest in window insulation film. This will help to protect against heat loss even if your windows are double-glazed. If your windows are single-glazed, using window insulation film can make a huge difference. If you have windows that are essentially for decoration, consider backing them with cardboard for even more insulation.
Please note window insulation film is different from window privacy film. Make sure you buy the right type of film, especially if you’re ordering online.
Also, close your curtains as soon as it gets too dark for you to get any useful daylight in your home. Closing them earlier will require you to put on lighting. This means that you’re unlikely to save much, if anything, overall. Closing them later, however, allows valuable heat to escape for no benefit.
Try to create a closed-in hallway
You are going to have to open your front door from time to time. Unfortunately, just opening an exterior door for long enough to walk through it can really lower the temperature in your home.
If you can, try to minimise the impact of this by creating a closed-in hallway. For example, try to hang a curtain slightly behind your door so it acts as a barrier to the cold. If you can’t hang a curtain, try using a freestanding room divider. Just make sure that it can be moved easily. This is important if people need to get to or from the door quickly.
Definitely put draft excluders (brushes) in your letterbox. If there is a gap between your exterior door and your floor, put them there too. Keeping your home sealed from the elements is the absolute best way to lower your heating bills.
Be careful when you open your back door
If you have a back door, ideally, you should try to create a closed-in hallway there too. Realistically, however, this is unlikely to be a practical option for most houses. In the UK at least, back doors are generally in kitchens. There is hence unlikely to be free space to create a hallway area of any sort.
That being so, your next-best option is simply to keep your back door closed as much as possible. Ideally, keep it totally closed during the hours of darkness when the temperature is at its lowest. This is simple in theory but may take a little planning and/or organisation to apply in practice. For example, it requires you to do tasks like taking out recycling at certain times.
Your back door is unlikely to have a letterbox. It may, however, have a gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. If it does, seal it up. Again, brushed draft excluders are usually the most convenient way to do this. They can be attached to the door so they move when it moves.
Take care of your radiators
Make sure that your radiators are clear of blockages such as furniture placed too close to them. Not only does this waste heat but it’s also a fire hazard. Put foil behind your radiators to reflect heat back into your room. Proper radiator foil really is best but regular aluminium foil will do. If possible, put shelves above your radiators and line them with foil too.
Check your radiators regularly when they’re on for signs of uneven heating. If you detect them, bleed your radiator.