When winter comes around, the temperature drops, the nights draw in and we dig out our thickest winter coats to stay warm. It’s the same every year, and with these chilly days and nights ahead, it’s all too tempting to stay indoors and turn up the heating full blast.
But with the price of gas and electricity prices at all-time highs, the coldest months of the year can take their toll on our bank balances. So if you don’t want to spend more than you can afford at this time of year, read our top tips to help you stay warm for less this winter.
Make sure you wear more
This may sound like common sense, but it’s worth mentioning because it can really make all the difference. Putting on an extra layer is a simple way to get warm and stay warm, and it might just mean that you don’t need to have your gas heating on so high.
If you’re just relying on the heating system in your home to warm you up, it’ll take a while to feel the difference. But if you slip on your favourite woolly jumper, you’ll feel it in an instant. So, before you reach for the boost button on your gas boiler, or you jump ahead of the timer and put your heating on earlier, wearing more clothing should be your first port of call.
Only heat the rooms you’re using
What’s the point in heating the whole house when you’re all sitting in the living room watching TV? Pop the thermostat up and suddenly every single radiator in your house will be working flat out, even if you’re not in the room. And that’s burning through your winter heating budget faster than you think.
If there are rooms in the house that you hardly ever (or never) use, it’s a good idea to make sure you turn the radiators in there down and close the door to keep the heat in. In addition, if you find it difficult to sleep in a warm bedroom, why not turn down the radiator in there, too? It’s wasteful to open the window to cool it down.
Keep your curtains shut
Preventing heat loss is another way to save money when winter comes around, and shutting the curtains is a simple way to keep the heat in. It’s even easier when you have thermal curtains, which are heavier and usually lined to stop heat escaping through inefficient windows.
If you don’t have thermal curtains, it could be worth making the investment for the rooms you use most (especially if you have single-glazed windows). They don’t cost too much more than standard drapes, and if you don’t want to completely replace your curtains, you could always buy thermal lining and attach it to your current ones. Either way, it’ll save you money on your bills in the long run, and you’re sure to feel cosier when you snuggle up on the sofa.
Don’t forget to seal the chimney
Do you have an open fireplace that you don’t use? If so, lots of warmth will be going to waste, and you’re sure to be burning money in heating costs as a result, even if you’re not burning anything else!
One way to prevent this is to have your chimney capped, but this could set you back around £200. There’s a cheaper alternative, though; instead, you could simply install a chimney balloon, which prevent draughts coming down and heat escaping from unused chimneys. They only cost around £30, and you’ll save plenty more over the years on your heating costs. As an added bonus, they’ll stop those whistling noises that come from your chimney on windy nights, too.
Switch your energy supplier
If you’ve been with the same energy provider for a long time, you might not be getting the best deal in town. It’s always worth shopping around to see how much you could be saving with other energy providers. Alternatively, you could give current suppliers like British Gas a call to see if they could give you a better price. Try and do it as soon as possible (before winter sets in, if you can); a simple call could make all the difference.