Energy prices are set to increase this autumn/winter due to supply and demand on the global wholesale market.

As a result, providers have experienced an increase in pricing that has been passed on to the consumer.

As much of the UK is mindful of their post-pandemic finances, Michael Reading at Housetastic presents 10 cost-effective ways to heat your home.

Rejig your furniture

Think about the position of your furniture, as keeping bulkier items such as sofas or wardrobes in certain areas may result in you spending more on your energy bills.

“Any furniture which covers radiators will prevent heat from travelling around the room,” Reading explains. “Even just a partial blocking will limit the amount of heat omitted.”

Reading explains another way to keep warm in the winter is to move your furniture away from any external walls.

“You will notice the colder air more if you are sat against an external wall, so try and keep furniture against internal walls. You will feel more comfortable and less obliged to turn the heating on.”

Terracotta heater

A terracotta heater is a great way to keep warm without using any energy. The idea behind a terracotta heater is it heats up slowly and retains heat well, meaning up to three terracotta pots can be powered by just one candle.

“A terracotta heater can be a great DIY alternative to turning the heating on, as all you need are a few clay pots and candles,” Reading explains.

Insulation

Although this is a more expensive method, making sure your home is properly insulated is one of the most cost-effective ways to save you money in the long run.

“Insulating walls is a key part of having a thermal-efficient, and therefore more eco-friendly home, as heat is retained inside,” Reading explains. “While the average budget for renovating a full house can be up to £7,000, the savings that come from doing this are worthwhile.”

Remove autopilot

It is common to turn the heating on as soon as the temperature starts to drop, however, this can be a costly habit.

“If possible, try and see whether or not you really need to turn the heating on, especially when it’s earlier in the autumn months,” Reading advises. “Set a timer early in the morning so your home is nice and warm as you get ready for the day, and perhaps set a timer in the early evenings, but generally the heating does not need to be on all day.”

If you do insist on turning the heating on, be mindful of what temperature you set it to.

“It is estimated that turning the thermostat down by just one degree can save up to 10% on a fuel bill, not to mention the amount of energy,” Reading reveals. “Assess whether you really need to turn the heating to its highest temperature and instead aim for a comfortable heat.”

Hang a shelf above a radiator

Hanging a shelf just above a radiator is actually a great compliment to the radiator as it helps distribute the radiator’s heat more evenly.

“By hanging a shelf just above a radiator, the shelf acts almost like a shield, helping to shift heat outwards from the radiator, rather than letting the heat rise up to the ceiling,” Reading explains.

It is recommended you bleed all radiators at least once a year
It is recommended you bleed all radiators at It is recommended you bleed all radiators at least once a yearleast once a year

Bleed your radiator

Check your radiator to assess whether or not it is heating up properly, as if there are cold spots present then you may need to bleed it.

“When radiators have cold spots present, this is a sign that there is air trapped inside them,” Reading explains. “This trapped air stops the warm water from properly circulating your radiator and results in taking longer to heat up your room.”

It is recommended you bleed all radiators at least once a year and doing so is fairly straightforward, as explained by Reading:

Block your chimney

As the weather turns, you may start to notice an excessive draught coming from the chimney. Although fireplaces can be the main focal point in a living room, the reality is an open chimney can result in unwanted draughts and heat escaping.

“Blocking a chimney can be the only viable option in these circumstances, however you must be careful to do this properly,” Reading explains. “Never seal off the top of the chimney, especially if you do use your fireplace, as this will seal the heat inside the chimney and can cause extreme overheating.”

Reading continues “instead, if your fireplace is out of use, then a temporary cover for it should help retain the heat inside while keeping the draughts away from circulating the room.”

Analyse drafts

Many older properties, with single glazed windows and doors, may result in allowing outdoor air inside and the heat to escape outside. “Assess all of your windows and doors and see whether there are gaps in the frame which allow draughts to move freely.

If there are significant draughts which can’t be easily covered, then it would be worth investing in stronger doors with at least double glazing,” Reading advises.

“If your budget doesn’t permit replacing doors and windows, or if you are renting and aren’t allowed to make substantial changes, then invest in draught stoppers which can be used to cover up holes in frameworks. This, however, is not a long-term solution.”

A heating thermostat on a wall
Turning the heating down by even 1 degree could save 10 per cent off of your next bill

Use curtains

A considerable amount of heat is lost through a home’s windows; however, curtains are a great solution to preventing this from becoming any worse.

“Curtains aid in heat retention, working to restrict the flow of air between the warmth of your home to the cold outside,” Reading explains. “Heavier curtains will act as a barrier, preventing air from flowing from the window.”

Rugs

Uninsulated floors can account for up to 10% of heat loss, especially if the floors are bare and not properly insulated.

“If you have wooden flooring, with considerable gaps between the planks, then thick rugs can prevent the warm air from escaping,” Reading explains.

Wooden floor planks do contract and shrink with changing temperatures, so it is important to keep an eye on this. If you notice the gaps becoming considerably larger, then it would be worth filling the gaps with filler. This will help keep the floorboards safe and should keep the air inside.

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