Winter is coming. Sorry to get all Jon Snow about it, but the UK snow forecast tells us that it’s about to get Arctic (and not the fun ice cream roll kind), with gloomy predictions of freezing snow blowing in from Scandinavia in the next week.
So, if your home could be warmer, and you don’t want to be scraping frost from the inside of your windows, it’s time to start taking a few precautions to make sure you stay toasty indoors.
But, short of dashing out to a DIY shed for insulation to install in your loft tomorrow or getting a smart thermostat to control your heating (we'd do both those anyway as soon as you can), what can you do to make your home instantly warmer, without burning a hole in your bank balance?
Happily, the heat-loving penny pinchers at NetVoucherCodes.co.uk (opens in new tab) have some quick and easy advice for us on how to optimise warmth in our homes and keep heating bills low – one of the largest expenses for UK families.
Find out more about heating your home in our expert guide to everything from boilers to underfloor heating.
1. Put tin foil behind the radiators
An oldie but a goodie. Cutting sheets of foil to fit behind radiators works by reflecting hot air back into the room rather than allowing it to drift away through cold exterior walls.
2. Move your furniture
We are always up for a little room makeover and reorganising the layout is a good place to start. If a bulky sofa or chair is blocking a radiator, it will trap the heat there. See if you can relocate it and let the warmth flow through the room.
3. Close your curtains
You’ve taken the time to choose beautiful patterned/coloured blinds or curtains. Pull them together/down and stop that warm air from seeping through glass windows at night.
4. Turn that thermostat down
Your home doesn’t need to be at tropical temperature. Every single degree lower could save you several pounds per week. Experts recommend 18ºC as an ambient level, rather than a costly 20ºC to 25ºC. Feeling the chill? Kids complain. Put more layers on. As the Norwegians say, 'There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing' (or something like that). But then, they're used to it.
5. Leave the oven door open after cooking
Once you are done making your meal, let the heat escape from the oven when it's switched off and release a box full of 200ºC air into the kitchen.
6. Buy a rug (or two)
You won’t feel cold walking around the house with a snug rug over gappy wooden floorboards or on laminate flooring. They’re insulating and an easy way to cosy up your home for winter.
7. Keep a jumper on
As mentioned! This will probably get an eye roll from the kids, but more layers keep you warmer. So when you get home from work/school take off your coat and put a jumper on. The more clothes you wear, the less the heating will be on and you’ll be saving cold hard cash in no time.
8. Draught-proof your rooms
Plugging little holes around the house will make a big difference to your heating bills. Gaffer tape can be used to seal cracks in floors and walls, while the bottom of doors could be blocked with a draught excluder. You can even DIY one stuffed with old clothes or towels.
9. Forage for firewood
Any fallen pieces of twigs and broken branches you find on a country/woodland walk can help eke out your supplies at home, and if your wood-burning stove can be used for longer, the central heating will need to be on less.
10. Get a hot water bottle
The old habits are the best; using a traditional hot water bottle in bed could cut out the need for an electric blanket, or for leaving the heating on at night.
11. Open curtains
Yes we know we just told you to close them, but if your room's getting a good dose of sunlight, opening the curtains up can warm it up, even in winter.
12. Close doors
Once the sun has set, close the doors to your living spaces or bedrooms to keep warmth in. And keep reminding the kids to shut them too.