It is the middle of October, it is getting colder and we bet you are experiencing that internal fight of ‘do I turn up the heating to stay warm and suffer the consequences financially or do I just put up with the cold and keep more money in my pocket?’ Well, before you decide between being an ice cube or cranking up your thermostat, we are here to offer you a third option – ways to stay warm without turning up your heating. Mind blowing, right?
We’ve collated a few easy ways you can achieve this seemingly impossible scenario. And we don’t mean massive structural changes to your house (like ripping your house apart and installing new insulation), because, let’s be honest, that sort of advice isn’t going to help you in that moment when you are sat on the sofa feeling like icicles might start forming on the end of your nose. What we are talking about are the clever fixes you can implement relatively quickly that will give you the best of both worlds – genuinely staying warm without actually turning your heating up and experiencing that dreaded feeling of the giant energy bill that will eventually come your way.
Get your house draught proofed
You are probably aware that we are quite big fans of draught proofing and there is a good reason! IT WORKS whilst being easy, cost effective and a pretty quick way for you to feel warmer without going anywhere near your thermostat. It is one of the best ways to stay warm without turning up your heating.
If you have a house with an open chimney (regardless of whether you have an active fireplace or not), we would always suggest draught proofing your chimney first. It is often the biggest source of heat loss in homes because it is pretty much like leaving a giant window open. The Building Research Establishment (BRE) states that 80 cubic metres of air is lost out of a chimney per hour. Yes, you did read that right, per hour – all that lovely warm air you are paying for going straight out the chimney – not so much throwing money down the drain but rather throwing it up your chimney! In all seriousness though, it is quite a devastating thought, isn’t it? Due to the stack effect, an open chimney can also cause other draughts in the home to become worse. You can read more about the stack effect in one of our previous blog posts, here.
The best way to draught proof your chimney is with one of our removable chimney draught excluders, a Chimney Sheep®. These are made with 100% Herdwick wool and will plug your chimney to stop warm air escaping, immediately making your room feel warmer. We’ve had lots of tests and research done on our Chimney Sheep® which have shown that by using a Chimney Sheep® you can stop about 4.5% of your household heat from escaping, This will reduce your heating bills by about £50 per year, per chimney, all without going anywhere near that thermostat of yours! You can estimate how much your home might save in energy costs by using our savings calculator.
So, what about your other draught sources? You can track down all those pesky draughts, then use our Smoke Pencil to help! The most common though are windows and doors which can be easily fixed. Take a look at some of our other draught proofing measures like our letter box covers, keyhole covers and door draught excluders which will ensure you keep your warm air in your home where it belongs.
Have a bit of a rearrange
To ensure your radiators, indoor heat vents, and registers are heating rooms properly, make sure they aren’t blocked. By that we mean blocked by furniture, curtains, wet washing, the dog’s bed and anything else that might be in their way! It is a good excuse to have a bit of a rearrange and will mean that heat is able to circulate efficiently throughout your room, warming your room fully (rather than just the back of your sofa!).
If you are concerned about how you are going to dry your washing without your radiator, we have a rather nifty solution. Our Laundry Mac allows you to dry your washing outside whatever the weather. It is basically a raincoat for your laundry that fastens onto three-armed and four-armed rotary dryers and ensures you can dry your washing come rain or shine. It will take a bit longer than if you put it next to your radiator but it will ensure your home is kept cosy. It also dispels the need for a tumble dryer which of course is a great way to save on your electricity costs!
Install some radiator foil reflectors
Radiator foil reflectors are a super simple but clever way to help your radiators work as efficiently as possible. They are just foil panels that you can install yourself to any external walls with radiators attached.
So how do they work? Well, radiators heat up on both sides, radiating heat both into a room, and into the wall behind it. That heat can simply be lost to the outside if your radiator is placed on an external wall, especially if you have thin single skin walls. Reflectors are installed behind the radiator and help prevent that heat from being lost by reflecting the heat back into the room keeping your house warmer without having to turn your radiators or thermostat up!
On external solid walls that have no insulation, having radiator reflectors can save over £4 per radiator per year! A simple fix that it is a bit of a no brainer in our eyes!
Try thermal curtains
Many of us change our duvets from summer duvets to winter duvets as it gets colder so why not change your curtains too? Changing or modifying your curtains for the winter months can help to stop heat loss through your windows and is particularly effective if you don’t have double glazing.
Replacing your curtains for the winter is a great way to give your rooms a little ‘winter makeover’. You can get some really affordable thermal curtains from high street shops such as, Dunelm. These will either have an extra layer of fabric between the outer fabric and the lining or will just have a special thermal lining to help keep the warmth in.
For those of you who want to be a bit more extravagant and get new curtains made then we would suggest looking at velvet materials or even upholstery fabrics. They are much thicker than normal curtain materials and again, will help to conserve heat. If you are handy with a sewing machine, then Lauren Guthrie (a finalist on The Great British Sewing Bee) has a brilliant tutorial on how to make your own triple-layer curtains on the National Trust’s website!
This may seem like an obvious one (and perhaps the solution your parents used to suggest when you were a child!) but wearing lots of layers whilst you are at home is one of the easiest ways to stay warm without turning up your heating. This is particularly important if you are working from home at the moment. Usually when we are in an office environment it is slightly easier to stay warm because of the number of bodies and the heat generated by computers and other forms of machinery, whereas when we are at home, working from our spare rooms alone, staying warm becomes a lot harder.
Rather than just putting on one big sweatshirt, make sure you wear lots of lighter layers. Each layer will trap a bit of warmth which makes it a much more effective way to keep cosy. Keeping your extremities layered up is important too. Ladies, we tend to get colder feet than men because of circulation differences so make sure you have some socks on and maybe a pair of slippers too. We love adding our Snug Feet wool insoles into our slippers for an extra layer of warmth.
A hot water bottle at your desk or when you are sat on the sofa is always a nice idea too – sometimes the old ways are the best! Just make sure you boil the kettle for just the amount of water you need to fill your hot water bottle (or a bit more if you plan on making a cuppa at the same time) to ensure you don’t waste any unnecessary electricity.
So, there you have it – easy ways to stay warm without turning up your heating. Stay toasty!