With energy prices set to increase yet again, we’re preparing ourselves for a season of shorter days and hefty heating bills.
But we don’t just have to roll over and accept the spiralling prices, there are some things we can all do to keep costs down. The best way to do that is to make sure you’re keeping your home warm as the temperatures plummet.
We’re in for a bleak autumn, with experts predicting snow in October, so it is especially important to be smart about heating your home – if you want to avoid breaking the bank.
Once you’ve decided which day you’re going to actually start using the heating again, why not try these extra hacks from electric heating specialist Rointe, to help make sure you’re being as energy efficient as possible.
Ensure your windows are cold-proof
If you’re getting unwanted cold air in your home, it could be because your windows are not performing as well as they should be.
It’s estimated that up to 40% of your home’s energy escapes from your windows.
If you live in an older house that lets a lot of the outside air in, buying a smoke pen and following the trail will help you detect which draught spots need the most attention.
Adam Pawson, head of digital at Safestyle UK, explains: ‘Older windows tend to let a lot of the precious heat from your home escape, meaning that you’re using more energy than you probably need to when heating each room. Energy-efficient windows will not only make your home feel warmer and save you money on your energy bills, but they will also help to reduce your carbon footprint.
‘It’s never been more important to keep on top of window maintenance, checking that your windows meet the regulatory standard. A window’s overall thermal efficiency, solar gain (heat coming in from outside) and air leakage, contributes to its official rating, with anything above C considered good.’
Be smart with your heating
No matter how many jumpers and pairs of socks you plan to throw on, there will inevitably come a time when you need to turn on the heating.
Antonio Dengra at Rointe says: ‘While maintaining an average temperature in the home will help you achieve the perfect balance between efficient consumption and a pleasant living temperature, it also pays to be smart when it comes to using your heating.
‘A smart home system will allow you to only heat the rooms that are in use, rather than the full house which in turn will help lower your consumption.
‘Even better, investing in smart electric radiators will ensure 100% efficiency as all the electricity you use and pay for directly converts into heat – it can help to cut annual bills by up to 30% and is much more environmentally friendly too.’
Choose a temperature-regulating mattress
Falling asleep during chilly nights can be problematic, but sleeping with the heating on is often equally as unpleasant.
Rather than turning to hot water bottles and electric blankets as a way of staying cosy, consider your choice of mattress.
Jonathan Warren, director at bed specialist at Time4Sleep, shares his advice on how to choose the right mattress: ‘There are a number of mattress options available that can help regulate your body’s temperature.
‘The generation of elite gel memory foam mattresses include intelligent temperature regulating technology to help keep you cool in the summer and warm during autumn and winter. These mattresses include a temperature-regulating gel that adjusts with your body temperature, resulting in a truly refreshing night’s sleep.
‘Generally speaking, a memory foam mattress is usually the best option if you find yourself feeling cold at night due to the dense material which absorbs heat.’
Never hang your clothes on the radiator
If you don’t own a tumble dryer, you’ve more than likely made this mistake before but Antonio advises that it’s one of the worst things you can do.
‘Many people put wet clothes on top of radiators as a way of drying them, but it can have a negative effect on your heating bills,’ he says.
‘It doesn’t allow for proper air circulation, so your house will take longer to reach the desired temperature and it will therefore also increase consumption, as will positioning your furniture too close to your radiator.
‘It’s also not advisable from a safety point of view.’
Control the temperature with the right window dressing
Blinds and curtains aren’t just used for keeping the light out, they can also be used to effectively control the temperature in your home.
Jason Peterkin, director at 247 Blinds and 247 Curtains, shares his advice on how to use your window treatments during the colder months.
‘Wooden Venetian blinds or shutters are great for helping to retain the heat as the materials are generally thicker and essentially act as a barrier between your windows and the room,’ he says.
‘Wood is also a naturally good insulator, helping to keep the interior temperature comfortable and warm.
‘If you’re opting for fabric blinds or curtains, go for a thicker material such as blackout that blocks both sunlight and draughts. As a general rule with blinds, try to select a fabric without horizontal slats too as any gaps in the material will allow cold air through more easily.’
Prep your bed with a thicker duvet and cosy layers
Many of us opt for classic white cotton sheets when it comes to dressing the bed, but autumn is the perfect opportunity to inject a little colour and texture with cosy layers and opulent fabrics.
Not only is this a treat for the eye, it’s also the perfect way to create a warm and cosy sleeping environment.
Lucy Ackroyd, head of design at Christy explains: ‘My top tip to stay extra toasty and create a chic, on-trend bedroom is to layer up a variety of throws in different textures and complementary colours. Layers are proven to trap in heat and can be the perfect finishing touch to a beautifully dressed bed.
‘Changing your duvet to a higher tog during the colder months can also really help to keep you warm throughout the night; we’d recommend that you choose a tog of around 13.5 or higher.’
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