Winter is coming and with it shorter and darker days that push us to spend more time indoors, oftentimes equipped with a warm drink and extra layers. As much as the winter months have a very special charm that you could not replicate, the cold temperatures can easily start creeping into our properties, as the chill seems to squeeze through gaps in our homes we didn’t even know were there.
Naturally, our first instinct is to simply turn the heating on more often, and keep it on for longer periods of time. As much as this can get the temperatures up, it will also increase the cost of our monthly bills - which during the cost of living crisis is likely to put a large strain on our budgets.
Additionally, increased use of electricity due to spending more time indoors, keeping lights on for longer periods of time, and relying on things such as electric heaters and blankets will put a strain on our budgets further, which are already overstretched as we approach the festive period and shift our focus from saving to spending mode.
Taking that into account, there are ways you can still enjoy a warm and cosy winter indoors without unnecessary spikes in your bills. We have outlined seven different methods you can utilise to winter-proof your home this season.
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1. Install draught excluders
It is estimated that about 35% of heat in a home escapes collectively through poorly insulated walls and gaps around doors and windows. Adding insulation to your walls and floors is ideal to add efficiency to your home, however, can be expensive and time-consuming. A good alternative is installing draught excluders throughout your home.
These can come in different shapes and forms, and you can decide what will work best for you by conducting a draught test around your home. Once you find any gaps and cracks which are clearly letting in cold air, prioritise them and patch them up first. You can then install draught excluders on your letterbox, at the bottom of your external doors, as well as apply a thin layer of insulating tape to the seals of your windows to really keep that heat in.
2. Fit radiator reflectors
Depending on the construction of your house, and the amount and quality of insulation in it, you may find that a lot of the heat generated by your radiators escapes through the walls behind them. Radiator reflectors are a simple and affordable solution to this problem.
Radiator reflectors consist of a thin layer of insulating foam covered with a reflective layer on one side. These can be installed right behind the radiator, and help reflect the heat away from the wall reflecting more of it towards the greater room and helping you heat your property more quickly and efficiently.
3. Insulate your pipes
Insulating tubes can be very affordable and you can easily install them around any visible pipes in your home. Doing so, can aid in preventing heat loss, particularly when targeting pipes that take hot water from your boiler or your hot water taps. You can commonly find these in airing cupboards or under kitchen or bathroom sinks.
4. Check your hot water cylinder
A hot water cylinder jacket can be easily purchased online, and when applied can effectively help you save on energy costs by keeping more heat in. Before fitting one, make sure you carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions and aim for a jacket that is at least 80mm thick to maximise savings.
5. Fit in a security system
As much as fitting in a security system may not necessarily help you save on your bills over the winter period, statistics show that the darker and colder nights can lead to an increase in burglaries. This is caused by poorer visibility, as well as the growing piles of presents often containing valuables that can attract burglars.
Fitting in a security system or installing security features around your home such as motion-activated lights, clearly displayed CCTV signs and smart window sensors can not only help you stay safe during the colder months but also avoid unpleasant surprises, like waking up to your Christmas presents being gone!
6. Bleed your radiators
It’s good practice to bleed your radiators at least once a year, to ensure they work effectively and efficiently. The ideal time to do so is right before the winter, in order to have them working in tip-top condition for the colder months when we will rely on heating a lot more.
You can easily bleed your radiators on your own, just make sure they are cold and your heating system is switched off. By doing this, you are letting out excess air that gets trapped inside throughout the year, and ensuring your property gets heated faster.
7. Declutter your gutters
Have you checked your gutters recently? Leaves, moss, and other debris can build up your gutter if not maintained properly, causing problems down the line. This can be particularly prominent when entering the winter months as residual leaves may now be clogging up your gutters, reducing water flow and causing many problems such as potential leaks into your property.
Cleaning your gutters can be simple but physically intensive, therefore you may want to hire a professional who will be able to do this for you.