As the weather gets colder and colder, it’s a good idea to take another look at what you can do to optimise your heating. Heating your house can account for a huge percentage of your energy bill, and there’s nothing worse than paying for heat you never feel! This checklist should have you getting the most from your heating, and will keep your house warm in winter.
1. Stop the drafts
A draught excluder by the door, a chimney balloon, or even covers for your keyhole and letterbox can have a huge impact on stopping heat from escaping, and keeping you cosier!
Draught excluders can be very easily DIYed with some fabric or blanket and a little insulation (or even rice!)
2. Insulate your windows
Windows are a major source of heat loss. If you have single pane windows, consider installing storm windows. Newer storm windows open and close and can be left on throughout the year. This can be a much cheaper option than replacing all your windows, which will reduce heating costs but will not ‘pay for themselves’ for around 20 – 30 years.
For an EVEN easier option – try getting some window insulation film. This just covers your windows and is super simple to put in.
3. Bleed your radiators
If there’s trapped air in your radiator, it could be preventing effective heating. To fix this, find a radiator key the right size, and look for a small valve at the top of one side of your radiator. Turn off your heating, and make sure everything is entirely cool.
Turn the intake and exit valves to ‘open’, insert the key, and turn it anti-clockwise. You should hear a hissing, which is the trapped air leaving your radiator. Some water will also come out so it’s handy to have a rag on hand. When the water becomes a steady stream, turn the valve back off, and tighten.
4. Change out your curtains
Quilted or thick curtains can be installed in under 10 minutes and will stop drafts from entering through the window.
5. Invest in a heater
Space heaters can save you money by allowing you to warm a single room rather than the whole house.
6. Tin foil is your friend
A layer of tin foil behind your radiator reflects the heat and prevents it disappearing through the wall. You can buy foil specifically for this purpose, which works a little better than kitchen foil.
7. Seal leaks
8. Find the drafts
Spots around your house will let out the heat, for example, if the space around a socket has become worn over time. Finding these sources of lost heat will allow you to make your home more efficient. An infrared thermometer uses an LED light to identify warmer or colder spots.
Alternatively, you could invest in an energy audit for a detailed report.
9. Insulate your loft
A lot of heat can be lost if your loft isn’t well insulated. A quick, cheap fix to this is to purchase some loose-fill insulation and distribute this across your attic. Be careful not to fall through the floor if you do this yourself!
While you’re up there, we recommend checking up on existing insulation for damage (although if you have expanding foam insulation, don’t disturb this without the proper safety equipment).
10. Weatherstrip doors and windows
Weatherstirpping is attached to your door frame to keep light and air out once it’s closed. It’s a good idea to install it, to prevent drafts and wasted heating.
If you have weatherstripping, check for any leaks by slowly moving a lit candle around the perimeter of the door and seeing if the flame flickers.
Follow this checklist for an energy-efficient home – your wallet will thank you! If you’re looking to solve all the problems in your house, why not check out our article on 10 simple ways to repair things around the home? Want to get festive? We’ll show you how to make your tree last longer this Christmas.