Bring a little warmth to the home this autumn – top tips
The weather has certainly turned and many of us are playing the “should we” or “shouldn’t we” game of whether or not to put the central heating on.
And with energy costs soaring, we are all certainly keen to hold off as long as possible.
We all know that higher levels of home insulation can be a solution to keeping warmer and lowering costs, but for most people this level of major work is just not an option.
So what steps can we take to keep our homes warmer to delay switching on the heating until we absolutely have to?
Use soft furnishings to insulate
If you have a wooden, tiled or other kind of hard floor, now is the time to dig the rugs out of the loft. If you haven’t got any rugs rolled up and waiting to be rolled out, then perhaps start browsing in charity and second-hand shops or looking for online bargains, to see what you can afford. Covering up hard floors with carpets and rugs will help your rooms to stay warmer for longer.
Block off door draughts
Stopping the warm air from escaping and the cold air from coming in can certainly help keep a room warm. If you haven’t got any draught excluders try making them from old pillow cases stuffed with old socks and other unwanted rugs. Failing that, rolling up towels and blankets to put at the foot of a door can also work well. You can also buy special draught-proofing strips to put around doors.
Fill the gaps between floorboards
Stripped floorboards look lovely but they are a major problem when it comes to trying to keep the heat in and the draughts out. Certainly covering the floor with a rug will help. Another solution is to invest in a flexible silicone-based filler and then to take the time to fill as many gaps as possible.
Think about your windows
If you have rattly old windows, then you need to stop the draughts coming in here too. Again draught excluders can sometimes work well, but it does depend on your window design. Huge amounts of heat can be lost through windows anyway, whether or not they are draughty around the frames. The better the standard of glazing, then the greater the insulation, but, again, for most of us, replacing windows is simply not an option. Keeping curtains closed will always help a room to stay warmer and if you can afford to buy a pair of thermal curtains for the room you spend most time in, then this can be a solution too.
Check for other gaps in the home
Take the time to go round your house or flat looking for other places where heat might escape. Chimneys in older houses can be a prime place, but also check for holes around pipes and plumbing. This is always worth doing when you are getting your home ready for the cold season.
Prepare for when the heating does go on
Finally, now is the time to start planning how you will use your central heating when it does go on. Think about whether your boiler is due for a service. An efficient boiler won’t need to run for as long as an inefficient one to put out the same amount of heat. Make sure your thermostat and timer are also working well so you can ensure the heating only comes on when you really need it. Give your radiators a good dust and wipe down so the heat can be emitted effectively, and bleed your radiators to ensure they will work to their maximum capacity. Finally, if you have radiator covers, then ensure they conduct the heat properly. Lovely though they look, wooden radiator covers aren’t ideal for ensuring the heat gets to you without being absorbed along the way.