This time of year can be expensive enough with Christmas on it's way, without paying out extra for our heating bills. To keep the home a little warmer, you may have to invest a little initially, but you could save a fortune in gas bills, not to mention any electric heating you use too. Often though, it can be one 'cold spot' in the home that we struggle with, but whatever the problem is there will be an affordable solution.
Just like adding an extra cardi or coat for us, adding layers to your home can be hugely beneficial by not only keeping the cold out, but also the warm in and the energy bills down. I've put together ten ways by which you can combat the cold problem this winter and maybe even improve the look of your home in some ways too. It's not always the obvious things like adding loft or wall insulation, but sometimes just making small changes can make the biggest difference. Check out these ideas;
10 Simple Ways To Add Warmth To Your Home
Add a rug Adding a simple rug to a room, whether it's carpet or hard floor can reduce heat loss in the room by around 10%. Having bigger or more insulated rugs can only mean more heat will be saved, so choose wisely and find one that's built to last, especially if you have kids.
Add window shutters Before adding your jumper or cardigan (curtains) you want to add your vest (shutters or blinds!). This layer doesn't block out the cold completely, but allows air flow and reduces the amount of heat that can be lost, or cold bouncing back into the room, as well as still providing much needed winter sunshine.
Use the heat from your oven When dinner has been cooked, don't shut the door and waste all that heat you've just waited on. If it's safe to do so (pets and kids out the way), then leave the door open after it's switched off and utilise that free, otherwise gone to waste heat.
Check your radiators Make sure your radiators are heating properly, if they aren't heating all the way up, using a cheap radiator key from any DIY store you can bleed the air out making them more efficient. Anything more than this though, call in the pros and get it all checked out.
Thick curtains or double up When it comes to curtains, quality makes a huge difference, especially if you want them to perform and not just look pretty. As well as black out curtains, you can get thermal lined ones, extra thick ones or even sew in your own layer of cosy fleece to pump up the heat. If needs be, pop up a second pair on the rail, double up, reduce heat loss and if hung correctly this could even look pretty stunning when opened for day time.
Use foil Buying built for purpose foil sheets from your DIY store, or creating your own, placing a board of foil behind radiators ensures that all heat projected outwards will bounce back into the room instead of heating walls. This is especially effective on radiators attached to outside walls as opposed to internal, as the heat will be lost almost instantly. You can simply cover cardboard in good quality tin foil and pop behind your radiator, but proper insulation sheets that reflect heat will work better.
Block draughts Whether you bring out the old stuffed toy sausage dog, roll up a towel or get stuck into some serious DIY, get those draughty gaps filled. Gaps in windows may be taped, gaps under doors covered with a draught strip or draught excluder, but if you have any major issues, get in touch with a contractor that can sort it properly for you.
Change your sheets Winter is a great time to invest in new bedding, it's always thicker and cosier when it's new. Aside from this, buying new sheets and bedding in a warmer fabric such as brushed cotton or jersey can make bed time a whole lot hotter, with less of a cold feeling when you first get in.
Double glaze or fake it Double glazing can be really effective and there is no doubt it massively helps keep our homes warm. It is expensive though, so if you are without double glazing, you may want to look at ways of faking it, from seriously 'do it yourself' with bubble wrap and tape, to purpose built faux double glazing sheets designed for this very thing, for a fraction of the cost.
Block unused fireplaces If you don't use your fireplace, whether it's short or long term, get it blocked! So much heat can be lost through an open chimney, but by simply having a chimney balloon put in or having it blocked completely can reduce the heat waste greatly.
There are lots of ways to add a little extra heat to our homes and it doesn't always have to cost the earth. Think about the biggest areas that are letting the side down, such as wood floors in a big room, radiators on outside walls or maybe even cheap thin curtains in your bay window. It all adds to the problem, so if we start by tackling those major offenders we're off to a good start. For me, it's definitely our conservatory and bay window that need a little TLC and layering!
Do you have any issues with cold spots in your home?
This is a collaborative post. All words and thoughts are my own.