As the price of energy increases, many people are searching for ways to stay warm at home without putting the heating on. With the energy price guarantee coming to an end in April 2023, a typical UK household could be paying up to £3,000 per year for gas and electricity. While this may be alarming to hear, there are many low cost tips that you might not have tried yet, which could contribute to overall lower household bills and your health. While we all want to save some money on our bills, one of the side effects of being cold is that you can become more susceptible to illness.
Read on for our practical recommendations to keeping you warm and snuggly while the weather is cold.
1. Use an electric blanket
If you’re sitting on the sofa in the evenings watching your favourite Netflix series, and need some localised heat to warm you up, consider using an electric blanket. Some blankets can cost as little as 3.4p per hour to use, which is far cheaper than an hour of central heating usage. Therefore, an initial investment of £40-or-so for the blanket itself can save you far more in the long run!
2. Swap your bed sheets for fleece or flannel
In addition to swapping your cotton PJs for a warmer material (as we mentioned earlier), you could also try doing the same with your bedsheets. Yes, cotton can keep you warm, but it requires more layers than fleece or flannel to retain the heat. There are many options for affordable fleece and flannel bed sheets from high street retailers, or you may be able to find them even cheaper at your local charity shop.
3. Keep a hot water bottle close by
Hot water bottles were patented in the UK in 1903, but containers of hot water have been used to keep warm in bed since the 16th century. Sometimes, the old tried-and-tested methods are the best – so if you need a little warmth (wherever you are in the home – it doesn’t have to be in bed!), grab a hot water bottle and fill it with water from the kettle, then tuck it underneath a blanket to help you get toasty.
4. Lay down rugs
Hard surfaces retain cold temperatures, which can make a room feel colder – especially if you’re walking around without slippers on (that’s another tip!). Try laying down rugs in rooms with wood, laminate or tiled floors to increase heat retention and keep those feet warm.
5. Cover your windows at night
Make use of your blinds and curtains throughout your home by opening them when it’s sunny outside and closing them during the night. It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a very simple method of letting in (and keeping in) heat as the day goes on. You can also increase insulation by installing thicker curtains or using curtain liners to thicken your existing curtains.
6. Close doors to rooms that you aren’t using
There’s no need to allow heat to drift into a room if you’re not occupying it. For example, if you’ve got a spare room that no one will be sleeping in, close the door to keep the heat in the rooms that you are using.
7. Draught-proof your rooms
Heat can easily seep out of gaps in doors and windows, so if you want to keep the heat in throughout the winter, here are some ways to close or cover these gaps:
- Reseal window frames using caulk
- Place a draught excluder against interior and exterior doors
- Install self adhesive rubber seals around doors
If your home is very draughty, you could ask a professional to draught-proof your home. This may cost a few hundred pounds initially, but could save you far more in the long term.
8. Make your home look cosy to feel cosy
While minimalism is a low-fuss trend that may never die, there’s something to be said for a home that looks cosy. Try these tips to make your home appear cosier and more inviting:
- Use warm white, low lighting
- Light candles and place them around the room in safe, low fire-risk areas
- Use soft furnishings such as cushions and throws to mask hard edges
- Create a palette of warm colours to create the illusion of warmth in your mind
9. Leave your oven door open after you cook
Once you have finished cooking and turned off your oven, leave the oven door open completely. This will allow the residual heat from the oven to seep into the room and heat it up. With some fan operated ovens, it’ll also save you energy by decreasing the amount of time the fan needs to cool down the oven.
Let’s wrap it up (pun intended!)
Although throwing on a couple of extra blankets may not solve the cost of living crisis, hopefully these tips will help you save a few pounds on your energy bills until the weather warms up once again in spring, and help keep you in good health.