As the nights get colder and the days get shorter it’s tempting to fire up the heating. The only problem is it can become extremely expensive. New research from prepaid MasterCard company icount.co.uk shows that over 300,000 people in the UK report having used a credit card to pay for their utility bills.
But don’t worry, we’ve spoken to the budgeting experts over at icount and asked them to share some of the best ways you can maximise your heating, without having to turn the dial every evening.
Make sure you seal your windows
Windows should be latched. If the outside temperature is higher than the inside temperature during the day, then keep them open when you are in the house. You may want to invest in some removable window caulk, or better yet some plastic to seal them. At the very least, use a towel or another material to cover any noticeable gaps
Hang thick, lined curtains
If you are debating whether to get blinds or curtains this winter, opt for the curtains. This will help block heavy drafts more efficiently. Open them when the sun is shining and draw them when it starts to go dark and the temperature drops
Seal your doors and windows thoroughly
Check all of your doors and windows for draughts, as well as your door frames. If you do discover a draught coming through any gaps, there are inexpensive solutions such as draught excluders or a door sweep. Again, if these aren’t an option, then perhaps consider blocking the gaps with a towel or another material.
Let it Shine
Despite sub-zero temperature outside, sun rays will still add some heat to your home. This is absolutely free of charge, so make good use of them. Open up your curtains during the day and trim any tree branches or things that may block out the sunlight.
Lock down any unused rooms.
A closed door can act as another barrier between you and the chilly outdoors. It also prevents the air from circulating around the house, which reduces heat loss.
Rugs, Carpets and Soft Furnishings
Laying down a couple of rugs is a cost effective and long lasting way to prevent heat loss through the floor, especially if you have laminate or wood flooring. If you hate the feeling of a cold wood floor in the morning, this will offer a more pleasant surface to walk on.
Candles are another fantastic way to help keep your home warm at a minimal cost. Just be careful where you place them and obviously don’t leave them unattended. Just head to any local supermarket and pick up a packet for a small cost.
Use incandescent light bulbs.
The beauty of incandescent light bulbs are that they release up to 95% of its energy as heat, only sacrificing a small bit of light in the process. This makes it an extremely efficient heat source if you are looking to cut back on bills.
Dress for the Weather
There is a widespread belief that people lose most of their body heat from their head. Although your face certainly feels the cold weather the most, heat escapes from all over your body. A nice woolly hat, a thick dressing gown, or even a onesie are good friends in times like this.
A nice hot drink will not only increase the body temperature but will also help you relax. If you have flask handy, boil up as much water as the flask needs so you don’t have to keep using more energy
These handy devices will keep you warm during cold evenings as you sleep, whilst at the same time proving a lot more economical than an expensive boiler.
Manage your money
These above tips can be very useful for a short term emergency, such as a blackout or trying to cut back on costs a little. But never leave yourself in the cold!