Well I think we can safely say that the cold snap is here. It’s blooming Baltic out there and I don’t like it one bit (even less than the heatwave)!
It’s cold enough that we’d had to leave the heating on all day, and even then it’s getting a bit nippy, so I’ve been looking into how to keep warm indoors.
Here are some tips for keeping warm in your home.
I love a chunky knit cardigan (or a dressing gown) but the best advice for dressing you and the kids for winter is layers upon layers. The great thing about layers is not only do they look great, but they trap air between each layer; helping to keep you much warmer than you would if you were wearing a single bulky layer. You’ll also be able to remove a layer if you become too hot.
Your hands, feet, head and neck tend to release the most heat. So, keeping them warm with gloves, a hat, scarf and fluffy socks or fleecy tights are important.
A quarter of the heat in a house is lost through the roof, so if you can get insulation installed, or even do it yourself, you can keep your house warm and save on your heating bills.
Keep doors closed
Stop heating up unused hallways and keep the doors closed. If you have rooms you don’t use then turn the radiators down and close the doors.
Use your curtains
When the sun does come out during the winter months, you should be doing everything you can to soak up every ray of light that it has to offer as it’s freeeee. So open up your curtains first thing in the morning, but make sure you shut them again when it gets dark to keep the heat in.
Your curtains also have the added benefit of acting as an extra layer of warmth and insulation. Thicker, heavier curtains will be more efficient at keeping heat in – the thicker the better!
If you have space under your doors then one of those old school sausage dog draught excluders may be just the thing. If your letterbox or catflap is letting air through from outside, see if you can seal them up if unused, or get rubber sealant to minimise the draught.
Think about your room layout
OK you probably don’t want to be hefting furniture about but if you have something in front of the radiator, they won’t be working efficiently.
Keep your radiator uncovered, and move any large furniture blocking it, and this should make all the difference.
Make sure that you keep your boiler serviced
Ten years ago, pre kids, our boiler died between Christmas and new year. Wow, that was cold. We didn’t even have a gas fire at the time, just a big hole in the wall where one used to be with a pillow shoved up the chimney to keep the chill out, and there was no door on the front room to keep the door closed. We had one small fan heater to heat the entire house. It was a nightmare.
Luckily we managed to call out a local plumber within a few days, but we paid for it handsomely.
Five years ago, we had a new boiler and radiators installed and no we have yearly boiler services to ensure that won’t happen again.
It’s amazing the number of people – like us – who don’t take care of their central heating systems. Then when something breaks it costs a fortune to fix, because inevitably it’s when demand is high and you need it now.
Maintaining central heating boilers is as easy as setting a once a year reminder on your phone to book in a local plumber. It’s not expensive and it could save you an uncomfortable few days and a big hole in your wallet.
Reflect the heat back again
Talking of radiators, if you don’t currently have radiator panels, this is a cost-effective and relatively simple way of retaining some extra heat in your home. Essentially, these are designed to ensure that your radiators are warming up your rooms rather than your walls, and they work by reflecting heat back into the room again.
Even tinfoil will work!
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