Five ‘effective’ tips to keep your home ‘warmer for longer’ for less

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While many are anxious to reduce their heating bills, others are considering not turning their heating on at all this winter – so what can you do to keep the cold at bay without switching on your home’s heating? There’s lots of conflicting advice online about what you should and shouldn’t do to keep warm without heating, so to make life a little easier Express.co.uk has spoken exclusively to Stewart Clements, Director of the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council and Industry, for his top tips for “keeping a room warmer for longer without central heating”.

1. Use secondary heating

One of the first tips Stewart suggests is to use secondary sources of heat, such as gas fires and stoves.

Secondary heating sources like fireplaces or wood burning stoves can produce comfortable heat for smaller, more targeted areas of a house at a fraction of the cost of turning up the thermostat for the entire home. 

They can be especially useful for heating rooms that tend to be cooler than the rest of a home, or for enduring chilly winter nights.

The heating expert said: “You may consider the use of secondary heating sources such as gas fires and stoves as an effective way to keep one room warmer for longer. 

“Heating the room you are using with a gas fire that can be up to 89 percent heat efficient, as opposed to the whole house with central heating, saves energy and money.”

2. Don’t forget to insulate

For those who want to keep their energy bills low, installing insulation is one of the best ways to keep the heat in their home, and the cold out.

Stewart said: “There are a few insulation measures that can be used to help keep rooms warm. Opting for carpets and rugs can insulate a room better than wooden or laminate floors alone.

“Loft insulation can also prevent heat loss and improve heat retention in the home, with the Energy Saving Trust estimating this could save up to £590 on bills depending on the type of home.”

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A more long-term insulation investment could be the replacement of windows with double glazing to reduce heat loss.

3. Draw those curtains

As well as insulation, curtains can help reduce the amount of air exchange between a cold window and the rest of the room. 

The expert explained: “A simple, yet effective, way of keeping heat in your home for longer is to ensure that the curtains are drawn and that the doors are closed in the evenings to keep rooms as warm as possible for as long as possible.”

While double-glazing is another effective method of preventing heat loss from windows, curtains and drapes can also make a room look and feel cosier when it’s cold outside, particularly if plush or heavy fabrics are chosen.

Stewart added: “Purchasing thicker, lined or thermal curtains is an effective way of reducing heat loss and making rooms cosier.”

Households should make sure their curtains actually cover the windows and fall as close to the window pane as possible without touching it. Fewer gaps mean less chance for the warm air to escape.

4. Don’t let in the draughts

Keeping warm air in and cold air out is an important step to a warmer home – and draught proofing can be a quick and affordable way to cut energy bills. 

The energy pro explained: “Air gaps underneath doors are a common area for heat to escape from a room yet can be easily rectified. 

“By purchasing a relatively cheap draught excluder and fitting it around external doors and windows, you can prevent the cold air from getting in the house and to the extent that central heating is needed.

“Chimneys are another location where draughts can enter a room and heat can be lost, so if you aren’t using any of them for open fires, consider blocking them.”

5. Always get a service

To make sure households keep their energy usage and bills down across the breadth of their appliances, Stewart advised that all heating appliances and heating systems are regularly serviced. 

He noted: “When in your home for the service, heating engineers can advise on and make efficiency measures, ensuring your home is heated as efficiently as possible. Spending £50 to 100 on a service could also save thousands of pounds in replacement or repair costs so it can be a false economy if you choose to skip out on having one done.”

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