Wet, windy and winter weather … the nights are closing in and the temperatures are beginning to drop.
We are now facing another challenging winter, with energy prices remaining strong and war in both the Ukraine and the Middle East having a direct impact on the cost of energy bills. It is important for home owners and tenants to efficiently heat their properties, to prevent damp, mould, cold draughts or rot, as well as related health issues. With these concerns, for many, comes the worry of cost implications, with ever spiralling energy bills. At the moment, there is no indication that the government will make a payment across the board to help every householder with their energy bill, as they did in the exceptional circumstances last winter.
However, there are ways to keep warm and your homes protected, whilst keeping the costs under control. Here are a few of Butler Sherborn’s handy tips to help this coming winter.
1. Draw the curtains (or blinds)
When it starts to get colder and darker, keep as much heat in as possible, by closing the windows and drawing the curtains. Good thick curtains that are lined will also act as a draught excluder. However, it is just as important to ventilate your home as much as you can. Failure to do so could lead to problems with condensation, damp and mould.
Don’t be tempted to keep the curtains closed all day – as any light streaming through the windows in the daylight hours can help keep rooms comfortable and it won’t cost you a penny!
2. Keep your radiators unobstructed
Is your favourite seat in the house, the one closest to the radiator, where you can snuggle up to the warmth? Moving the sofa away from the radiator will let the warm air circulate around the room more efficiently. Blead all the radiators fully in the system, to reduce the likelihood of air blocks.
It would seem to be more cost effective to hang washing from the radiators, instead of using the tumble dryer – however this is also obstructing the warm air from circulating. Invest in a good sized clothes airer instead, and if possibly use your outside washing line. Wind power is free and green!
3. Just 1 degree makes a difference
Turning a thermostat down by 1ºC could reduce household bills. Some media outlets suggest that it may be wise to think about turning your heating on a little earlier than you need to each morning and evening, at a slightly lower temperature. Others are of the opinion it is more effective and cost efficient to run your heating constantly all day, rather than setting timers for short term, high heat periods. It is important to understand how your boiler and thermostat work, in order to benefit efficiently.
4. Close the doors and block out the draughts
Doors left open are an invitation for cold air to flow from room to room through a house and let the warm air escape. Always close the doors to retain the warmth in the rooms you are using. Also simple little things like, draught excluders at the bottom of doors, can prevent cold air from entering the room. They are very effective, as are heavy, duty double- sided curtains used as an arras in doorways without the door. They can also be very decorative.
5. Snug as a bug in a rug
Many of the Cotswolds period homes and some modern houses, capitalise on period features – one of which is the old Cotswolds stone, flagstone floors. However, stone floors are cold and do take time to absorb heat, therefore by putting down rugs in the main living spaces, will help with insulation.
6. Wrap up warm
The ladies in the lettings department of Butler Sherborn, swear by their cosy slippers (with a few of us admitting to owning a cosy onesie) on the cold wintery evenings.
The above are just some tips to help keep you and your home warm throughout the winter months, as well as being ecologically friendly and inexpensive to adopt.