10 top tips for keeping your house warm in winter

Stay warm this winter.

1. Heat your home, not your walls

Cover a thin sheet of card with tinfoil and place it behind your radiators (if you're feeling particularly crafty you can make it T-shaped so it sits on your radiator brackets). It'll reflect the heat back into your rooms, meaning they warm up faster and retain more heat. If DIY isn't your thing, you can also buy ready made foil insulation.

2. Pop on some pipe-lagging 

Pipe lagging (insulating hot water pipes with foam tubes) keeps the water inside your pipes hotter for longer and prevents pipes freezing. It also makes your heating and hot water much more efficient. You can buy pipe lagging from any DIY store and fit it in seconds, no tools required.

3. Draught-proof your home

Filling in the gaps around windows and doors can help you save on your heating bills, so spending a few pounds on a window draught excluder - and insulating tape - is a great investment. Fitting it is a breeze too, just make sure it sits snugly.

4. Bleed your radiators

Check your radiators are heating to the top. If they aren't, the chances are you need to learn how to bleed a radiator. It sounds a bit medieval, but all it means is releasing the trapped air at the top, which is stopping the hot water from rising. Simply use a radiator bleed key (about £1 in any DIY shop) to open the little valve at the top. You'll hear air hiss and as soon as you see a drip of water, close it up again. Bingo. Energy-efficient radiators.

5. Get your boiler serviced

Boilers, like people, like to be looked after. Give yours an annual boiler service and it will last longer and work more efficiently – if you don't, it could cost you money. Don't forget, it's vital that you use a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.

6. Close the curtains

You won't be surprised to learn that lots of warmth escapes from your home through the windows. If you've got curtains, close them before darkness hits or while you're out of the house and keep that lovely heat where it should be - inside. Better still, get yourself a pair of thermal curtains.

7. Use the oven to heat the house

Once dinner comes out of the oven, we all close the door again. But why waste that heat? Leave the oven door open and let the heat transfer slowly into your kitchen, it'll help keep your house warm while you eat. And, naturally, keep the kids and pets away from the door.

8. Get personalised energy-efficiency tips

Better energy efficiency can mean lower energy bills – but when it comes to making your home greener, it can be confusing knowing where to start.

Enter Home Health Check, your personalised plan to help cut your home’s carbon footprint – and your energy bills. One of our experts will visit you at home to give you a detailed assessment of your home’s energy efficiency using thermal imagery – and tailored tips to improve it. They’ll answer all your questions and leave you a detailed report of their recommendations.

9. Get creative with your insulation

Use any spare foam pipe lagging as a door draught excluder - just cut a section to fit the bottom of your door, then slide it on to form a tight seal against the floor. You could also use spray foam insulation to fill any cracks and gaps in your walls or at the back of cupboards. Just be sure to check the can for all safety precautions. If you really want to take it up a level, we can help with both loft insulation and cavity wall insulation so you can keep all that lovely warmth from escaping. And we can even let you know if you’re eligible for government funding to help with the cost of insulation.

10. Know your ideal temperature

It’s easy to turn the thermostat all the way up when it's freezing cold but what’s the ideal temperature for your home? Aim to set your main room thermostat somewhere between 18°C and 21°C. It's also a good idea to set your thermostat to one temperature and then use a timer to turn it on and off when you need the heating most. That way you won't waste excess energy from leaving the heating on too high, for too long.

Using a smart thermostat, such as a Hive Thermostat, to control your heating from your phone or tablet makes saving energy even easier.

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Addtional information

  1. Article originally published April 2017. All facts and figures correct at the time of publishing.