Discover these six little known secrets for keeping your home warm this winter Back
It is no secret here in the UK that we’ve seen some of the greatest levels of inflation in living memory. Many people struggle to meet their daily financial needs as the price of food and fuel continue to increase year-on-year whilst wages stubbornly stay the same. Fuel bills in particularly are often mentioned in the media as the chief ‘culprit’ of people’s plight. Many families simply struggle to find the extra cash to fund their heating needs, especially during the dark and cold months during winter when temperatures frequently fall below zero. ‘Fuel poverty’ is a buzzword we often hear on television and in the newspapers and ‘food banks’ have risen up all over the Country despite the UK being touted as the fifth biggest economy in the World. In fact the Energy Helpline has estimated the average household spend on fuel bills was a whopping £1500 during the year of 2014! And this upward trend in fuel costs is unlikely to slow down in the foreseeable future as the Earth’s supply of fossil fuels continues to fall each year.
For these rather depressing reason we’ve outlined some of the often less well known ways to cut down on your fuel bills.
#1. Add ‘weather-stripping’ to your doors and windows
It has been estimated that up to 15% of heat in your home simply escapes through worn seals in your windows and doors. The same worn seals also allow cold air from outside to make it into your rooms causing the ‘draught’ effect. Choosing to install weather-stripping really is the cheapest solution to the problem. This weather stripping can be purchased cheaply in the UK from stores such as ASDA and Wilko for well under a tenner!
Also be sure to replace worn weather-stripping every year or two since the material it is made from will wear over time and thus reduce its effectiveness at keeping out the draught.
#2. Raise your ‘door threshold strip’
Your door’s threshold strip is the plastic or metal slip which sits at the foot of your door on the floor. Wait until you have a decent amount of sunlight and proceed to inspect how much outside light is emitted through the bottom of the door into your room. If sunlight can be seen coming through the bottom of the door you can be assured cold air is also making its way through. To rectify the matter you must raise the door threshold until no more sunlight can be seen. You can do this by adjusting the screws which fix the door threshold to the floor. Be careful not to raise the threshold too high as it will interfere with the normal opening and closing of the door.
#3. Attach bubble wrap to your windows, even if your windows are double glazed
Yes! You heard me correctly! You can attach bubble wrap to your windows to decrease the amount of heat which is lost through your windows. Even if you have double glazing installed heat can nevertheless escape through your windows. To improve matters simply cut out the bubble wrap to the same dimensions as your window. Spray water on the window. The water should form mist on the window which can be used to attach the bubble wrap to the window. Alternatively visit your hardware store and purchase a window ‘insulation kit’ which will do the same job as the bubble wrap without spoiling the view!
#4. Replace your fireplace’s ‘damper’
If you have in your home a traditional open fireplace you will no doubt have in place a ‘damper’ which is flap inside the chimney flu. The damper can be used to prevent air from rising up to the chimney and outside. However the heat from the fire will cause the damper to warp over time and so heat will escape up the chimney even when the damper is closed. To rectify the problem you will need to install a new damper.
#5. Install a fire brick or other reflective source at the back of your fire
Again if you have installed a traditional fireplace you can install a ‘fire brick’ to reflect heat into your room. The fire brick will radiate the heat back into the room as it heats up. Alternatively you could install aluminium sheets which will do a similar thing, or to keep things even cheaper you could simply spray metallic silver paint onto the back wall, or even install silver foil. Ensure enough space exists between the foil and the fire otherwise the foil will melt.
#6. Add foam installation pads to electricity switch covers if you’ve not got cavity wall installation
Add foam installation pads to electricity switch covers. The combined heat which is lost through the electricity plugs in your home can really bite into your wallet. Be sure not to waste valuable heat by purchasing ‘foam electricity outlets’ to cut down on this loss. You can pick up this item from your local hardware store for as little as £2 per outlet.
Well we hope you have enjoyed this post. Check back for updates and more tips on saving on your fuel bills this winter!