There’s a growing concern from a lot of people about price rises from energy companies. Householders are always being advised to do things like fit double glazing or insulation or to completely overhaul their heating system to keep their homes warm. But what if you don’t have the budget for these options? There are a few much more budget-friendly options for keeping your home warm over Winter.
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Use Tin Foil
One way to prevent heat from lost from your radiators, especially those that are on external walls, is to use aluminium foil behind the radiator to reflect the heat. Doing this stops the heat from being lost through the wall and reflects it back into the room instead. You can buy foil that is designed for this purpose relatively cheaply, or you can even use good quality kitchen foil, although it isn’t quite as effective as proper heat-reflective foil.
Thick curtains are one of the easiest ways to stop your house from losing heat out of the windows. Curtains that have a thermal lining are a reasonably cheap option for winter-proofing. The thicker the curtain you get, the better. If you don’t want to buy new curtains, then you can line your existing ones yourself with a cheap material like fleece. Some people even use PVC shower curtains.
Curtains are for more than just windows too. Hang a curtain in front of doors to the outside to add another layer of protection from heat loss. It doesn’t even need to be a curtain. You could even pin an old rub over the back of the door.
Let Sunlight In
Open your curtains during the day to let the sun in. It’s important to try to make use of as much natural (and therefore free) heat from the sunlight as you can. Curtains and blinds should be left open during the day. As soon as dusk falls, close the curtains in order to maximise the house’s potential to keep in the heat.
Fake Double Glazing
Double glazing is heat-efficient, but it can be quite costly. If you can afford it, it’s the best option, so talk to someone about a Renewal by Andersen window dealer to find the most affordable way to replace your windows. If you really can’t afford double-glazing, you can fake it. There is a special film that you can put across single-glazed windows. This film imitates the effect of double-glazing, although it’s not as effective. Attach the film to the window frame using double-sided tape, and fix it in place with a hairdryer. There is a downside to this film. You won’t be able to open the windows without breaking the seal. The film is cheap, so it can be replaced each Winter without too much worry about the cost. As an alternative, you can use self-adhesive foam strips to seal any gaps in the edges of your windows. Metal or plastic strips with brushes or wipers attached will cost a little more, but they will last a bit longer. You can also use these strips to as draught excluders around the hinges and frames of your doors.
Stop Heat From Being Lost Up The Chimney
It’s common to have fireplaces that are purely decorative. If you don’t use yours, then you ought to think about using a chimney balloon. A huge amount of heat can be lost through a fireplace that has been left open. A chimney balloon is made out of a special laminate and can be bought cheaply. The balloon is placed inside the chimney, just out of sight. The balloon is then inflated until it shuts out any cold air coming in, and stops heat from escaping. Just make sure you never start a fire without removing it first. You can also buy woollen chimney insulators too, although these will also need to be removed before you use the fireplace.
Watch Out For Mini-Draughts
A surprising amount of draughts can come in through your letterbox. It’s well worth putting an extra barrier there in the form of a brush. These brushes might be a pain for your postman trying to jam your post in past it, but it can prevent a chill from blowing in through the letterbox. The same goes for your keyhole, which can be covered with a circular keyhole cover that slips over the top. This is especially useful for older, wider keyholes. If you have a cat or a dog flap in the food, you can fill this with some sheep’s wool or a piece of blanket. Your pet can still get past, but draughts can’t. Even a small draught can make a room feel a lot colder, so it’s well worth trying to shut out that small bit of air to make an immediate difference.
Make DIY Draught Excluders
Take notes from your grandma and make your own DIY draught excluder. Old-fashioned draught excluders are very effective. In the past, the most common draught excluder was the sausage dog. The sausage dog draught excluder is vaguely in the shape of a dachshund or ‘sausage’ dog. The excluders are rested at the bottom of doors, stopping heat from escaping through the gap between the door and the floor. However, you can use almost any material or piece of cloth to wedge this gap. If you’re not a sewer, you can still make a very simple draught excluder. All you is an old pair of tights. Cut the top off, and stuff the leg with old socks or any other fabric scraps. Tie a knot in the end, and you’re done. If you’re feeling more crafty, you can decorate them. You can use almost anything for stuffing, including fabric, rice, or lentils.
Clear Your Radiators
Try to avoid blocking your radiators with large pieces of furniture, like your sofa, in front of them. Furniture like this will be absorbing the heat from your radiator, instead of being let into the room where you actually need it.