Alternative Ideas to Keep the House Warm and Cosy This Winter
9th November 2023
If you’ve ever wondered how to keep your house warm in winter without burning a hole in your pocket, then you're not alone.
The Office for National Statistics winter survey for 2022-2023 revealed a concerning trend in the UK; nearly 20% of adults in the UK confessed to being unable to keep their homes comfortably warm during winter.
If you’re worried about how you are going to keep your house warm through the winter, then we’ve pulled together some hints and tips which may help.
5 Ways to help keep your house warm in winter
1. Try to ensure your home is insulated
One of the keys to a comfortably warm house lies in efficient insulation. Think of it as a thermal blanket for your home, slowing down the escape of warmth and preventing cold air from entering.
Insulating your home can result in significant savings and efficiency. The annual savings range could be between £225 and £415 for loft insulation, between £50 and £135 for floor insulation, and between £125 and £455 for cavity wall insulation.
You can also apply to get support from the Great British Insulation scheme. You could be eligible for free or discounted insulation to make your home more energy-efficient, saving you money on your energy bills. You might be eligible if:
1. Home Efficiency: Your home should have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of D to G. You can check the same here.
2. Property Tax Band: Your home is in council tax bands are in England (bands A-D), Scotland, and Wales (bands A-E). You can check the same here.
Whether you're a homeowner, landlord, or tenant (in private or housing association properties), you may qualify. Just make sure to get your landlord's approval if you're a tenant. Unfortunately, this scheme is not available in Northern Ireland.
Support available for insulation:
You can receive support for various insulation types, these include cavity wall, solid wall (internal/external), loft, flat or pitched roof, underfloor and solid floor, park home and room-in-roof insulations.
To determine your eligibility, you'll need information about your household income, benefits received by anyone in the property, and your contact details. Check your eligibility here.
If you're eligible, your energy company will contact you to plan a home check. During this visit, they will let you know if there are any costs involved. You can then decide if you want to continue or not. You can also contact the Great British Insulation Scheme helpline on 0800 098 7950.
2. Use Thick Curtains and Rugs
Another way you can keep your house warm in winter is to use thick curtains and rugs. These add an extra layer of insulation, reducing heat loss through windows and from the floor.
For instance, thermal curtains lined with a special insulating material can block out cold drafts while trapping the heat indoors.
3. Application of Window Film
Applying window film can be a cost-effective solution to prevent heat escaping. It works much like double glazing but at a fraction of the cost. Here are a few popular options:
Clear Heat-Control Film
Reduces heat loss
£8 (44x200 cm)
Provides privacy and reduces heat loss
£12.99 (44.5x200 cm)
Reflects heat into the room
£8 (44.5x200 cm)
Offers privacy, reduces glare and heat loss
£7.99 (44.5x200 cm)
One-Way Mirror Film
Provides privacy during the day, reduces heat loss
£9.99 (44.5x200 cm)
4. The Benefit of Draught Excluders
A draught excluder could be a simple and affordable answer to help prevent heat loss at home.
- They block gaps under doors, from where a surprising amount of cold air can enter.
- They're available in a variety of sizes and styles to suit different doors and decor.
- Draught excluders for windows are also available, to prevent further heat loss from windows.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, draught-proofing doors, windows, and floor cracks could potentially save you up to £25 annually.
5. Using Natural Methods
- Maximising sunlight during daytime: Make the most of the sun! Keep curtains open during the day to let sunlight in and close them as dusk falls to trap in the warmth.
- Windows and Doors: You can seal gaps around your doors and windows. Weatherstripping and door sweeps can be helpful to prevent drafts. If necessary, you can use caulk to seal around windows and use caulk or foam to seal plumbing penetrations.
- Basement band joist: This is a common area for heat loss. Using foam insulation to create a complete seal all the way around the band joist may help prevent warm air to escape.
- Heating System Ductwork: Check your heating system ductwork for any leaks, especially around the registers. You may seal these leaks using mastic, a specialized sealant designed for ducts. Maintaining a tight seal in your ducts can help prevent heat loss.
If your heating system's ductwork is located in an unconditioned space, consider insulating it with at least duct insulation duct wrap. The appropriate level of insulation may vary based on your location, so consult local guidelines for specific recommendations.
If you are in need of help with your energy bills, the Warm Home Discount Scheme may be able to assist you.
- The Warm Home Discount Scheme is for winter 2023 to 2024.
- The scheme offers a one-off discount of £150 on your electricity bill between October 2023 and March 2024.
You will usually get the discount automatically if you’re eligible. You only need to apply if you’re on a low income in Scotland (if so, contact your energy supplier to apply).The scheme doesn't affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment. Eligibility criteria differ for England, Wales, and Scotland.
Pre-pay or pay-as-you-go meter users can still qualify, and your electricity supplier will provide details on how to redeem the discount. Different application procedures apply for park (mobile) home residents.
Meanwhile, you may also be eligible for Cold Weather Payment if you meet certain benefit criteria and experience 7 consecutive days of very cold weather with temperatures at or below zero degrees Celsius. Each 7-day cold spell entitles you to £25. The scheme for 2023-2024 scheme will begin on November 1, 2023, when you can check if your area qualifies for a payment.
In conclusion, each of these simple things could help keep you warm this winter.
After all, a warm home is a happy home!