Tigerlilly Quinn: Five handy home hacks to keep out the cold

Monday, 11 January 2016

Five handy home hacks to keep out the cold

Whilst we have been enjoying one of the warmest winters in recent years the weather is about to take a turn for the chillier with super cold weather due just round the corner and even predictions of snow! (I hope so, even if just for a couple of days so I can finally put the baby in her penguin snow suit). 

Lots of us will be looking for ways to keep our homes warmer without turning the heating up high as we try to keep energy usage and bills down, not just for the sake of the planet but also our pockets after Christmas. Tom's suggestion is generally to put on an extra jumper but with a newborn around thankfully he's not been able to be so frugal with our heating this past month or so. 

Whether or not the cold polar weather does or doesn’t come about it is still worth making sure your home is prepared for the cold weather ahead and ready to keep you warm through the rest of the winter. As well as digging out as yet unused this winter jumpers and gloves it you should also be doing the usual rounds of checking your home heating is properly working, it’s also worthwhile keeping in mind these five handy home hacks to keep the cold out, the warmth in and your energy bills down.

This is a collaborative post with Russell Bowes who has some some great tips to keep the cold out this winter without spending too much money at the same time. 

Click below to read on

1. Sealing air leaks in your home

A good place to start is making sure that your home from outside and rooms inside it are all sealed from air leaks. This will help you trap any heat in your home and ensure that you get the most from the energy and money into your heating system. You can use a candle to find air leaks by holding a lit candle close to potential air leaks, such as doors and windows on a windy day. If the flame flickers there is an air leak close by. Caulk around window and exterior door frames and fittings to seal any leaks.

You can quickly and cheaply seal air and draft leaks between rooms using pipe insulation at the bottom of doors to fill in the gaps. Instructables has a guide on how to do so here.

2. Tin foil.

There are several ways you can use good old tin foil to help you keep the cold out. Tin foil is an unlikely fireplace cleaner. Place a double layer of it across the bottom of a fireplace or wood grate before you light your fire. When the fire is burning, the tin foil reflects heat back and out into the room. When the fire is finished the next day the foil will have collected the ash and makes for an easy clean up.

Putting a backing layer of tin foil against your walls behind a radiator will reflect heat back into the room which is usually lost into and out through walls. Usual kitchen foil isn’t quite suitable so you’ll need to get a pack of radiator reflective foil like this for £5.99 from ScrewFix.

3. Hot water bottles

Way 'back in day' before central heating and electric heaters were in place people would take a hot water bottle to bed with them to keep them warm through the night (it’s even why some small dog breeds were created, to be a living hot water bottle!). I’m not saying you should get a pooch to keep you warm but a hot water bottle, like any of these from Boots will keep the chill away.

4. Get better curtains.

In the winter your curtains should keep the heat in, in the summer they should keep it out. Most of us choose our curtains purely for their stylistic qualities, rather than their functionality. Thermal curtains are a fantastic way to to keep the heat in. Thermal curtains are energy efficient window shades that insulate against the cold. You can make your own with an old quilt or follow this step-by-step guide to making your own thermal curtains.

5. Turn the thermostat down.

Once you have properly insulated your home and know you are keeping the bulk of the heat your radiators and heaters are kicking out it is time to turn down the thermostat. According to USwitch, even turning your heating down by a single degree can save your around £60 per year and if you have sealed off any drafts and made some thermal curtains you won’t be paying to heat the outside world either so shouldn’t need your heating turned up so high.

For more great home hacks to keep warm in the winter check out this guide from OVO Energy

this is a collaborative post

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