If you’re concerned about how you’re going to heat your home this winter, then you’re definitely not alone. Many people are struggling to make ends meet during a prolonged economic downturn – especially when energy companies are also increasing their prices. If you need to conserve energy and save money this winter, then following a few practical steps can help.
Rugs for bare wooden floors
Wooden floors are fashionable and look very stylish – but unfortunately they’re also a source of heat loss. If you live in an apartment with bare floors, then it’s well worth covering them with large rugs in winter. Rugs help retain heat, and investing in a few will help keep the warmth in your home.
Keep in heat with thermal curtains
A great deal of heat can be lost through windows – especially when they’re not double glazed. One way to help prevent this is to invest in pairs of thermal curtains. They don’t cost much more than regular curtains, and have a lining made of a material specially designed to trap in the heat.
If you don’t want to replace the curtains currently hanging in your home, then it’s also possible to purchase the thermal lining separately and then simply sew it into place.
Not only will a thermal lining to your curtains keep the house warmer during winter, they’ll also help keep rooms cool during the hot days of summer (if we have any)!
Prevent heat loss through window frames
In addition to hanging thermal curtains at your windows, it’s important to check window frames for cracks and gaps. Poorly fitted windows, with gaps between the frame and glass, let cold air in and warm air out. Plugging any gaps will make a big difference in the amount of heat escaping, and so lower your heating bills.
First you need to identify any trouble spots. You can do this by holding either a thread, or a smoking object such as a burning incense stick, up to the window frames. If there’s movement, then there’s a draught.
To fill the gaps you’ll need to buy a pliable sealant called caulk, apply it to the frame, and then affix bronze weatherstripping. A slightly cheaper option – though a repair which may not last as long – is to apply adhesive-backed EPDM rubber; a cheaper option still is to use self-stick plastic weatherstripping.
Save money in the long term with a wood-burning stove
Wood-burning stoves cost from a few hundred to several thousand pounds, and can save you money in the long term. Wood can be bought relatively cheaply, and it can even be sourced for free if you have the opportunity to forage for dead wood in forests, or to reclaim scrap wood that’s been thrown away. Enough heat from a wood-burning stove will be produced to warm your living room, and even several rooms in your house – a much cheaper option that cranking up the expensive central heating.
A wood-burning stove is also perfect for creating a cosy atmosphere during dark and cold winter evenings – nothing beats sitting in front of a real, roaring blaze!