42% of people are considering using an electric heater
As families across the UK struggle to deal with the harsh temperatures of winter, keeping the house warm can be a difficult and expensive task.
The added pressure of the cost of living crisis has meant more households are looking for cheaper alternatives to heat their homes.
However, many people can’t resist the urge to have their central heating on all day, especially in the freezing weather.
But, keeping that heat in the house is one of the more difficult tasks.
And, not many families will want to splurge the cash trying to get things like underfloor heating or new gas/electric boilers.
So, DESIblitz has come up with five cheap ways you can try to keep your house warm and full of heat during winter.
Heat can easily escape through gaps in doors and windows which is one of the main reasons a house may get cold quickly.
The weather is an even bigger threat for homes that don’t have a front patio door. It means draughts and winds can come directly into the house.
Therefore, walk around the house and see if you can feel any slight breezes. This could be by the front door, living room windows, or near the garden.
Stopping the cold air from entering the house is a big step in keeping everything warm and heated.
The best quick fix to seal up any places where you feel the air getting in is using a draught proofer that can only cost a few pounds.
Roll of self-adhesive draught-excluding tape is readily available from places like Amazon where you can grab 10 meters of seal for as little as £2.64.
The Energy Saving Trust reports that this technique could save you up to £30 a year on bills.
But this figure could rise due to increasing energy costs.
Therefore, saving as much money, whether it’s a small or large amount is vital – and all adds up.
Another tip to try is closing the bathroom window at night. Families normally keep the bathroom window slightly open to air it out.
But closing this will stop any of that freezing air from getting in, especially when temperatures plummet during the evening.
Thermal curtains are thicker than normal curtains or blinds and work in the same way as draught blockers as they stop heat from escaping.
They also block the cold air from outside which means your house can stay warm for longer.
These curtains work great during the winter because they’ll get drawn quicker as the days get darker around mid-afternoon.
The retail company Dunelm sells these curtains for as little as £10 or Argos stock some products for around £12.
The price will depend on the size, colour, and style but they come in an array of designs and will be an investment in the long run.
However, you can also grab thermal linings to place on top of your main curtains if you don’t want to completely change the decor.
Additionally, these linings help eliminate breezes, reduce noise, and impede the sun from fading the home’s interior.
This may be an obvious method of keeping the house warm but many people forget to insulate certain parts of their house.
The biggest room many families avoid insulating or forget to check is their loft.
Although in most cases the loft is away from the main part of the house, it can still affect how cold the home gets if it’s not insulated.
As it’s far more exposed to the weather, the loft will become one of the coldest parts of the house.
This draught will then filter through the spaces in the loft door, meaning the house will cool down far more quickly.
Using material such as mineral wool can cost as little as £20 from stores like Insulation4less. But, it’s vital to insulate other parts of the home too.
Rob Bohm is the Head of Energy and Sustainability at the construction company at CLPM suggests when insulating the home, there are three key factors:
“How big your room or rooms are; what your insulation levels are like; then draught-proofing.”
“The way these factors interact is vital to your energy-saving solution.”
Bohm suggests checking weak points of the house like weak door frames and adding carpets and rugs to rooms for added warmth.
Lower-tech “hacks” such as bubble wrapping windows and bleeding radiators will also help insulate the house as the quality of heat will be better.
The charity, Electrical Safety First found that 42% of people are considering using an electric heater or will definitely use one to warm up a house.
Using these heaters can often work out cheaper for those looking to warm up one room, or just one part of the house e.g. downstairs.
Also, as some of these heaters also have a fan, they can distribute the warm air evenly.
However, it’s important to factor in how long you’d be using an electric heater, depending on your energy package.
According to Ofgem, as of October 2022, the average prices for gas and electricity:
- 10.33p per kWh for gas.
- 28.49p per day for gas standing charge (£103.98 per year).
- 34.04p per kWh for electricity.
- 46.36p per day for electricity standing charge (£169.21 per year).
Therefore, using a smart meter or other forms of measurement can help you keep an eye on the usage and costs.
DESIblitz went into different heaters to use at different price points that can fit into most budgets.
Argos do various electric heaters that you can buy for as little as £22.
We would suggest investing in a high-quality one as it won’t overload sockets as much and can produce a substantial amount of heat.
Rearrange your Furniture
This may come as a surprise but is perhaps the easiest way to keep your house warm during the winter.
If sofas or chairs are placed near doors or windows and you feel cold, then you may be prone to draughts.
Similarly, if you have furniture that sits in front of the radiator, then this could be blocking the heat from effectively circulating around the room.
Even bringing the sofa an inch or so forward will help the room warm up quicker.
Also, hardwood or laminate floors mean that heat is lost quicker through the floor. So, investing in some inexpensive rugs can help.
Ray Jones, a flooring expert at carpet retailer SCS, states:
“As so much heat can be lost through the floor, it’s important to ensure your rooms are well equipped to handle the cold weather.
“Carpet is an ideal solution for this as it’s a poor conductor, meaning hot air will struggle to escape through it and cold air will become trapped in its fibres.
“Refitting your flooring for the winter season may not be feasible for some.
“If you do have hard floors but would like to improve heat retention, a good rug can help towards that goal.”
“Of course, it won’t be as effective as a fully carpeted room, but you definitely should notice a positive difference after laying it.”
Cheap rugs are available across most supermarkets and high street stores. Online shops like Amazon also stock some decorative rugs for as little as £13.95.
So, this small and budget-friendly hack can help retain that much-needed heat through the winter months.
As with most of the tips on this list, keeping things as cheap as possible is the goal without jeopardising the heat.
Especially around Christmas time, families don’t need the added pressure of trying to stay warm whilst dealing with presents and grocery costs.
If these methods don’t work, you can also try installing a shelf above the radiator. This allows the heat to spread evenly across the room, instead of floating upwards.
Even something as small as keeping all the doors closed will help but is often overlooked.
So, try these different techniques out and hopefully, you stay warm this winter