MILLIONS are worried about heating costs as we head further into winter and draughty households could be losing even more money.
Energy bills have soared to £2,500 for the typical household this winter, meaning many will be worried they simply can’t afford to keep warm.
Home insulation and heating expert Dave Raval, chief executive of Loftzone, has revealed how you can avoid overspending on heating by identifying these six heat loss hotspots in your home.
“A lot of people are making quite radical lifestyle changes at home because they are scared about the heating bill,” Dave said.
“There are lots of things everybody could do in their own homes that are quite easy and inexpensive.
“The best energy saving is the energy you don’t use, so looking at where heat may be escaping is key.
“You want to avoid paying to heat the air in your house and letting it go straight out.”
Cracks and gaps around the home cost the typical household £60, according to Shell Energy.
As hot air escapes and cold air comes in through cracks, households crank up the heating and leave it on higher for longer.
But plugging up these gaps around the home could you to save some much needed cash.
Lower costs in the lounge
Lay down a rug
If your floor isn’t insulated it can account for up to 10% of your home’s heat loss, especially if it’s wooden flooring.
Dave said that adding an extra layer, especially of something in a cosy material, like a rug, can not only cover over gaps you might find in the flooring but also prevent some warm air from escaping.
Buy a radiator fan
Radiator fans attach to the underside of your radiator and gently push heat upwards through the radiator fins to help with the airflow.
Dave said: “As heat rises, the ceiling gets warm first, then only afterwards does the lower part of the room start to warm up.
“To tackle this, why not consider a radiator fan, which you can put on top of a radiator.
“It simply blows the heat on to you, rather than let it drift upwards, so you feel warmer, sooner.”
Radiator can can be a bit costly, with prices on Amazon ranging from between £39 to £99.
You also need to factor in the cost of running this gadget to work out if it will save you money.
Check for draughts
Your windows and doors are draughty hotspots, but a simple and cheap fix could help you save cash on your bills.
Buy draught-proof tape around windows to seal them up and stop the cold air coming in
Dave said: “The first thing I would always do in the home is to look for draughts.
“Don’t let the money you’ve spent on heating your house seep through the gaps.
“One cold evening, go around with your hand across every window and across every door and feel for draughts.
“Older houses typically lose more heat through gaps in doors, floorboards, and windows, so it’s vital to plug these gaps.”
On Amazon, you can buy 10 metres of the self-adhesive seal for only £2.85, for example.
Put draught excluders up against your door to save money on your bills.
It’s a good way of plugging up the gaps where hot air can escape.
If you’re looking to buy one, they will set you back between £8 and £10 from retailers like Dunelm, Wayfair and The Range.
Cut costs in the kitchen
Don’t overfill your kettle
Avoid overfilling the kettle and boiling more water than you need.
It just means the kettle will be boiling for longer when you won’t come to use the water that’s been heated.
Stop wasting water
Dave said: “Often people forget the water used whilst washing up.
“Use a bowl, or plug the sink, to avoid washing every item under the hot water tap, that is just heated water you’ve paid for that is going down the plughole,
“You can rinse cleaned crockery etc with cold water, too.”
Manufacturers of Fairy recently changed the ingredients so the washing up liquid will work with cooler temperatures.
Budget for the bedroom
Handy radiator gadget
Dave said it’s important to not waste money heating rooms that you don’t spend much time in.
Dave said: “Most homes have one single thermostat controlling your temperature, but many rooms need less heat.
“Ask yourself – does your bedroom need to be hot at midday? Does your hall need to be as warm as your lounge?
“Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) can be fitted without needing to do any plumbing.
“They just screw on and allow you to turn down or up individual radiators – easy.”
By attaching a thermostatic valve to their radiator, you can limit or turn off the flow of gas into the radiator while the central heating is on.
This will allow you to only heat the rooms you want to, meaning there is no need to turn on every radiator in the house just to heat up over the coming winter.
The gadgets can cost around £20 from Toolstation and Victoria Plumbing and up to £100 elsewhere for a smart controlled TRV.
Check your curtains
Open your curtains as soon as it’s light then shut them when it gets dark, Dave said.
This is because the sun will warm up the room naturally, and closing them in the evening will stop the heat from escaping again.
You can also buy thermal blackout curtains that will help cut down your bills.
These work by being able to create a firm seal to the wall which can protect a home from the transfer of heat both ways – that means it’ll be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer months too.
But that’s not the only step you should take.
If you want to stop as much hot air escaping then try taping the curtains to the wall or using electrical tape to keep the middle together and closed.
You’ll need to seal your drawn curtains with the heavy duty tape from top to bottom so no air can get through.
Don’t break the bank in the bathroom
Shower, don’t bathe
If you’re usually a fan of a long soak, Dave says you might want to switch to taking showers instead, particularly if they’re short ones.
A shower will use much less hot water and spending less time in the shower will also save money on your energy, and also reduce your water bills if you are on a meter.
Don’t forget about ventilation
It’s vitally important to ventilate your home to avoid mould and condensation building up.
But Dave warns that the moment you switch on a fan, or open a window, you will be losing heat.
So while you shouldn’t stop ventilating your home altogether, be mindful of how long you’re doing it for.
Spend less in the loft and the garage
Insulate the loft
Heat rises and in a typical British home, around 25% of your heat goes out through your ceiling, into your loft and out of through the roof.
Most people have some loft insulation, usually between the joists and maybe two three inches.
Insulation acts as the woolly hat for your home, trapping the heat inside so you need less energy to heat it constantly.
Dave says insulation is vital for helping homeowners save hundreds of pounds in heating bills every year.
But he says most people don’t know that squashing insulation makes it less efficient.
He said: “We love to use our lofts for storage or to wander around it for access.
“However, don’t put your boxes straight on the insulation or board down directly onto the joists, doing this will double the heat loss which has a big impact on your bills.
“Fluffy loft insulation works by trapping air so when you squash it you get rid of all those air bubbles, and it doesn’t work so well.
“Raised loft boarding is the best at preventing this, creating a raised platform for boarding to rest on.
Loftzone sells store floor kits, with prices starting at around £75.
You can also buy loft legs from retailers such as Toolsation – they work by raising the loft floor so your insulation isn’t compressed.
Don’t forget the garage
If you don’t spend a lot of time in your garage, it’s worth checking if it’s being heated or not, Dave said.
If it is, consider turning off the radiators to avoid spending unnecessary money.
But, of course, projects, repairs and hobbies must go on, so if you use your garage regularly don’t turn the heat off for the sake of it.
You could consider using a TRV to control when control when it is being heated.
Here are five of the cheapest electric heaters under £30 so you can avoid putting the central heating on.
Plus, we round up other ways to save on your energy bills with a number of small tweaks.
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