The price of fuel isn’t going to fall any time soon, and although we’re heading into spring right now, you can still start preparing for the next winter so that it turns out cheaper – and warmer. Here’s seven ways to make your house cosier way before the first autumn frosts start.
Install thermostatic valves on your radiators
These valves mean you can turn down (or off) the heat in rooms you’re not using, allowing you to bask warmly in the rooms you are occupying. If you’re a dab hand at DIY then you can do this yourself, but if not, a heating engineer will make short work of it for you. You could reduce your heating costs by 17%.
Think about a woodburner
If you have open fires already, then it’s not a great leap to install a woodburning stove. What you will notice, however, is how much more heat they generate, which means you don’t need your central heating quite as much. You can also do a bit of cooking on top of some models, so there’s another saving.
Invest in a high-quality flooring underlay
The floor is often overlooked when it comes to insulation, with the windows and the loft getting all the attention. However, anything up to 15% of your heat could be escaping through the floor, so a good flooring underlay won’t just keep your feet warmer! It’s not just for carpets, either, as there are underlays for laminate, parquet and engineered wood floors, too.
Change your energy supplier
It’s a good idea to review your energy supplier at least every couple of years as you may be paying more than you need to. If you never make the effort to switch, you could end up paying up to £200 a year more than customers who stay agile. You could also look into fixed rates, as long as you’re not locked in for more than a couple of years. Paying by direct debit will also knock a few pounds off each year.
Upgrade your boiler
Your boiler uses 60% of your household energy, so making sure you have an efficient model is very important. If yours is 10-15 years old, it’s likely to be very inefficient and although it could cost upwards of £1,000 to fit a new one, you’ll recoup that cost in as little as four years.
See if you can get a grant
If the cost of installing a new boiler or extra insulation seems a bit daunting to you, it’s worth contacting the Energy Saving Trust to see if you’re eligible for a grant to help you with the expense. Some local authorities provide grants and in some areas, energy suppliers can help.
Insulate your loft…
…if you haven’t already. You can lose 25% of your heat through your roof if your loft isn’t insulated. Laying down at least a 270mm layer of insulation can save you upwards of £125 each year and it’s something that you can do yourself. Check how thick your existing insulation is and if it’s not deep enough, re-do it.