Dog keeping warm in blankets for The Tonic

7 ways to stay warm and save money this winter

With the temperature plummeting into winter, many of us have turned our heating on already. What if we told you how you could stay just as warm and cosy, without racking up an expensive energy bill?

To avoid having your central heating on steading from now until March, there are ways you can utilise household items and clever hacks to stay warm and still save money this winter.

1. Layer up

This one may sound obvious, but most of us prefer to just switch the radiators on instead of pulling on a thick knitted jumper that’s been in the back of our wardrobes for a year.

There is a knack to clever layering, and it isn’t finding the biggest sweater you can. Wear thermals under your clothes, such as a vest and/or leggings (men, you can do this too). Pop a thin long sleeved top over, following by a jumper (wool is warmer) with a baggy cardigan or dressing gown over the top.

If you don’t already have some, invest in thick socks and comfy slippers. The ones with shearling inside are best, providing you with ultimate comfort as well as warmth. These are a must have if you have wooden floors or draughty doors.

2. Use the sun

The heat from the big ball of fire in the sky is free, so use it! Make sure you’re allowing sunlight through your windows during the day to heat up the parts of your house it shines upon, but make sure to close your curtains once it disappears. This will keep the warmth in and the cold out, acting as an extra layer of insulation to the windows.

Invest in ‘winter curtains’ that you use in the winter months. Thicker, black-out curtains will do a better job of keeping the heat in that those pretty but thin curtains you’ve had up in the summer. The darker the colour, the better the insulation.

3. Get your boiler serviced

Or if it’s old, get an update. Newer boilers are more efficient, as they use less energy to provide the same amount of heat. You’ve also got the peace of mind going into winter knowing that if it’s new, it’s less likely to cause you any issues!

Saving money piggy bank

4. Set timers on your heating

We might love to have the heating on all day, but this isn’t great for the environment or our bank accounts! Set a timer for your heating to come on when you really need it. Good advice is to have it on for half an hour to an hour in the morning as you’re getting up, and for the same amount of time during the evening before you get into bed.

Your energy bill will be lower  if you have your heating on at a lower temperature for 30 mins or so before you get out of bed, compared to whacking it on at a higher temperature as and when you need it.

5. Rearrange your furniture

Having your sofa or chair right in front of the radiator may seem like the quickest way to warm up, but in reality, the radiator is unable to heat the whole room. Give space in front of your heating devices to ensure they’re about to heat the air around them.

While we’re talking about radiators, you can invest in relatively cheap panels that reflect the heat from your radiators back into the room, rather than just heating the wall above them up!

6. Maximise your insulation

If you’ve got awfully thin windows that you’ve had for the past 20 years, it’s time for a replacement. Likewise almost a quarter of the heat  in a house is lost through the roof. Installing extra insulation in your loft may be costly, but it will save you money in the long run. It may also be worth seeing what the insulation in your walls is like while you’re at it. Make sure any cracks or holes are blocked to stop draughts getting in and heat escaping out. It’s a great way to save money and stay warm – why not look into some insulation grants? Could you get help with the cost?

Read this article about topping up your income in retirement

  1. Rugs and hot water bottles are your friends

Layering the floor with rugs is an excellent way to prevent heat loss through the floorboards, especially if you don’t already have a carpet down. Not to mention the added comfort it will bring for your poor cold feet! The more layers you have around you, the warmer your home will be.

Also, hot water bottles are incredibly efficient! You can buy them fairly cheap from any major retailer, and you can utilise them in a number of ways to keep yourself warm. Pop them under your duvet ready for when you go to bed, wrap them up in a blanket to cuddle when you’re on the sofa, or just place them on your feet for extra warmth!


For more advice on staying warm, check out the Energy Saving Trust

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Carly Pepperell

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