Does your house get cold in the winter? Maybe you’ve moved out of state to somewhere much colder than you’re used to and you’re struggling with the cold. The usual suggestions to keep your house warmer, like insulation, double-glazing, or a new heating system, are all pretty expensive. If you’re on a stricter budget you don’t have to just put up with the cold though. Here are some wallet-friendly ways to stay warm this winter.
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Use Tin Foil
One way to stop your radiators from losing their heat, especially the ones that are on walls shared with outside, is to put heat-reflecting foil behind the radiators. This foil stops the heat from being escaping through the wall to the outside and will reflect it back into the room instead. Foil specifically designed to do this isn’t too expensive, but you can also make do with good quality kitchen foil, although it won’t do as good a job.
Hang Thick Curtains
Thick curtains are one of the simplest ways to keep heat in the house and not escaping out of the window. Curtains with a thermal lining are a relatively cheap option that work well. The thicker the curtain you hang, the better a job it will do. To save more money, you don’t have to replace all your curtains. Instead, you can line them with something cheap but warm, like fleece. Some people even use PVC shower curtains.
Don’t just use curtains over the windows. Hang a thick curtain in front of any doors that lead to outside to add another layer to keep the heat in. Not got a spare curtain? You can pin an old rug over the back of the door instead.
Let Sunlight In
Keep your curtains open during the day to let the sun in. Sunlight is natural, and completely free, heat, so you should make the most of it when you can. As soon as it starts to get dark, close the curtains to trap in all that heat you got during the day.
Fake Double Glazing
Double glazing is heat-efficient, but it’s usually not cheap. If you can afford it, it’s by far the best option. Speak to an advisor about a Renewal by Andersen windows to find the most affordable way to replace your windows if you can.
If you really can’t afford new double-glazed windows, you can fake it. Single-glazed windows can be covered with a film. This film mimics the effect of double-glazing, although it won’t be as effective. Use double-sided tape to attach the film to your window frame, and fix it in place with a hairdryer. There is a downside to this film though. If you open the window, the seal will be broken The film is cheap, so it can be replaced a few times without hurting your wallet too much. As an alternative, you can fit self-adhesive foam strips to seal closed any gaps in the edges of your windows. Metal or plastic strips with brushes or wipers attached are more expensive, but they will last longer than cheaper options. You can also use these strips around the hinges and frames of your doors as a draught excluder.
Stop Heat From Being Lost Up The Chimney
A lot of us have fireplaces that we don’t actually use. If you don’t use your chimney, then you can fill it with a chimney balloon. A vast amount of heat is lost through an open chimney. A chimney balloon is made out of a laminate material. These balloons can be bought quite cheaply, and are placed inside the chimney, just out of sight. The balloon is then inflated until it blocks out any cold air from getting in and stops heat from getting out. Just make sure you don’t start a fire without taking the balloon out first. You could buy a woollen chimney insulator instead, although this will also need to be taken out if you want to use the fireplace.
Watch Out For Draughts
More cold air then you’d think can get in through your letterbox. It’s well worth putting an extra barrier there to stop it. A brush might be a nuisance for your postman trying to get your letters in past the brush, but it can stop a draught from blowing in the letterbox. Draughts can get in through the keyhole too, which can be covered with a circular cover that slides over the top. In older homes that have wider keyholes, this is even more important. If you have a cat or a dog flap in the door, you can cover this with a piece of blanket. Your pet can still get in and out, but draughts won’t. Even a small cold breeze can make the house feel a lot colder so these steps can make a big difference.
Make DIY Draught Excluders
Get a little old-fashioned and make your own DIY draught excluder. Classic draught excluders work brilliantly. The most common style of draught excluder is the ‘sausage dog’. The ‘sausage dog’ kind of draught excluder is in the shape of a dachshund or ‘sausage’ dog. Lay the draught excluder at the bottom of the door, to stop heat from getting out through the gap under the door. You can use just about any piece of cloth to wedge into this gap. If you’re not skilled at sewing, you can still make a very basic draught excluder that will still work. Cut the top off and old pair of tights, and stuff one leg with old socks, fabric socks, lentils, or rice. Tie a knot in the end to keep the filling in, and you’re done. If you’re feeling more ambitions, you can decorate it before you use it.
Clear Your Radiators
Try to avoid blocking your radiators with large pieces of furniture, like your sofa, in front of them. Furniture like this will be absorbing the heat from your radiator, instead of being let into the room where you actually need it.
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