If you're one of the millions rationing their heating use to combat rising bills, these handy hints might come in useful.

1. Reduce draughts

Below are some ideas on how best to do this...

  • Stop under-door draughts with draught excluders.
  • Seal up gaping letter boxes with draught excluders; you can get magnetic ones as well as felt and brush strips to prevent cold air from rushing into your home.
  • Seal up draughty window frames with silicone sealant to make them more energy efficient.
Hands fitting insulating strips to the inside of an open window
Image credit Canva.com

2. Dehumidifiers are a game-changer

As I mentioned above, dehumidifiers are great for cold, damp houses and will make the house feel so much more comfortable when they have got to work removing excess moisture from the air. This moisture removal alone will make the air temperature 'feel' warmer, but an added advantage with some models is that they actually produce heat as a by-product of the dehumidification process. This is the dehumidifier we bought... it's brilliant, small in size but powerful and not too noisy.

3. Heated clothes airers

I bought this heated airer from Robert Dyas a few years back and it's a lifesaver when it comes to drying the never ending piles of wet washing we create every day when the heating isn't on. It holds a good load of laundry, sometimes two and definitely reduces the drying time. You do have to move the clothes about a bit to get the best from the airer, it's a bit like cooking things on a BBQ(!) but it's worth it. I position the dehumidifier right next to the airer and they work together - a winning combo.

4. Use window insulation film

Last winter I used a brilliant £3.50 kit I got from Amazon as it was such good value and really helped us as our old uPVC windows, although double glazed, are very inefficient and a cause of lots of heat loss.

Here were my findings...

Window Insulation Kits:The results

The science bit: As air temp decreases, so does the volume of moisture it can hold (a room at 20c can hold twice the amount of water vapour that a room at 10c can).

- The dew point is the temp at which water vapour condenses into water.

- When warm moist air hits a cold (below the dew point) surface it causes condensation.

Conclusion

- These kits are great for reducing heat loss through inefficient windows which will help save money on your heating bills, increase the room temp and stop the windows attracting condensation but won’t eliminate air moisture completely.

Therefore if your house is inadequately heated you’ll likely have other surfaces below the dew point (external walls for example) which will continue to attract condensation - so if you suffer with very bad condensation and can’t afford to keep a low level heat on all the time or improve the ventilation (retrofitting trickle vents / installing extractors fans etc) then I recommend using with a dehumidifier.

In short, for £3.50 these kits are great value and will definitely help, but won’t solve all your condensation problems on their own.

5. Have you heard of DIY tea light heaters?

There are lots of demo videos on YouTube - definitely worth a nose.

Two terracotta plant pots to stay warm at home without the heating on


6. Heat the person, not the room

Image credit Canva.com

The key is to layer up here are some tips; - Wear more clothing...add a jumper or three!

- Dressing gowns are great for this. I wear mine over my clothes as soon as I get indoors. I think the Amazon delivery driver (whom I see regularly(!) thinks I'm a slob who just never gets dressed!).

- Wearable blankets are a handy addition for sofa lounging - and make great gifts too,

- Throws for the sofa can be used as blankets.

- I recommend buying (all the) hot water bottles!

7. Keep feet up off the cold floors

Image credit: Canva.com 

Rugs and carpet offcuts help insulate your floors. You can pick these up second-hand on Facebook marketplace at charity shops and on sites like Gumtree and freecycle, so you don't have to spend much to feel the benefits. Wear slippers!

8. Ovens...use the trapped heat after cooking

Leave the oven door open after cooking to release the heat into the room, brilliant to keep warm at home without the heating on. If you have children, make sure that they can't get into the kitchen and accidentally touch the open oven. As long as you can do it safely, make the most of all the heat you already paid (through the nose - can you tell I'm feeling bitter) for.

A lady peering into an over of half-baked cookies



My Keylitos dehumidifier (41cm x 29cm x 24cm) 12l / day capacity with a 2.3litre water storage tank and ability to auto drain with a hosepipe attachment.

My Robert Dyas heater clothes airer


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