9 ways to save money heating your home

You won’t believe how simple it can be to lower your heating bills. Use these tips to get started…

Did you know that heating one room an extra one degree for a year releases an additional 310-360kg of CO2? So, by following these tips, you’ll not only be helping yourself, but the environment too.

Cat sleeping on a radiator

Just put a jumper on

It’s as simple as that.

So often we’ll reach for the thermostat when we’re feeling cold. But most of the time, throwing on a quilt or extra layer is just as effective.

Even a warm drink could heat you up just as well as the radiator.

Make this a new rule in your house to stop people fiddling with the thermostat.

Keep the heat in...

If you’re the type to leave the doors in your house open, you could be accidentally letting heat out. There’s no point heating your hallways!

Better still, you can install draft excluders (insulation strips) around the outside of the door to stop heating escaping even when it’s closed.

Keeping the curtains closed is another great way to keep the heat in, especially if you haven’t installed double glazing.

And if you’re worried heat is escaping through your chimney, you could install a woollen Chimney Sheep or Chimney Balloon.

... And keep the cold out

A simple way to stop drafts getting in is to insulate your letterbox. Try installing an Ecoflap to stop those cold winds coming through the front door.

Another way cold gets in is through the windows. Therefore, you might like to re-caulk the outsides of your window to make sure there are no cracks or holes.

If cold is getting in through your floorboards you may have to resort to more drastic measures. Laying a carpet could stop draughts coming up through the cracks, but if the room is large and your home is Victorian or older, you may want to consider a permanent solution such as installing mineral wool insulation between layers of floorboards.

Upgrade your thermostat...

Look into getting a smart thermostat if you don’t already have one. They allow you to change your heating settings from your smartphone.

You can easily set timers to make sure that the house is warm in the mornings and evenings, and that you’re not using heating while you’re at work.

And if you don’t return home – maybe you’re working late, or meeting friends – you can simply change the settings while you’re out and about.

... And your radiators

A simple but effective change you can make to improve the efficiency of your radiators is to stick reflective foil behind it.

This stops heat being absorbed by your wall and reflects it back into your room instead.

You can now also find smart radiator valves that let you control the temperature on each radiator in your house individually using a smartphone app.

You can even track the energy being used, so you know which ones are doing their job and which ones are wasting heat.

Let there be light!

Saving energy doesn’t get any simpler or more cost effective than this.

If you have windows facing the sun during the day, leave the curtains open while you’re at home or work.

This will fill the room with natural warmth that you should still feel at the end of the day.

Insulate your hot water tank

Your hot water tank stores all the warmth for your home. If it loses heat, it will have to re-warm itself – this wastes energy and costs you money.

Simply by zipping it up in a hot water cylinder jacket, you can reduce heat loss. A British Standard jacket costs around £15, but could save you as much as £20 a year – surely that’s a no-brainer?

Use a… fan?

Yep, you heard right.

If you’ve got corners in your home where hot air doesn’t reach, you may be tempted to install a space heater. But a pedestal fan on a low setting can work just as well, gently blowing warm air from the radiator towards forgotten pockets of your room.

According to the Energy Use Calculator, the difference in price is pretty staggering. While a 1500W space heater can cost as much as £3.60 to run for 24 hours, even a heavy-duty 100W ceiling fan will only cost around 24p to run for the same amount of time. That could work out over 14x cheaper!

Bigger ideas

Of course, if you’re truly committed to lowering your heating bills while modernising your property, there are plenty of larger changes you can make.

There are loads of things you can do depending on your budget and how much work you’re willing to have done.

This ranges from installing a smart thermostat, to replacing your single-pane windows with double glazing – up to getting the builders to install cavity wall or solid wall insulation.

Check out 10 more ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency on the Home by Halifax site.