Around this time every year we’re swamped with energy saving advice. Some of it’s useful and common sense and a lot of it seems to have come straight from Old Grandpa Wisdom’s Book of Sadness. Do you really see yourself sitting all winter with sheets of tinfoil behind your radiators, giving out hand-warmers at the Christmas dinner table and wandering round the house wearing a blanket? Saving energy and money is great, spending six months like extras from Little House on the Prairie: The Wilderness Years, isn’t. So, assuming you’re not ready to slaughter a bear and live inside its carcass yet, here are some easier ways to make winter warmer, have a life and be able to share your Instagram Christmas without kicking-off a family and friends’ intervention.
Investigate Your Energy Provider
Most of us stick with the energy provider we know because it seems easier than changing. But there are almost always better deals and discounts, individually tailored energy solutions and savings if you take a little time to investigate. Look at a comparison site like uSwitch and you’ll find unbiased information and hype-free advice based on your requirements and where you live. And remember, all energy providers might not be the same but they all want your business so it’s in their interests to make a changeover as simple as possible.
Be Thermostat Smart
The old myth about keeping your heating on all the time in winter to save energy is just that, a myth. An up to date, correctly installed thermostat can be set for day and night temperatures and regulated for different seasons. So whatever the weather is doing outside, your house is as warm or cool as you want it to be. Learn to use your thermostat properly and you could save up to £200 a year on your heating bills.
Invest In A Good Duvet
Tempting as it is to turn up the heating overnight in cold weather, don’t. Not only is it a waste of money, it’s bad for your health. Central heating dries the air and you won’t notice while you’re asleep – until you wake up with flu-like symptoms, headaches and even duller winter skin than usual. A feather and down 13.5 tog duvet keeps you naturally cosy, feels luxurious and lets your body breathe. Alternatively, think about buying a duvet with buttons and snap together two autumn weights (18 tog) if you really feel the cold. And there’s a huge range of warm and breathable anti-allergy duvets if feather and down are out of the question.
Heat Your Home Creatively
Changing the way you heat your home in winter doesn’t need major building work. Room dividing internal bifold doors instantly transform larger rooms into smaller, cosier spaces. They’re a great solution in the evening when you want to cocoon a bit without heating the rest of the house. And when you want your big, airy room back during the day – or when winter’s finally over – just fold them unobtrusively away.
Dress For Indoors
Indoors Arctic Explorer isn’t a look anyone wants to channel no matter how cold it gets, but there are one or two minor style adjustments you can make without going full Inuit. It’s also healthier to wear another layer and keep your feet warm than it is to overheat your home – not to mention a lot less expensive. If the very thought of slippers makes you sad, you haven’t been looking at the right slippers – these are so cute, we’d wear them even if it wasn’t winter. And forget sweaters to stop freezing, you want to maintain a comfortable core temperature and that’s about base layers not bulk, indoors and out.
There are plenty of other easy ways to save energy and cut your heating bills this winter. And we’re the first to admit that getting rid of draughts, keeping doors closed and drawing the curtains at night makes sense. But if you find yourself irresistibly drawn to the tin-foil behind the radiator idea, it’s a saving of 80p per annum per radiator with a professional reflector. Is it worth the ugly? Only you can decide.