Autumn is officially here and many of us will be turning on our heating as the days grow shorter and chiller.
The nation is being urged to work from home again as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country, meaning that many of us will be using our heating more than ever.
It’s estimated that people could spend on average an extra £146 a month on heating due to working from home, so we’ve looked at some simple ways you can try to save cash.
Here are some expert tips on how to stay cosy at home, without firing up your radiators.
Ensure your windows are cold-proof
First things first, if you’re getting unwanted cold air in your home, it could be because your windows are not performing as well as they should be.
In fact, it’s actually estimated that up to a staggering 40% of your home’s energy escapes from your windows. If you live in an older house that lets a lot of the outside air in, purchasing a smoke pen and following the trail will help you detect which draught spots need the most attention.
Martin Troughton, Marketing Director at Safestyle said “ Older windows tend to let a lot of the precious heat from your home escape meaning that you’re using more energy than you probably need to when heating each room. Energy-efficient windows will not only make your home feel warmer and save you money on your energy bills, but they will also help to reduce your carbon footprint.
“It’s not just old windows that can have a negative impact; if your windows are poorly installed and maintained, this can also be problematic. It’s really important to keep up the maintenance of your windows as failing to do so could actually cost you a lot of money in heating bills.
“There are a number of great energy-efficient window options available which are recommended by the Energy Savings Trust. These options are specifically designed to harvest as much free energy into your home as possible.”
Choose a temperature-regulating mattress
There’s nothing worse than struggling to sleep due to the chilly nights but sleeping with the heating on can be equally as unpleasant.
Though many of us often turn to hot water bottles and electric blankets as a way of staying cosy, we should also be thinking about our mattress choice.
Jonathan Warren, director at bed specialist Time4Sleep gives his advice on how to choose the right mattress, he said: “There are a number of mattress options available that can help regulate your body’s temperature.
“Generally speaking, a memory foam mattress is usually the best option if you find yourself feeling the cold at night due to the dense material which absorbs heat.”
Control the temperature with the right window treatment
Blinds and shutters aren’t just used for keeping the light out, they can also be used to effectively control the temperature in your home.
Jason Peterkin, director at 247 Blinds provides his expert opinion on the best window treatments for the colder months.
He said: “Wooden Venetian Blinds or Plantation Shutters are great for helping to retain the heat as the materials are generally thicker and essentially act as a barrier between your windows and the room. Wood is also a naturally good insulator, helping to keep the interior temperature comfortable and warm.
“If you’re opting for fabric blinds, go for a thicker material such as a blackout blind that blocks both sunlight and draughts. As a general rule, try to select a fabric blind without horizontal slats too as any gaps in the material will allow cold air through more easily.”
Prep your bed with a thicker duvet and cosy layers
Many of us opt for classic white cotton sheets when it comes to dressing the bed, but autumn is the perfect opportunity to inject a little colour and texture with cosy layers.
Not only is this a treat for the eye, it’s also the perfect way to create a warm and cosy sleeping environment, without turning to central heating.
Lucy Ackroyd, Head of Design at Christy said: “My top tip to stay extra toasty and create a chic, on-trend bedroom is to layer up a variety of throws in different textures and complementary colours. Layers are proven to trap in heat and can be the perfect finishing touch to a beautifully dressed bed.
“Changing your duvet to a higher tog during the colder months can also really help to keep you warm throughout the night; we’d recommend that you choose a tog of around 13.5 or higher.”
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Eliminate pesky draughts with accessories
Both external and internal doors can lead to chilly draughts as they allow warm air to escape and cold air to creep in. Investing in some good quality draught excluders can really make a difference, especially during the cooler nights.
Consider adding plush pile carpets and rugs to rooms with hard flooring if you find yourself getting cold feet during the autumn and winter seasons. Not only do they help keep your feet warm and cosy, they’re also great for adding style and colour to your room.
Be smart with your heating
Of course, there will come a point when you just need to pump the heating around to give your home a warm boost. However, it pays to be smart when it comes to using the heating and investing in a smart home system can really help you save money as it allows you to only heat the rooms that are in use, rather than the full house.
You could also add a thermostat upstairs and downstairs to heat one floor at a time.