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Essential Guide to Keeping Your Home Warm this Winter

4 September 2014

Invest in Triple Glazing

SafeChoice triple glazing is approximately 60% more thermally efficient than standard C-Rated aluminium double glazing and 40% more than an A-Rated double glazed window.  Triple glazed windows insulate in a few different ways. Having three panes of glass triples the amount of glass that heat has to get through, slowing its movement and aiding insulation. The real insulating power, however, comes from the trapped air between the panes of glass. SafeChoice uPVC triple glazed windows are amongst the very best in energy rated performance could save you up to £766 per year on your home heating bills. 

Trap your heat

Another effective way of reducing energy bills, certainly in period properties, is simply closing curtains or shutters at dusk. If your curtains aren't heavily lined, tack a blanket behind them, but be sure to let in the light during the daytime – those rays of sun will really warm your home!

Keep your doors shut

Also, keep doors shut when the heating is on, especially if you congregate in one room during the evenings, and dig out Granny's sausage dog – it's one of the best draught excluders going, although door draught excluders, which are fixed underneath, are also good. And don't forget less obvious areas where heat can escape – keyholes and letterboxes, for instance, for which flaps are available.

Check your floor boards

In a typical home, 15 per cent of the heat is lost through the floor alone, so check floorboards and skirting boards for gaps. Just by buying some beading or mastic sealant, you could save £25 off your annual heating bill. If you happen to be renovating your home, insulate beneath floorboards to shave off another £50. 

Block up disused fireplaces

If you have an unused fireplace, be sure the flue is closed and glass doors are in place to minimise heat loss, and consider a chimney pillow/balloon, an inflatable bag made from a special laminate that makes them airtight and which will just shrivel up if heated by accident.


Insulate your water tank

Although by law, all new water storage tanks must now be insulated, older ones will benefit from a hot water jacket. It will set you back only a few pounds and if it's at least 75mm thick, it will save you around £35 a year.  Also, give your radiators some TLC by regularly bleeding them and boosting the heat of those on outside walls with reflector boards, also insulating both cold and hot pipes can reduce heat losses, especially if pipes go through hallways.


Insulate your walls and loft

It's hardly the sexiest thing to spend out on, but around half of heat loss in a typical home is through the walls and loft. No wonder the average British home could save £145 a year by installing loft insulation and £110 a year by installing cavity wall insulation.  Houses built from around 1920 onwards often have cavity walls, which are also simple to insulate, it takes a couple of hours and involves holes being drilled into your exterior walls, into which a nozzle pumps in the insulation.

If your house is older and has solid brick walls (as around half of all UK houses do), it's more complicated, usually requiring 30-40mm of insulation on the inside of all external walls, which then get plastered over.  Subsidies available from both energy providers and local authorities mean you should expect to pay around £150-200 each on your loft and cavity walls – and if you're over 70 or in receipt of qualifying benefits, it may be free.

Lower your thermostat

By turning your thermostat down to reduce your room temperature by just 1C, you could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent and typically save around £55 every year. But the reality is that half of all British homes still don't have a thermostat and even those that do often have one of the old round dials that are far less sensitive and precise than modern digital systems.

Invest in a wood burning stove

Also consider a wood-burning stove if there is a particular room you tend to use more regularly than others. While 80 per cent of the heat in open fires may be lost up the chimney, homes with a wood-burning stove can save £400 on their heating bills as radiators in the room they are installed into can be used far less or not at all. You could even invest in a wood-boiler stove that can handle heating your whole house, up to 19 radiators and ample supplies of domestic hot water.


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