Warmer house, lower fuel bills

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We’re lucky to have had a pretty mild winter so far. But things are on the turn. Fuel poverty is a nasty reality of the country’s economy for many families, and we’re expecting snow as well, just to make this worse. So this weekend might be a good time to carry out an audit of your home to make sure that you have done everything possible to make it snug and cosy as winter draws in. Avoid having to stoop to spending your days swathed in a Slanket.

1. Make sure every window has curtains, preferably with a fleecy interlining. Although floor length curtains look stylish, they often block heat from getting into the room from radiators, so choose curtains that finish above radiator level if fuel economy is an issue for you.

2. Use draft excluder on doors and windows – this is very cheap and can be bought in strips to be nailed on wherever there are drafts.

3. Use temporary double glazing on your windows – this is a type of cling film that is fixed with double-sided tape and then shrunk to fit with a hairdryer. It can be removed in the spring if necessary.

4. Make heat deflectors for behind your radiators by covering pieces of board with foil and sliding them down the back.

5. Fix shelves above your radiators to deflect the heat into the room rather than letting it travel up to the ceiling.

6. Cover your letterbox with a flap so you don’t heat the street.

7. Use door curtains to stop heat escaping to hallways.

8. Consider keeping one room super cosy and pleasant and gathering there when it’s really cold.

9. Use cheap £5/£10 duvets as mattress toppers.

10. Make sure the oven is full whenever you use it, so you are cooking 2-3 days’ worth of meals at once and then reheating them quickly and cheaply in the microwave when you need them.

Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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