THE number of families in fuel poverty will soar by 200 per cent when the energy price cap goes up again in April.
With millions already feeling the effects of high power bills, one energy firm boss advised customers to hug a pet to stay warm.
Here, Nikki Watkins and Siobhan O’Connor share some better tried-and-tested tips.
For more help, visit nea.org.uk/advice-support.
NOT many people realize heat can escape through floorboards. If your floor isn’t carpeted, add rugs – ideally in wool, which is a great insulator – to keep your home warmer.
Check out the Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree for bargains, or pick up this Scheinman handwoven Kilim wool rug at Wayfair from £ 26.99.
GIVE your rads a little TLC to reap the benefits. Making sure they are clean and dust-free will keep them working efficiently, as dust build-up can prevent heat from circulating.
If they feel warm at the bottom and cold at the top, they need bleeding.
ONE DEGREE COOLER
DROPPING the temperature of your home by just a single degree can save more than £ 100 a year on your heating bill.
The average UK household sets the thermostat to 20C, which is a degree higher than the Committee on Climate Change recommends. The typical range is between 18C and 21C.
UPGRADE your bedsheets for a warmer kip. Our body temperature drops by one or two degrees while we sleep, so to stay cozy, dress your bed with brushed cotton or fleece sheets and duvet covers.
They are warmer than standard cotton bedding, so are perfect for cold nights.
NOT only are they good for keeping your room dark when the sun rises, curtain liners also provide a little extra insulation so they will make the room warmer.
In fact, investing in a thermal lining for your curtains and keeping your drapes shut can reduce heat loss by up to 25 per cent. Try thermal curtain linings, £ 12, at Dunelm.
AVOID feeling the chill by blocking gaps. Draft-proofing your home is one of the most affordable ways of keeping the cold out. The key areas are underneath doors and around windows.
Roll up a blanket or old towel and lay it along the windowsill or under the door. Small holes in the walls can also add to drafts and be remedied with Polyfilla.
NO WET WASHING
HANGING wet washing over your radiators might seem wise for faster drying – but in fact it interferes with the radiators’ main purpose of heating your home.
Covering them prevents heat from escaping, so it takes longer for the warmth to spread.
OPEN DOOR DOOR
ONCE dinner is ready, leave the door open, providing you don’t have young kids running around.
This will allow the warmth to spread around your home, saving a little on how much you need to heat your home.
DITCH LECCY HEATER
PAUL ROGERS says: “It is normally cheaper to use the radiators of a central heating system to heat a whole house.
“An electric heater can be used to quickly warm a room, but is more expensive to use for a long period.”
PAUL ROGERS says: “You can try to reduce drafts and create an insulating gap by fitting clingfilm on the frame of a single-glazed window.
“Other DIY options include fitting a sheet of clear plastic like Plexiglass.”
GET SMART METER
FITTING a smart meter will not automatically save you money. But Paul Rogers explains: “It helps you when you are using energy, and how much it is costing you.
“This information can help you save money by changing your behavior.”
TURN off radiators in the rooms you are not using and fit thermostats to individual radiators throughout the house. Paul Rogers says: “You should use both the main thermostat and the individual radiator valves to control the temperature in the house.
“The main thermostat tells the boiler when to operate. The radiator valves allow hot water to flow into the radiator if the room temperature falls below a set level. ”
HI HO SILVER LINING
IT’S a myth that painting radiators black helps the room to heat up, but putting something reflective – tin foil or reflective card – behind them will bounce heat back into the room.
Paul Rogers, spokesman for the charity National Energy Action, says: “Radiator reflectors can reduce heat loss from radiators through external walls.”
THIS trick is great for distributing heat more evenly. It acts as a shield so that all the heat doesn’t rise upward toward the ceiling.
Instead, it will help the heat to move outwards and into the room. Rejigging furniture to make sure nothing blocks the heat from the radiators is also important.