We are slowly accepting the fact that we are heading into drearier months, and with that, an inevitable drop in temperatures. Our household energy bills tend to increase during autumn and winter, as we turn the heating on, use tumble dryers more frequently, and keep lights on for longer periods of time.
According to PlumbNation, we shouldn’t put our heating on until the clocks go back, which falls on October 31st this year, but there are plenty of other ways we can keep our homes warm.
Five experts weigh in on the most effective ways to keep your home warm this winter, from the optimal room temperature to the togs in your duvet, and why you should never dry washing on a radiator…
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 winter is the perfect opportunity to inject a little colour and texture with cosy layers and sumptuous fabrics such as wool or velvet.
Lucy Ackroyd, Head of Design at Christy, says: ‘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.’
Choose a temperature-regulating mattress
Falling asleep during the chilly nights can be problematic, but sleeping with the heating on is often equally as unpleasant. Rather than turning to hot water bottles and electric blankets as a way of staying cosy, consider your choice of mattress.
Jonathan Warren, director at bed specialist Time4Sleep, says: ‘There are a number of mattress options available that can help regulate your body’s temperature. The generation of elite gel memory foam mattresses include intelligent temperature regulating technology to help keep you cool in the summer and warm during autumn and winter.
‘These mattresses include a temperature-regulating gel that adjusts with your body temperature, resulting in a truly refreshing night’s sleep. Generally speaking, a memory foam mattress is usually the best option if you find yourself feeling cold at night due to the dense material which absorbs heat.’
Control the temperature with the right window dressing
‘Wooden Venetian blinds or 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,’ says Jason Peterkin, director at 247 Blinds and 247 Curtains.
‘If you’re opting for fabric blinds or curtains, go for a thicker material such as blackout that blocks both sunlight and draughts. As a general rule with blinds, try to select a fabric without horizontal slats too as any gaps in the material will allow cold air through more easily.’
Be smart with your heating
The perfect temperature in winter is a common debate in many households but Antonio Dengra, CEO at Rointe, advises to set your heating system or thermostat to 21 degrees celsius to maintain it throughout the house.
Antonio says: ‘Whilst maintaining an average temperature in the home will help you achieve the perfect balance between efficient consumption and a pleasant living temperature, it also pays to be smart when it comes to using your heating.
‘A smart home system will allow you to only heat the rooms that are in use, rather than the full house which in turn will help lower your consumption. Even better, investing in smart electric radiators will ensure 100 per cent efficiency as all the electricity you use and pay for directly converts into heat – it can help to cut annual bills by up to 30 per cent and is much more environmentally friendly too.’
Ensure your windows are cold-proof
If you have a draft in your home, it could be because your windows are not performing as well as they should be – it’s estimated that up to 40 per cent 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.
Adam Pawson, Head of Digital at Safestyle UK, the UK’s leading window provider, says: ‘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.
Never hang your clothes on the radiator
If you don’t own a tumble dryer, you’ve more than likely made this mistake before. Antonio says: ‘Many people put wet clothes on top of radiators as a way of drying them but it can have a negative effect on your heating bills as it doesn’t allow for proper air circulation, so your house will take longer to reach to the desired temperature and it will therefore also increase consumption, as will positioning your furniture too close to your radiator. It’s also not advisable from a safety point of view.’
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