Keep warm this winter with these handy tips | Yeoman Stoves

Keep warm this winter with these handy tips

Winter has just begun and cold, damp weather is here to stay for the next few months. A wood burning or multi-fuel stove will provide plenty of ambient warmth for your home but what else can you do to ensure your spring utility bills don’t creep up? Try these top tips for keeping your home warm, dry and healthy.

Targeted heat – heating the spaces you use, not the spaces you don’t

If your central heating is run from a thermostat, save energy (not to mention money) and ensure the temperature is kept to a minimum in the rooms you use most infrequently. A solid fuel, gas or electric stove will help you to target heat output and keep the rooms you regularly inhabit pleasantly warm. Complementing existing central heating systems, a stove or fire gives you more concentrated warmth. Gas fuelled appliances also often come with the added benefit of a programmable remote control. This would enable you to set your fire or stove to a schedule that fits in with your lifestyle and ensures you return to a warm home. Boiler stoves also provide the opportunity to create targeted warmth whilst also giving you the added benefit of heating the water you need. Some can feed up to 19 radiators in your home!

Get a grant and insulate

A substantial amount of heat is lost to the great outdoors due to ineffective or a lack of insulation. The Energy Saving Trust estimate that 25% of heat is lost through the roof while a staggering 33% seeps through the walls. With many homes in the UK (in fact most built prior to 1990) lacking insulation or – in the case of those built prior to 1920 – cavity walls, it is reassuring to know that a number of options are open to you to improve your home. You can still take advantage of grants and payment plans made available via a number of companies and organisations including your local authority. To find out more view the Energy Saving Trust’s Take Action webpage. If the total cost seems high, take some succour from the estimate that cavity wall insulation alone will save in the region of £140 per year and also add value to your home.

Banish drafts

Quite simply you do not want to pay money to heat your home and then allow that precious warmth to escape from the rooms that need it. Keep internal doors shut to allow warm air to circulate those areas you use frequently and want to spend the most time in. A hallway can suck warmth from your cosy sitting room and whisk it away so make sure to keep the door closed and invest in draft excluders. Hard flooring and skirting boards are another area of potential heat loss; if you feel a draft, consider replacing or renovating where required as the initial outlay and inconvenience will be more than met by the reduction in your heating bill. Ensure your windows are well maintained; this won’t be a problem for modern, double glazed uPVC models but for older wooden styles check the structure of the frame isn’t compromised. There are options available to improve the heat retention properties of single glazed windows. Alternatively invest in double or triple glazing where possible and appropriate to the style of your house. Buy some heavy curtains and ensure they are opened each morning to allow sunlight in and then drawn in the evening as soon as the sun sets to trap as much warmth as possible. This will also act as a barrier to stop both drafts and warm air travelling in the wrong direction! As technological advancements are made, it is worth considering what might be available to you. This could include heat-reflecting glass in your windows to boost your home’s temperature.

Make the most of existing heat

Did you know that something as straight forward as coating the back of your radiators in tin foil (shiny side facing the back of the appliance) can increase their efficacy? Although not universally supported, the theory is that a sheet of domestic tin foil such as that used in cooking, placed behind your radiator will prevent heat from being absorbed by the wall, throwing it back into your room instead. Some advocate cutting pieces of cardboard to size and covering it with tin foil before affixing it to the wall behind your radiators with tape.

Further reading and sources of information and advice:

• Your local authority

• The HHIC (Heating and Hotwater Industry Council)

• Energy Saving Trust

• Stove Industry Alliance

• HETAS

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