Heating accounts for about 55% of what we spend in a year on energy bills according to the Energy Saving Trust, so it makes sense to do what you can around the home to transform your home into an efficient and cosy homestead for you and yours. Here are some handy tips for making your home a ‘hygge’ hideaway from the cold.
Switch to LED Now
In September a ban on halogen bulbs came into force, which means that we’ll be obliged to switch to a more greener alternative: LED, which cost more but last far longer and use much less electricity.
On average households have 10 halogen bulbs, and though you are not required to throw them away until they need changing, it is worth considering making the switch now. Purporting to last an average of 15 to 20 years, LED bulbs are supremely cost efficient and will ultimately save you money on your bulbs in the long run, after all, a typical halogen uses £11 of electricity a year while a replacement LED would use only £2 worth.
Don’t Pull the Rug
Wooden and tiled flooring have overtaken the traditional shagpile in many homes, but that just means we have to think of other ways to add softness underfoot and create that comfortable atmosphere for the colder seasons. Far from being simply decoration, rugs are perfect for enjoying the best of both worlds, with the added benefit being that you can change up the style of a room easily, without expensive carpet reupholstering. Why not go for this textured chevron rug from Next with a starting price of £55?
Perhaps with a lightbulb design?
Extra tip: We all know it makes sense to turn off lights when they are not in use, but that doesn’t stop us from forgetting to do so every now and then. Always check: are lights switched off when they’re not needed? Are they being left on in unoccupied rooms? Keeping track of your household’s habits in the winter time is especially important as our bills tend to understandably go up throughout the season.
Turbo Charge Your Heating
Our homes are becoming gadget havens like the Starship Enterprise these days, but for a good reason: to make your home work better for you. Smart thermostats are another piece of handy kit that can ensure your home is toasty and warm by hooking it up to the internet and allowing you to control the temperature at the touch of a button, wherever you are. Techadvisor.co.uk recommends the Nest Learning Thermostat at £219.99 or the more reasonably priced Hive Active Heating 2 at £179.99, both of which can help you save energy and are easy to use.
Upgrade Your Boiler
If your boiler is more than 10 years old, it might be a good idea to replace it with a more efficient model, according to the Centre for Sustainable Energy. In most cases the savings you make from a more efficient boiler over the years will pay for the outlay.
If you decide to go for a new boiler, you should get at least three quotes from qualified heating engineers and they should be on the Gas Safe Register or registered with OFTEC for oil-fired systems. In a detached home, upgrading an old gas boiler with a new A-rated modern condensing boiler, which recovers more heat, sends cooler gases up the flue and is more efficient, could save you up to £305 a year (as of April 2018). Bit of a no-brainer really!
Dodge the Draught
Draught excluders are as much about decoration as function. Although they are small additions, the right one can finish your room with a fun, characterful, or chic flourish. Known for bringing a touch of cosiness, they are super ideal for cheaply keeping the warmth in and the cold air out.
We particularly love this draught excluder from House of Bath that allows you to combat a pesky flow of air and close the door at the same time – often a drawback of the conventional cushioned excluder. The rich Kinsale polycotton draught excluder, priced at £14.99, fits underneath and snuggles either side with dense bolsters that ward off draughts and seal in precious heat.