The United Kingdom is one of those parts of the world that is well known for having some of the coldest winters. During the winter, countries in the southern hemisphere like Australia get to enjoy 30+ degree heat and “barbecues on the beach”, yet northern hemisphere parts of the world such as our little island have to endure harsh winters at times. You can also visit this link to get more information about it.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, we are always finding our heating bills go up around that time of year – every year, without fail!
Draught – the most common cause of cold homes
As the months get colder and windier, the temperature inside our homes is likely to be affected too. Draughts occur where there are any unwanted gaps in the construction of your homes, such as windows, doors, letterboxes, pipework, and suspended floorboards.
So what can we do to make sure that our heating bills stay low, and the temperature in our homes stays high? Here are some top tips to help you stay warm this winter and lower your heating bills!
Draught-proofing your home
The first thing you should do is stop any more cold air coming into your home through any gaps – a process known as draught-proofing. The most common ways of draught-proofing your home are as follows:
- Windows – seal any gaps around windows with silicone sealant or self-adhesive strips;
- Doors – install a purpose-made keyhole disc, and a flap or brush (or both) for your letterbox;
- Chimneys – get a cap fitted on your chimney pots if you don’t use your chimney, or if you do, get a chimney draught excluder;
- Skirting boards – seal any gaps using a flexible silicone-based sealer, such as decorator’s caulk;
- Loft hatches – fit some strip insulation on your loft hatch. Because hot air rises, it can escape into your loft, so by sealing the loft hatch it’ll keep the warm air inside your home;
- Pipework – you could seal any gaps around pipework using expanding foam.
You can find the materials and tools needed for these jobs from your local DIY supplies store.
Insulating your home
The next thing to do is to make sure that your home is well insulated. You should consider having loft and cavity wall insulation so that your home can retain its heat as much as possible. You can either do this yourself or get a professional to do it for you (recommended).
Some people may be eligible for free loft and cavity wall insulation in their properties. The process of loft insulation normally involves having rolls of mineral wool, made from glass or rock fiber. Cavity wall insulation involves drilling several small holes around a meter apart into your exterior walls, using specialist equipment to “blow” insulation inside the cavity, and then plugging the holes drilled.
Double-glazed windows and doors
Finally, and this is perhaps the most costly exercise recommended on this page, you should make sure that your windows and doors have energy-efficient double-glazing. Not only is it good for keeping the warmth inside your home, but it’s great for keeping any exterior noise out of it too!