Keeping your home warm during winter
A lot of households in the UK struggle to afford to keep warm during winter.
There is support available, and there are things you can do around the house to help.
Support is available for people who are older, on benefits or disabled. See help with your energy bills.
For advice about energy bills, or to sign up to our energy saving training, see energy bills.
There are lots of small changes you can make around your home to keep warm and save money.
Double glazing helps to keep your home warm.
Make sure it's in a good condition.
If you're concerned about the condition of your windows or doors, call us on 0300 123 6633 or report a repair.
Draught-proofing doors and windows can make a big difference, and can be done without spending lots of money.
You could try:
- Coverinng keyholes and cat flaps.
- Making a draught excluder. There are lots of DIY instructions available online, for example OVO Energy: make a sausage dog draught excluder
For a full list of tips, go to Energy Saving Trust: Draught-proofing.
Open curtains in the day, close them at night
Make sure you open your curtains in the day, and close them when it gets dark.
Letting sunlight in during the day makes use of free heat.
Closing your curtains when it gets dark acts as a layer of insulation.
Use timers on your central heating
Programming your boiler to turn the heating on a little earlier at a lower temperature is cheaper than turning it on when you need it at a higher temperature.
Don't leave your heating on low all day if you're out. You're paying for heat when you don't need it. Set it to come on just as you are due to get home.
If you're only going to be out for a couple of hours, turn your thermostat down.
For advice on using your heating system, see boiler, heating and hot water.
Read more at Money Saving Expert: Energy saving myths.
Move your sofa
If your sofa is in front of the radiator, it's absorbing heat that could be warming your home.
Move it away from the radiator, so that hot air can move freely around your room.
Around 25% of heat is lost through the roof.
Contact your energy supplier for free insulation grants.
Wrap up warm
Simple things like putting on a jumper, dressing gown, or cuddling up under a blanket can help take the chill off.
For your duvet, anything over 10 tog is considered suitable for winter.
Turn down your thermostat
Research shows that turning your thermostat down by 1°C could reduce your heating bill by up to 10%.
Public Health England advises 18°C as a recommended a minimum temperature.
Reflect the heat from your radiator
Radiator panels are quite cheap, easy to install, and make sure that heat from your radiators warms up your room and not your walls.
They work by reflecting the heat back into the room.
Tin foil behind the radiator works just as well.
Shut the doors
When you're in a room, shutting the door can increase the room's temperature.
This works by keeping in your body heat and the heat produced by lights and electronics.
Shutting the door when you leave the room will help keep the heat in that room.
Food and drink
Have regular hot drinks and food such as porridge, soups and stews.
Try to avoid alcohol before going, or when, outside.
It makes you feel warm because blood vessels in the skin expand, but this draws heat away from your vital organs.
Keep as active as possible to boost your circulation.
Move around at least once an hour and avoid sitting still for long periods.
Even light exercise will help keep you warm.
When you do sit down, put your feet up as it's coldest nearest the ground.
For more top tips, visit LEAP: Useful information.