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  • Winter Warmth: Tips for Staying Warm Without High Heating Costs
Last updated: 13 March 2024

Winter Warmth on a Budget: How to Stay Cozy Without Cranking Up Energy Bill

As winter approaches, so does the inevitable rise in heating costs. The impending energy bills often make you shiver more than the frosty temperatures outside. But it doesn't have to be this way. There are multiple affordable methods to stay warm, and I'm here to guide you.

This is because the cost of living crisis in the UK has led to astronomical energy bills, leaving millions unable to afford heating during the winter months. The UK government has introduced measures such as the Energy Bill Support Scheme and the Winter Fuel Payment Scheme to help households manage these costs. However, more than these measures are needed for everyone, leading to the emergence of 'warm banks' - safe spaces where people can stay warm.

Understanding your energy bill is the first step to reducing unnecessary expenses. In the following sections, we'll delve into the intricacies of your winter energy bill, discuss low-cost heaters and energy-efficient options, and offer practical tips to help you maintain warmth without breaking the bank.

Let's begin by understanding our energy bills during winter and the cost of staying warm, a crucial aspect of effectively managing and reducing our heating costs.

winter warmth Hero Image

Understanding Your Energy Bill During Winter

Your energy bill during winter can often seem like a complex maze, but it's essential to understand it to make savings. The bulk of the charges are usually down to heating. The type of "heaters" you use, how long you use them, and the size of your house can all significantly impact your bill.

To make your energy bill more understandable, it's worth contacting your energy supplier. Most will happily explain exactly how they calculate your bill and provide practical advice on reducing it. It's also worth comparing prices from different suppliers to ensure you're getting the best deal.

Remember, understanding your energy bill is crucial to finding affordable ways to keep warm in winter. With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions about energy use and take practical steps to reduce your bill.

Tips for Affordable Warmth in Winter

Winter warmth socks

Now that we've understood our energy bills let's look at some affordable tips for staying warm this winter. But remember, The key to maintaining affordable winter warmth lies in maximising heat retention and minimising heat loss. Simple adjustments to your daily routine and lifestyle can result in substantial savings. 

Invest in Low-Cost Items

Investing in low-cost items can also help keep you warm. Here are a few affordable items that can help you stay warm this winter:

Winter EssentialsPrice Range in Pounds
Thermal vests£10-£20
Long underwear£15-£25
Thick socks£5-£10 per pair
Slippers£8 - £30
Hot water bottle£10 - £15
Draught excluders for doors£5 - £15
Window insulation film£10-£20 per roll
Reusable hand warmers (pack of two)£4.99
Chimney balloon (for unused fireplaces)£20 - £30
Electric blanket£20
Fleece or flannel bedding£10 - £20
Draught excluders for doors and windows£5 - £15
Insulating foil for radiators£5 - £30
Thermal curtainsstarting at around £20
Sweaters£20-£50
Leg warmers£5-£15

Additional Tips for Winter Warmth

Layer-up is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to stay warm. Wearing multiple layers of clothing can help trap body heat and keep you warm for longer. This includes wearing hats, gloves, and scarves, preventing heat loss through the head and neck.

Thermal clothing can be an excellent investment for winter. For instance, Decathlon offers affordable thermal wear, with base layers starting as low as £3.99. 

Winter Blanket
  1. Layer up: Wearing more layers will help trap body heat and keep you warm
  2. Stay active: Moving around and engaging in physical activities can help you feel warmer.
  3. Use electric or weighted blankets: These blankets are cost-effective ways to stay warm in bed.
  4. Thick curtains: Prices vary, but you can find good options for under £50.
  5. Move furniture away from external walls: This can help reduce heat loss through walls.
  6. Enjoy hot meals and drinks: Consuming warm food and beverages can help raise your body temperature.

Behavioural changes to save energy

Staying warm this winter doesn't have to be expensive. This could involve adjusting your daily routines. Simple practices like layering clothes, drinking warm beverages, and using heated blankets can provide affordable warmth. Remember that 40 to 45 per cent of body heat is lost through the head and neck.

Winter warmth hot water bottle

Additionally, using sunlight to your advantage can help heat your home naturally. By opening your curtains during the day, you can allow sunlight to heat your rooms. Remember to close your curtains at night to retain the heat.

Low-Cost Heaters

Low-cost heaters can be a great solution to beat high heating costs in winter. They are usually portable, meaning you can move them around your home to heat only the areas you are using. Fan heaters, oil-filled radiators, and halogen heaters are just a few examples of affordable heaters that can keep your home warm.

Though low-cost heaters might not always be the most energy-efficient option, they can be cost-effective, especially for heating small spaces. It's crucial, however, to ensure you choose a heater that's suited to your needs and safe to use.

Energy-Efficient Heaters

Switching to energy-efficient heaters can be a game-changer in your quest for affordable warmth. These heaters use less energy to produce the same amount of heat as conventional heaters, thus reducing your energy bill.

Heat pumps are considered the most efficient heating systems, with efficiency rates as high as 400%. However, the initial cost of installation may be increased. Prices vary significantly based on the type and size of the pump, but a typical air source heat pump costs around £4,000 to £11,000.

Energy-efficient heaters come in various types. Options include infrared heaters, electric panel heaters, and heat pumps. While choosing an energy-efficient heater, look for features like programmable timers and adjustable thermostat controls. These features allow you to have better control over your energy use, making your heating system even more efficient.

Insulation

Insulation plays a vital role in maintaining affordable warmth. By preventing heat from escaping, insulation reduces the need for heating, thus lowering your energy bill.

Insulating your loft, walls, and floors can dramatically improve your home's heat retention. While the upfront insulation cost may seem high, the long-term savings on your energy bill make it a worthwhile investment. 

Winter warmth window roll

A typical three-bedroom semi-detached house can save up to £310 on energy bills in one year by installing loft and cavity wall insulation. Plus, there are energy efficiency grants available that might help offset some of these costs.

Draught-Proofing

One of the most effective ways to reduce heating costs is draught-proofing. Identifying where draughts are coming from and blocking them can help warm things up. 

By blocking unwanted gaps that let cold air in, you can save around £45 a year on energy bills. Draught-proofing your chimney when not in use could save around £65 a year. Draught-proofing strips for windows and doors are affordable and easy to install, saving you up to £20 in energy annually. Another way would be turning down the thermostat by just one degree in a typical home, saving you between £85 and £90 a year.

Draught-proofing is generally considered DIY work, and the costs can often be recovered in the first year. 

DIY Tips for Keeping Your House Warm

Keeping your house warm doesn't necessarily require professional help. With a few DIY tips, you can effectively retain heat in your home and reduce your energy bill.

Insulating your windows with transparent plastic film can prevent heat loss and warm your home. Similarly, draft stoppers on your doors can block cold air from entering your house.

Insulation is a crucial factor in maintaining affordable warmth.

Beating High Heating Costs this Winter

Winter heating costs can be daunting, but you can maintain affordable warmth with the right strategies and practices. Several techniques can help you beat high heating costs this winter, from understanding your energy bill to using energy-efficient heaters.

In addition, every little change can make a significant difference in your energy bill. So, start implementing these tips today and enjoy a warm, cosy winter without fearing your energy bill.

Remember, staying warm doesn't have to break the bank. With these tips, you can enjoy a cosy winter without worrying about high heating costs.

Before you go, check out our other sustainable energy, eco-friendly and efficient cost savings for more practical advice on beating high expenses this winter. Stay warm!

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