Win­ter warmer ideas that will keep you cosy

Win­ter has blown in at full blast. of­fers some tips on how to keep your­self warm and your heat­ing bills down.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Sharon Dale

WIN­TER has bit­ten hard and even the warm­est of homes are feel­ing the cold.

But rather than turn­ing up the heat, thrifty house­hold­ers are look­ing for cost-ef­fec­tive ideas to help them stay cosy.

There has been a surge in de­mand for prod­ucts that help re­duce heat­ing bills and make homes less draughty, ac­cord­ing to a pop­u­lar eco-re­tailer.

Nigel Berman, founder of www.nigelsec­o­s­ , says a sim­ple £19.99 booster that helps radiators work more ef­fi­ciently is the com­pany’s best seller.

He says: “Ra­di­a­tor boost­ers use a small fan to cap­ture heat lost out of the back of the ra­di­a­tor then cir­cu­lat­ing it into the room. They can re­duce room heat­ing time and bills by up to 10 per cent – all for a run­ning cost of about 30p a year.

“They are ad­justable, have a built in ther­mo­stat and could save an av­er­age house­hold from £70 to £140 per year,” says Nigel, whose let­ter-box eco flaps £23.99, which stop draughts blow­ing through the door, are also sell­ing well.

“We’ve found that an in­creas­ing num­ber of peo­ple are think­ing about en­ergy use and how they can re­duce house­hold bills by in­vest­ing in in­no­va­tive prod­ucts. The added bonus is that these prod­ucts also have a pos­i­tive ben­e­fit on the en­vi­ron­ment and cut back on waste.” make-do-and-mend ver­sion of stuff­ing one leg of a pair of tights with old rags. Key­hole cov­ers will help elim­i­nate draughts from your key­hole and cost un­der £10. Or use mask­ing tape for a bud­get op­tion.

Block­ing the gaps around the edges of the ground floor or in be­tween your floor boards can save you around £20 a year. Use a DIY sealant, strips of in­su­la­tion or news­pa­per be­tween the floor­board gaps. In­su­lat­ing un­der the floor boards is the best op­tion to re­duce heat loss in this area and will save you more money.

Stop cold com­ing down the chim­ney with a chim­ney pil­low, also known as a chim­ney bal­loon. It costs £22 from Nigel’s Eco Store and is a sim­ple, in­ex­pen­sive way to stop chim­ney draughts, re­duce noise and heat loss. Easy to in­stall and re­move, a chim­ney pil­low is an in­flat­able bag made from a spe­cial lam­i­nate. They have been spe­cially de­signed to be eas­ily po­si­tioned, while al­low­ing a lit­tle ven­ti­la­tion up the chim­ney. They are com­pletely safe and shrivel up if heated by ac­ci­dent.

Give your radiators some TLC. Air in your radiators can re­duce ra­di­a­tor heat and ef­fi­ciency, so make sure they are bled reg­u­larly. Visit the En­ergy Sav­ing Trust web­site for clear and pre­cise in­struc­tions. Also try ra­di­a­tor re­flec­tors. Fit­ting ra­di­a­tor re­flec­tors stops heat be­ing wasted on warm­ing the wall and they help cir­cu­late hot air into the room – so you can turn the ther­mo­stat down. Each de­gree turned down can save 10 per cent on your bills. You can buy ra­di­a­tor re­flec­tors from DIY stores like B&Q and they start at about £4.

Wear lots of thin lay­ers of cloth­ing, rather than just one bulky item. This helps keep body heat in.

Hang­ing thick cur­tains on the front and back doors helps in­su­late. Heavy vel­vet is ex­cel­lent for this or fashion one from an old blan­ket. Fold over the top and sew, leav­ing space to thread a pole through.

Don’t for­get to be pre­pared for emer­gen­cies. Boil­ers of­ten break down in this weather and pipes freeze. In­vest in an in­ex­pen­sive halo­gen heater. They are cheaper to run and much more ef­fec­tive and pleas­ant than a fan heater. They even give off a warm glow. Ar­gos has a large one at half price this week for £17.49, though you can also find them at good, in­de­pen­dent elec­tri­cal shops and DIY stores.

Nigel’s Eco Store www. nigelsec­o­s­ and visit the En­ergy Sav­ing Trust web­site for more ideas www. en­er­gysav­

DEEP FREEZE: You don’t have to spend a for­tune on heat­ing bills to keep the cold out, there are some sim­ple so­lu­tions to keep­ing the heat in.

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