How to Keep Warm This Winter and Reduce Your Fuel Bills

Winters are getting colder…

Well if you’re my age, you might think they are just going to be as cold as when you were little! But I confess that having just returned from warmer climbs (yes I was lucky enough to spend much of the summer in Portugal, basking in the high 30’s most days for 3 months or more) the colder weather is “metaphorically” killing me and I was prompted to put forward a few suggestions to keep warm this winter – some oldies but goodies.

Fires and Multi Fuel Stoves

Open fireplaces of course are nothing short of wonderful! – when there’s a roaring fire burning on a cold frosty night and dare I say with toasting crumpets held up to the flames on a toasting fork. Conversely though, as the chimney is designed to draw air up and with it, the smoke from the fire, without a fire the open chimney will draw warm air from the room and hence cause a nasty draft.

In simple terms, if you can blank off an open fireplace you’ll make a difference, but even better if you can afford a log burning or duel fuel stove you gain in many ways. Some of the wood burning stove’s look really nice and without lighting them, they exclude the draft of an open fireplace, but they’re fantastic at heating a room and frankly half the house! You can also get multi-fuel stoves  that have a back boiler that will heat your hot water and a couple of radiators too. Now the latter extension of that idea might seem going back in time as everyone used to have back boilers, but it takes no more heat or heating to heat your hot water than to heat the room and you might consider it “free”, but I digress.

Simple Draft Excluders

Sticking with the theme of keeping warm, another simple method is excluding drafts – yes obvious it might seem, but using draft excluders from proprietary brands that you can buy from your local DIY store on your windows and doors might be seen as a no brainer or even hanging a heavy curtain over the front door, but such things can make a huge difference. As to cost of course, there is always the local charity shop for those heavy curtains.

Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation

Then to the obvious… loft insulation, perhaps the biggest change anyone can make to a home and in the UK the Government will give a grant to qualifying applicants as it will for cavity wall insulation. You can find more information here

Double Glazing

Another thought is double or secondary double-glazing, which will cost a deal more money of course, but effective at reducing drafts as well as keeping heat in and reducing your heating bills.For help with Double Glazing and other energy saving home improvements try the Government Green Deal


Lastly for this little thought fest try nice wool rugs on tiled or wooden floors, wool cushions, fake fur throws which you can cuddle up under on the sofa. Home accessories can make things much cosier and dare I say they needn’t cost too much if you head to your local branch of IKEA or Dunelm Mill– all good ideas and some of them not expensive.

Keep warm

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Formerly Finance and Operations Director of anmarketing agency. Now luckily semi-retired. Amateur interior design buff, constantly experimenting on my own home (much to the chargrins of hubby) and passionate about anything to do with home interiors and improvements. Wish my house was bigger!

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Posts by Alexandra Eager (49)