Three tricks to stay warm - and save money - this winter
Winter can be a challenging time for many of us - when the weather outside is frightful, our first reaction is often to crank up the heating and stay indoors!
But for those who are concerned about high electricity prices, relying only on heaters to keep you warm in the winter can create higher bills than you may be used to.
Luckily, there are lots of other ways to stay warm this winter - and in many cases, the initial investment can result in long-term savings.
In many cases, the reason why we feel so chilly in the winter is because of draughts - warm air escapes and cold air rushes in!
Taking quick and simple action to block areas where air can easily escape will help you to keep your home feeling warm - and doesn't need to break the bank. Quickly re-sealing windows or blocking off spaces between closed doors and the floor can keep the heat in.
Many stores even sell inexpensive 'door snakes' for precisely this purpose, or if you are feeling crafty with the kids, making your own can be great fun - and an excellent way to pass a rainy afternoon.
Invest in quality curtains
Heavy curtains can help your home perform more efficiently year-round, as they keep the warm air in during the winter and block the summer sunlight to ensure things stay cool when the weather heats up.
Look for darker colours and heavier fabrics for the best results - although any curtains will be an improvement if you aren't currently using them. One popular option is so-called 'blackout' curtains, which may also improve your sleeping pattern, as they keep the room darker.
Ceilings, doors and windows are prime places for hot air to be lost in the wintertime. If your budget allows it, insulation can be an improvement well worth considering - and you may even find that over time, the savings you enjoy on your electricity bills will pay for this repair.
In some cases, you may be eligible for government grants to help with the cost of this type of home repair. While you're at it, consider double - or even triple - glazing on your windows, as this is another really effective way to regulate the temperature in your home while using less power.