Brace yourself Essex, SNOW is on the way
Essex could be set for its first snow of the year this week, with temperatures set to plummet from Thursday onwards. According to forecasters Thursday and Friday will see temperatures drop to as low as -2C as bitter winds from the North Pole make their way across the country.
However, despite cold weather warnings, new research from the Energy Saving Trust research has revealed that homeowners are not taking some very simple steps to ensure their homes stay warm.
According to the research just 15 per cent draught-proof their homes, and even fewer make sure their pipework is insulated. That’s not all, less than 30 per cent bleed their radiators resulting in potential cold spots throughout homes.
· Swapping your curtains for a thicker, lined pair can protect your house from losing heat through the windows. Placing a curtain in front of doors to the outside adds another layer of protection.
· But do let the sun in. Natural sunshine is a great source of natural free heat so make sure you open your curtains during the day and close them at dusk to retain that heat.
· Placing reflective aluminium foil behind the radiator is a very cheap way of preventing unnecessary heat loss from radiators, particularly on those attached to external walls. Foil specially designed for the purpose can be bought for under £10.
· Stop heat being lost up the chimney. Many households no longer use their fireplaces and chimneys, but even if you don’t use yours, you could be losing heat up your chimney. For those chimneys not in use, consider chimney balloon. These cost around £25 and are placed inside the chimney hole, just out of sight. It’s then inflated until it completely shuts out any incoming cold air or escaping heat.
· Control your heating. Many experts believe that keeping your heating on all day is inefficient, except on very cold days or unless you are confined to the house all day or old or poorly. Instead set your heating timer to come on at key points throughout the day. For example, set it to come on an hour or so before you wake up and turn off during the day if you are out at work. It can be set to come on again just before you come home. Also consider thermostat valves on each of your radiators so you can control the heat in individual rooms.
· Cut the draughts. Your letterbox, key holes and cat / dog flaps are all a source of draughts in your home. Install a brush into your letterbox and cover cat flaps with a blanket when not in use. Old-fashioned draught excluders work well also work well for cutting draughts from under external doors – think “sausage dogs”.
· Getting your boiler serviced annually can ensure it is working as efficiently as possible and will keep your fuel bills low. Warmer Homes Heating and Renewables can service your boiler for just £70, and all our new boiler installations come with three years free boiler servicing.