A warm home in the colder months is essential

by | 7 March 2024 | Citizens Advice, Retford

Bassetlaw Citizens Advice shares some tips on how to help you save money and stay warm at home.

If you have radiators that are heated by water from a boiler, this means you have central heating and there are usually ways of controlling how your home is heated. You might have:

  • a thermostat for setting the temperature you want your home to be
  • timer or programmer to set when your heating turns on or off
  • controls that let you change the temperature of a single radiator

You can use these central heating controls to keep your home at a comfortable temperature without heating it more than you need to, saving energy and reducing your bills.

Find the lowest comfortable temperature

Your thermostat senses how warm a room is and turns off your central heating if the temperature reaches the level you’ve set. You’ll usually find that a temperature between 18°C and 21°C is comfortable. Try setting your thermostat one degree lower to see if you find the temperature comfortable. Every degree you turn your thermostat down can save around 10% on your energy bill.

If you have a health condition that could be made worse by the cold, you shouldn’t set your thermostat lower than 21°C.

Make sure your heating is only on when you need it

A timer lets you set what time your central heating is on. Save energy by setting your heating to be on only when you need it, or you might decide to set your central heating to be on at a low temperature rather than turning it off.

Check your radiator controls

Some radiators have controls which allow you to change the temperature of a single radiator. If they’re on a high setting in rooms where you don’t spend much time, try turning them down to a low setting to save energy, but don’t turn them down to zero – even in a room you don’t use much, there should be some heat to stop damp and mould from developing.

Keep heat in your home

Curtains and blinds can keep the heat in at night. Even if it’s cold, it’s worth keeping your curtains or blinds open when it’s light. This lets the sun warm the room.

Make sure your curtains don’t hang over the top of your radiators. Tuck the curtains behind the radiator instead. You shouldn’t hang curtains over an electric heater – this is a fire risk.

If you’re just heating one room, keep the doors closed. You can reduce other draughts in your home by blocking some of the gaps that let air through – for example:

  • keyholes and letterboxes
  • cracks in floorboards
  • a chimney you don’t use
  • the gaps at the bottom of your doors

It’s important to make sure that you still have fresh air coming into your home – this will help you avoid problems with mould.

Put secondary glazing film on your windows. This is a clear, thin material you attach to your windows. If you don’t have double-glazed windows, secondary glazing film is a cheaper way of stopping heat from escaping through your windows. You can usually install it yourself.

Use heated throws or blankets to keep yourself warm without turning up your heating. They use electricity, but only cost around 3p each hour to run. Check that any heated throw or blanket has a safety mark.

For further information, head to www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/ or contact Bassetlaw Citizens Advice Energy Team on 01909 498888 or email advice@bassetlawca.org.uk.