1. Keep heat in - try to be more energy efficient
Most of us are spending more time at home this winter, which means we're spending more energy. Take a look at our easy tips to help you lower your home energy bills, as well as your carbon footprint.
Here are three of our top energy-saving tips to keep your home warm:
- Draught proofing. By blocking any gaps you can prevent heat from escaping while keeping cold air out. This will prevent heat loss and keep your home warm. There are a number of places where you can prevent draught. Draught-proofing your chimney alone could save you up to £65 a year.
- Keep the heat in. Simply closing your blinds or curtains in the evening can also stop heat loss by up to 17% by trapping air between the curtains and windows. Just be sure your curtains don't cover the radiators as this prevents efficient heating of the room.
- Home insulation. Insulation isn't an instant fix to get your home cosy. But it's a great long-term investment and it'll help your home waste less heat, and you'll save money on energy bills too. Find out about different types of home insulation.
2. Heat yourself not the room
If you're really feeling the cold, even with the heating on, you could try some additional methods to warm yourself up without turning the thermostat up.
- An electric blanket will typically cost between £25-50 to purchase but use as little as 3p an hour of electricity, even on the highest setting.
- Other methods like footwarmers and hot water bottles are all cheaper ways of taking the edge off of the cold as they only heat you up and not the whole house.
- Layering up with thermal base layers, which shouldn't cost more than about £10, can also be a really cost-effective way of keeping warm.
3. Check your pipes
Your pipes could be frozen if you notice a bad smell from the tap or a drain, or if there’s not enough water coming out of the tap. There are lots of ways you can prevent frozen pipes. If an exposed pipe that you can see and reach easily is frozen, you could warm the pipe gently to help it thaw. If you don’t feel confident doing this, it's best to call a qualified plumber.
4. Look after your boiler
You should get your boiler serviced regularly by a Gas Safety registered engineer. This way it’ll be in tip-top condition by the time winter comes around. If you do get a problem with your boiler, you may be able to fix it easily without calling out an engineer. Read our blog about 10 common boiler problems and how to fix them yourself.
5. Bleed your radiators
If your radiators don't feel warm to the touch it may be that they need bleeding. You can follow our guide to bleed the radiators yourself, or you can ask a qualified plumber to do it for you. This will mean your central heating system is running more efficiently.
6. Know what to do if there's a power cut
You can phone 105 if you have a power cut due to bad weather, or another reason beyond your control. This number is free to call and you’ll be put through to your local network operator who can give you help and advice. Check our gas and electricity emergency numbers to help you prepare for a power cut or winter storm outage.
7. Keep your prepayment meter in credit if you can
Do you have a prepayment meter or a smart Pay As You Go meter? Try to top up your credit with a little extra during winter, if you can. If you have a smart Pay As You Go meter you can top up without leaving the house and set up automatic top-ups too.
8. Check if you can get support with heating bills
The government has introduced a wide range of Help for Households in 2022 to support with bills. Check which ones you are eligible for.
Help for pensioners: If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you might be entitled to the Government's Winter Fuel Payment. This means you could get between £250 and £600 winter fuel allowance to help with your heating bills. You will get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically and you do not need to claim if you're eligible.
If it’s zero degrees Celsius (or below) for 7 days in a row where you live, you may be able to get a Cold Weather Payment too.
You can also get extra support from our Priority Services Register.