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As temperatures get chillier with winter approaching, it’s inevitable that our heating bills are bound to go up. However, many of us don’t realise how much heat (and money!) we could be losing because our homes aren’t as energy efficient as they could be. So before you stay in and crank up the thermostat, make sure your home is winter ready with these 5 energy saving tips so you don’t end up spending a fortune on heat.

Find draughts with a stick of incense

It might sound a bit strange, but a stick of incense could help you detect air leaks in your home where escaped heat is costing you. When you have some spare time, close all doors and windows firmly, and light a stick of incense. Walk through the house and hold the stick up around the edges of your windows and doors (it’s best to try this on a windy day if you can). If the smoke waivers, there’s a leak; if it remains undisturbed, you’re all sealed up. Once you’ve assessed where you’re losing heat, you can put draught excluders and insulation in place to avoid wasting money.

Prep your conservatory

The conservatory’s often neglected in the winter, but there’s no reason it can’t be an all-year-round room: you just need to install the right blinds. Because of the simple fact that glass is just not as good an insulator as a brick wall, you need to make sure that your conservatory windows are as equipped as possible to retain heat. An energy-efficient product like the Duette® EnergySmart pleated blind features a double layer of fabric to help you save up to 25% on heating bills, and can be custom cut to fit unique conservatory roof specifications. These will allow you to crank up your energy efficiency rather than your thermostat.

Use timers

Setting timers to program your heating and blinds can help you optimise your energy use, and with recent technological innovations, you can do all this from your mobile phone. An app like Hive lets you control your thermostat remotely, so you can leave your heating off during the day and switch it on as you’re leaving the office. Similarly, you can control our blinds with the PowerView app: set your blinds (either by groupings or individually) to open during the day and let sunlight warm your home naturally, and set them to close in the evenings to retain that heat and conserve energy.

Install double glazing

Double glazing your windows will benefit your home all year round, but especially during the winter months. Double glazing – or even triple glazing – is more thermally efficient and could save you roughly £110 per year on your bills. Check out the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC)’s guide to learn more about energy efficiency ratings to determine the best product for you.

Insulate your loft

If you’re wondering why your bills are so high yet your house is so chilly, your loft could be a culprit: the Energy Saving Trust estimates that an uninsulated loft can lose 25% of heat produced in a home. It’s recommended by the National Insulation Association that you insulate with at least 270mm for glass wool, 250mm for rock wool and 220mm for cellulose. It’s worth the effort, whether you choose to do the project yourself or hire a professional, because it could mean serious savings: for a semi-detached house, you could end up saving £140 per year. 

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