Advice from Age UK on keeping your home warm

Advice from Age UK on keeping your home warm

Cutting your energy bills down to size and making them more affordable doesn’t have to mean making big changes – small measures can save you money too.

  • Draw your curtains in the evenings to minimise heat loss through windows. Tuck long curtains behind radiators so that heat doesn’t get trapped
  • Use draught excluders to prevent heat escaping under doors. Draught proofing windows, and cracks in the floor can save £20–£30 a year.
  • If there are rooms you don’t use, like a spare bedroom, turn off the radiators in them and close the doors. Make sure you keep your living room, or the room you use most, warm during the day (21°C or 70°F) and heat your bedroom before you go to bed (18°C or 64°F).
  • Keep radiators and heaters clear so heat can circulate– don’t put a large sofa in front of them or dry your wet washing on them.

Draught-proof your home

  • A draughty home can be uncomfortable and use more energy to keep rooms warm. Reduce draughts by sealing gaps around window frames, fitting draught-proofing strips and draught excluders around doors, and fitting covers to letter boxes and keyholes.
  • When draught-proofing, it’s important to leave some ventilation to reduce condensation and prevent the build-up of waste gases from fuel-burning appliances. Your local Gas Safe-registered engineer should be able to help you with this.

Save electricity

  • Switch appliances off when they’re not in use rather than leaving them on standby. This can save £45–£80 per year. If you have mobility problems, consider a socket that lets you switch off appliances via a remote control.
  • If you have an off-peak energy tariff, save money by running your washing machine and other appliances during off-peak periods. Check with your provider to find out when these are.
  • Wait until you have a full load before running the washing machine or use a half-load setting. Run the washing machine at a lower temperature too – you can often do everyday washes at 30°C. This can save £6 per year. Use a high speed spin to reduce the time needed for tumble drying.
  • If you’re buying new kitchen appliances, check the energy rating. The better the rating the less electricity it will use.
  • If you’re buying a new television, think about the size of the screen. In general, the smaller your television the less it will cost to run.
  • Don’t leave your mobile phone or other electronic devices on to charge overnight. Most mobile phones charge in two hours. And unplug chargers if they’re not in use – many still use electricity when they’re plugged in, even if they’re not connected to anything.
  • Only boil the amount of water you need for hot drinks. If your kettle doesn’t have cup measures marked, you can mark them.

Remember in winter the recommended room temperature for your main living room is around 70 F or 21C.

For more help or to download their helpful leaflets contact the free advice line:

Age UK Advice: 0800 169 65 65

Lines are open seven days a week from 8am to 7pm.