There are many small things you can do, and products you can buy, to keep your house warm. Most houses come with working central heating, so often your best option is to make sure that this is up and running.
Few things feel worse than living in a house that’s too cold. Everyone has their own comfortable temperature, and some are happier to layer up indoors whilst others want to switch the heating on. Whatever you’re comfortable doing, keeping your house warm remains important if your temperature starts dropping too low.
Read on to learn more about how to keep your house warm.
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Most homes come with central heating, which is the most efficient way to heat your house long-term. If your central heating isn’t doing its job, there are many ways you can try to fix it.
Check if your boiler is firing up as it should. You may just need to increase the water pressure by adding some more water to the system. This is something that’s easy to do without any professional knowledge.
Another common problem is when boiler/heaters radiators aren’t effective because they’ve got too much air inside them. A cheap boiler/heaters radiator key (and a bucket!) will be all you need to bleed your radiators.
If your boiler/heaters radiators are working well, but your house still seems too cold, make sure that your furniture placement isn’t to blame for any problems. Putting large furniture in front of your radiator will block the warm air from your room. Many people put their sofa in front of their boiler/heaters radiator, not realising the impact this will have.
There are many bigger problems that you might have with your boiler. If yours isn’t an easy fix, always get help from someone that’s on the Gas Safe Register.
Your thermostat may be affecting how warm your house gets. You control this yourself, so getting the settings right will make sure that you’re comfortable at home.
Set the thermostat to the lowest temperature that you want your house to get to. If the temperature drops lower, the boiler kicks in, and the central heating goes on automatically. By setting your thermostat at the right level, you make sure your house never gets too cold. Once your home’s temperature matches with the setting on the thermostat, your central heating switches off again.
Many people have their thermostat set too low without even realising. Your house might be too cold because you’ve told it that you’re happy with the temperature.
Assuming that your central heating works but isn’t doing enough, or you don’t have central heating in place or the money to run it, using curtains can help to keep houses warm. Open the curtains during the day to expose each room to the heat from the sun, then close it just before it gets dark to trap the extra heat in your home.
Curtains act as a layer of insulation, stopping warm air from escaping or cooling at your windows. A good pair of curtains can make a big difference if you’re trying to keep your house warm.
Portable heaters can be expensive to run, but often very efficient. This isn’t an option if you’re in fuel poverty, unable to run your central heating, but maybe a good choice if your home needs a temporary boost.
Perhaps you don’t have central heating, or your boiler’s broken down, and rooms are getting too cold. With portable heaters, like oil heaters and fan heaters, you won’t just heat your home, but you can also decide which rooms need a bit of extra warm air running through them.
A well-insulated home traps warm air inside and keeps cold air out through the winter. Insulation is essential if you want to keep your house warm. Loft insulation and cavity wall insulation can be easily added to your home, though obviously there are costs involved to get this job done by the professionals.
Most homes today will have cavity wall insulation, though it’s worth checking if yours does as this can make a huge difference to your house.
Draughts happen when cold air from outside finds its way into your home. It may be getting under the front door or could be coming in somewhere else. A draught excluder can help to limit the flow of cold air between rooms, though there are more effective ways to deal with draughts if they’re a bigger problem in your house.
Try and trace the source of any draughts. Holes can be filled, and brushes can be added to things like your door and your letterbox. Draughts might also be getting through small gaps in your window frames, easily fixed or replaced if you’ve got money to do so. You can buy cheap self-adhesive sealing strips, or expanding foams and fillers, to cover any holes that cause draughts.
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Hard floors like wood and laminate are practical and look great in your home. They’re also colder than soft floor coverings like carpet. Fabrics are better at absorbing and maintaining warmth, whilst solid floor coverings are naturally much colder underfoot.
If you need extra warmth, a good quality carpet can make a big difference to your home. Of course, investing in a carpet can be expensive, and you might not want to give up your hard floors. Alternatively, buy rugs and strategically place them in rooms.
A rug has the same effect on a smaller scale, and you can use these to cover the biggest areas of open, exposed laminate. If you insist on hard flooring, then consider under-floor heating as part of your central heating system. It’s pricey, but if you can afford it, then it’ll be supremely comfortable in the long-run.
If you have an open, you’d be surprised how much heat is being lost because of it. Air flows straight up and out, so your chimney could be a contributing factor if your house feels much too cold. You can buy a chimney damper that you can open or close, giving you easy control of ventilation when your fireplace isn’t in use – just make sure that you always clear the chimney if you’re planning to light your fire.
If you don’t use your fireplace, a chimney balloon could help you to keep your house warm. Insert a chimney balloon into your chimney, then inflate it when it’s just out of view. A chimney balloon acts as a barrier, stopping warm air from escaping. It’s also a shield that stops cold air moving down, so could really help to insulate your home.
As well as blocking the chimney itself, you can buy a fireplace cover that you can put in place when you’re not using it. Often these covers are made of glass or plastic and can be easily installed and removed.
There are two things to consider with regards to boiler insurance cover, the cost of repairs and the speed with which you could arrange for an engineer to visit. With boiler insurance cover, your insurance company would look to have an engineer with you within 24 hours if it was an emergency.
Also, the cost of repairs will be covered, which is extremely useful because calling out a boiler engineer yourself would incur a callout charge before they even saw your boiler.
You would be covered for the cost of repairs, parts and labour. It is worth noting that some insurance companies might have a maximum number of hours per repair. For example, if the repair took four hours and the maximum number of hours allowed with your policy was three, then you would be expected to pay for the additional one hour yourself. This is not standard practice, but some insurance policies will have this written into the small print.
Again, the terms of boiler insurance will vary from insurer to insurer. Some insurance companies may have a maximum limit on the cost per repair while others may expect you to pay the first £50 of any repair – others may have no restrictions.
Where there is a relatively low maximum limit per repair, your premiums would probably be on the low side, but conversely, you have a high maximum limit per repair, you should expect to pay premiums on the high side. It is simply a case of finding a balance between your needs and your budget.
The boiler insurance market is huge and very competitive; therefore, unless you have a very obscure system, you should be able to find boiler insurance cover for your particular type of boiler. This is very important because the costs associated with different boiler systems will vary.
You will tend to find that many boiler insurance companies will refuse to cover systems which are more than 15 years old. The reason is simple, the older the boiler system, the more chance of it breaking down. The boiler systems of today are extremely advanced and often able to carry out a self-diagnosis to see if there are any problems with the system.
Yes. Standard practice for boiler insurance is to cover you for both mechanical and electrical failure, although it is still worth checking the small print. When you bear in mind the more complex nature of boiler systems today, you are just as likely to have an electrical failure as a mechanical one.
If your insurer has policies which fit in with your particular requirements, for example, your boiler system, there may be scope to negotiate a bulk-buy discount. However, you need to be wary that bulking your white goods insurance policies together may be counter-productive unless all of the policies match your particular requirements. Be careful!
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