Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Winter is coming

Winter heating

This week was the first week that I noticed a real chill in the air, frost on the windscreen and the urge to switch on the heating for more than a few minutes in the evening. Winter, it seems, has finally arrived, and heating bills around the nation are set to increase. But, there are some cost-efficient methods you can employ to keep you and your home nice and cosy.

Dodge those draughts

Few things can send a shiver down your spine better than an icy draught roaming through your home, and could cost you a lot when your heating bill arrives. If you’ve got the budget, consider investing in better insulated doors and windows, and you should see the financial benefits in the long-term. Alternatively you could purchase a heavier set of curtains for your windows, or a draught excluder for the gap beneath your doors, keyholes and your letterbox.

Welcome the sun

If you’re in a hurry to work in the morning, you might forget to pull back the curtains. But taking the few seconds necessary to do so could help raise the temperature in your home during the day – at least in those rooms than can get the sun. Just don’t forget to close them again when you get home and it gets dark.

Wrap up

Sometimes it can be cheaper to heat yourself up rather than your home. If it’s cold, add an extra layer before you turn on the heating. Consider investing in a set of thermal clothing – you can get everything from tops and trousers to thermal underwear, with a range of options currently in stock in Penneys. Feeling chilly at night? Don’t turn the heating on – pop on a pair of woolly socks and grab a hot water bottle!

Avoid obstructions

Make sure that any radiators aren’t blocked by furniture or curtains, otherwise the room won’t benefit from the heat. You can also pick up radiator reflectors (they usually come in a roll), which are designed to prevent the loss of heat into the wall. A cheaper but perhaps less attractive option would be to use tinfoil. However, according to the UK’s Energy Saving Trust, the savings are minimal in the presence of cavity wall insulation.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.