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cold, snowy weather

Keeping warm this winter, without going broke

If forecasts are to be believed then we’re looking forward to a potentially snowier than usual winter in the UK this year, and while we all love a good dose of the white stuff, this also means that we can look forward to that other treats that go along with the Great British winter (and we don’t just mean the wonderful food) – I’m talking higher than usual energy bills.

It’s unfortunately a sad reality that far too many of us are falling into what is known as “energy poverty” with an increasing number of people having to choose between food shopping or heating up their home. In fact, recent polls suggest that 2.3m Brits are facing fuel poverty this winter.
So how can you enjoy this winter while still staying warm at home without spending unreasonable amounts of money for the privilege?
Sometimes we  see unnecessary heating bills because central heating is turned up to the max, while the inhabitants of the home are dressed as if it’s the summer. Did you know that dropping your central heating a few degrees and keeping a light jumper or jacket on indoors can save you hundreds of pounds over the season? Personally I’m a huge fan of a night in my DG curled up under my fleecy blanket! 
Some areas of Britain have fairly pleasant late mornings and early afternoons, at this time it’s not necessary to have your central heating turned up to its highest setting. This is especially true if you’re not home during the day. Leave your central heating on low and then turn it up when you get home in the afternoon. This will keep your system from having to heat your whole home from scratch, but save you the cost of having the heating turned up the whole day.
If you live alone or it’s just you and a plus one, it’s probably not necessary to have your entire home heated, for this purpose you might want to hire a heater to keep your living room warm at night and perhaps one for your bedroom. The point is to find solutions that work for your situation, obviously if you have a big family then this is probably not the solution.
When last did you check the seal around your windows or doors? Draughts cause your heating to work double-time and this chases up your bills, so keep an eye on vents, doors and windows and prevent or block up draughty spaces, you’ll see an immediate difference, and you’ll feel it too.
Remember to have your boiler serviced at least once a year. Faulty boilers can add a lot of money to those monthly bills and this is something that is entirely preventable. Ideally, your boiler shouldn’t be making any strange noises or emitting any strange odours or leaks. 
Winter should be a wonderful seasonal experience, not a cause for stress, so if you’re experiencing difficulties coping – there are resources available to you. Check out your local council and reach out to local authorities if you need to, that’s what they’re there for.
*This is a collaborative post.