8 Green ways to heat your home and stay warm

As winter approaches, thoughts do – of course – turn to how we can keep the cold at bay and keep the heat in, especially when tucked up in our homes.

There are lots of different methods of staying warm, but more and more of us are looking to greener, eco-friendly ways of doing this.

There are the ‘big picture’, altruistic reasons for looking at green ways to keep warm, and caring for the environment is pretty essential right now. However, being green also means being energy-efficient, and being energy-efficient also means lower bills. For many of us, that’s the most immediate thing we think of when it comes to heating our homes.

Here are eight eco-friendly heating methods to consider:

1. Draught excluders

For doors, there’s a method of keeping the heat in that’s incredibly old fashioned by still very effective – the classic draught excluder. Draught excluders are simple sausage-shaped tubes of material stuffed with everything from tights and t-shirts to rags and dusters. Basically, any cloth you don’t need anymore. Just gather it all up, sew it shut and you’ve reduced some of the cold air blowing through your home!

2. Don’t just leave the oven door open when grilling

Just used the oven? There’s a lot of energy and heat used when cooking, but when you close the oven door there’s a lot of potential warmth that’s kept cooped up in there, even after you’ve turned it off. You might leave the oven door open when grilling, but consider keeping it open after you’ve made dinner.

3. Wrap up warm

It might seem like a no brainer, but heading for the knitwear is the easiest way to stay warm and keep the heating costs down. It’s also not all about the heaviest, thickest clothing to wear either. Consider more layers, with shirts over t-shirts and vests, as well as a sweater, in order to feel warm without being to constricted.

4. Seal windows

Draughts can come in from many different points in your home, but the most obvious places to windows. This is especially true of older properties with wooden window frames that have started to rot. You might not have noticed this behind a coat of paint, but these issues do need tending to. These can be expensive repairs, but it’s possible to use foams and plastics to provide temporary seals (although plastic isn’t exactly the most eco-friendly option!).

5. Thick curtains

This could be a bit expensive as an initial lay out, but investing in heavier curtains is a great way to keep heat in and cold out in the evening. You’ll really notice the difference, especially if you have curtains with linings. This can also help with slightly reducing outside noise and keeping out intrusive street lighting.

6. Don’t always keep curtains closed

To keep your home warm during the day, keeping the curtains open can really help when it’s bright and sunny. Unlike keeping the cold out at night, you’ll want to get as much warmth in during the day from the sun, the ultimate free energy source!

7. Getting your boiler serviced

Having a boiler serviced helps in one of two ways. Firstly, if offers peace of mind as you head into the winter months so you are less likely to be left high and dry in the cold at the worst possible times. It’s also a good idea to find out how energy efficient your boiler is, and get advice on setting the optimum temperatures for reducing costs.

8. Set your heating timer

Keeping your heating to particular times of the day can greatly improve energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint, as well as keeping those bills down. It’s a misconception that keeping the heating on all the time is better for keeping warm. The best times to set your heating timer is before you get up for the day and for about an hour or so when you get home, leaving the house to cool naturally overnight.

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