Stay Warm this Winter | Modern Mummy

Monday, 2 December 2013

Stay Warm this Winter

We live in a pretty draughty little old cottage and last year we definitely felt the cold a lot more than we ever did in London. I'm super conscious of using up energy unnecessarily - and I say this from an environmental point of view as well as a money saving one.

Since last winter we've carried on with our house renovations and I'm hoping that this winter (which has already been predicted to be a pretty harsh one) we will be roasty toasty. 

We've had our beautiful turn-of-the-century casement windows replaced (like for like, so not UPVC - but with new thicker A rated single pane glass - and BOY do they make a difference) and we've also gone and got ourselves a gorgeous new wood burner with our wedding money, which is due to be plumbed in very soon. I'm hoping that those, together with the energy efficient boiler we'd already had installed, will all contribute to a lovely cosy warm house this year. 

I appreciate, however, that it's not always possible to carry out costly home repairs and improvements. We waited and saved long and hard to be able to afford the couple of bits we've had done so far and we spent a long time considering what was the most important and what would be the most effective before starting any work at all. With a bitterly cold winter just around the corner, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some energy saving tips and ideas with you all.

Infographic courtesy of Zenith

First of all there are the big boys; the options that may be expensive at the outset but which will definitely make you your money back in the long run.

So we've just had new windows put in and, yes, they cost a bomb but upgrading your windows can reduce the loss of heat through them by up to 70% which will, in turn, reduce the cost of your heating bill - and reduce your carbon footprint too. 

Solar Panels are a way of generating entirely free electricity for your home from the sun and something I'm particularly interested in. Although they sound costly, in some instances the government will actually contribute towards their initial installation.

Having an efficient boiler at home really is a necessity and this was one of the first changes we made when we moved house. With two small people, safety was equally as important as efficiency - and having a new condensing combi boiler also meant we could get rid of the massive water tank that had previously been in the loft and free up precious space.

If you haven't got the money to have any major works carried out at your house just now, then there are lots of things that cost very little or, in some instances, nothing at all, that will help save energy, the environment and your pocket!

It's so simple, but layer up! Why crank your heating up to 25 degrees so that you can walk around in a t-shirt? IT'S WINTER! Wear a cardigan and slippers! Put an extra duvet or blanket on your bed. Use a hot water bottle. With the amount you'll save on your heating bill you will be able to treat yourself to some super cosy knitwear if you want to.

No matter what age your boiler is, make sure you have a room thermostat installed. Then you can set about reducing the temperature. Doing so by just one degree will make a difference to your annual bill, and no difference to you.

Swap baths for showers. They're so much quicker and cheaper than wallowing in a deep bath (although I'll be the first to admit they're not as enjoyable.... I do love my bubble baths!)

Close your curtains - this is a particularly effective tip for those of you with draughty windows like I had last winter - and use a draught excluder for draughty doors. We have one up against our front door (which is in our front room and next on our list of things to replace when we can afford it!). Without the excluder you can actually feel a breeze on your ankles when it's chilly out! 

Stay warm this winter, lovelies xoxo

This post has been written in collaboration with Zenith.

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