Top Tips and Hacks to Heat Your Home in Winter
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Top Tips and Hacks to Heat Your Home in Winter

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Heat your home for less with ImaginFires’ top tips & hacks. Answering FAQs & busting myths about home heating, find out how to lower your energy bills this winter. 

The cost-of-living crisis is biting hard, and with winter fast approaching, many of us are worried about how we might heat our homes. 

Gas price volatility is driving the spiralling cost of fuelling your home, so check out our winter home heating tips to help you keep warm this winter without the horrifying bills. 

There are many reasons for the terrifying escalation of energy costs right now. But let's face it: that doesn't keep us warm at night. 

Girl sitting in bed with a mug watching cold rain outside

What we need are practical ways to take control of our heating bills. And maybe even a carbon-neutral alternative fuel like bioethanol to reduce our reliance on mains power. 

So, we’ve put together some top tips and hacks to heat your home this winter that will help minimise your bills and put you back in control of your home finances. 

Should I leave my heating on all night in winter?

Keeping the heating on all night is actually a terrible idea. After all, you have blankets and duvets that keep you toasty — why do you need the heating on?

Doctors suggest that leaving the heating on causes a restless night’s sleep, as your body gets too hot for decent sleep. 

Additionally, most central heating systems produce dry heat, which causes dehydration, skin irritation, and sore throats in the morning. And dehydration can affect your ability to fight infections, so bouts of cold and flu could last longer. 

Sound familiar?

We recommend adding additional covers or doubling up your duvet rather than leaving the heating on. Have a pair of slippers by the bed and wear PJs — that way, if you need the loo in the middle of the night, you’ll be warmer. 

Why is my house so cold even with the heating on?

Modern houses tend to be better insulated than old houses. Nonetheless, it’s estimated that the average UK home loses 59% of its heat through walls, windows, and roofs. Therefore while your Victorian villa may be beautiful to look at, it’s likely to have poor insulation — especially if you don’t have wall cavities. 

As a result, heating an uninsulated house becomes a real challenge.

Dog is wrapped in blankets outside in a garden

Find out if you qualify for Help To Heat, the UK government’s programme to help make homes greener and more energy efficient. 

But if you can’t afford the initial outlay, there are cheaper ways to improve your home’s insulation. 

Top tips for cheap insulation 

  • Draught-proofing — droughts occur around pipe inlets, electrical fittings, room skirtings, wall joints, and loose windows. Plug the gaps with insulating tape or make yourself some draught excluders from old clothes or even a carrier bag filled with sand or earth. 
  • Window insulation — double-glazing is always worth it, but there’s a costly outlay. So, fit thermal curtains or cover your windows with bubble wrap. It might not be pretty, but it will save you money. Alternatively, install a plastic window liner (or even use cling film to create a pocket or air between the window pane and the room). 
  • Insulate your pipes — uninsulated pipes leak heat before the hot water hits your radiators. Hence, your boiler must work harder to maintain your home's heat. Luckily, pipe insulation or lagging is affordable (around £20 for 10m of pipe insulation) and very easy to install. 
  • Insulate your immersion heater — wrap your hot water tank in a heatproof jacket to help improve heating efficiency

Winter home heating tips: radiator reflectors

Wall-mounted radiators are problematic because half of the heat radiated is absorbed back into the wall. That's a real waste, especially when attached to an external wall or underneath a window. 

Radiator reflectors are super-easy to install, and you can buy a 10m roll for around £15, which will probably be enough for most of your home’s radiators. 

People think simple ideas like this aren't worth doing because they're — well, simple. But when finding out how to keep your home warm this winter, simple is a gift. 

Sometimes, the best ways to keep your home warm in winter are the most simple (and affordable!).

Winter home heating tips: Bioethanol 

With the costs of mains energy so volatile, you might want to consider alternative ways to heat your home this winter. 

Of course, there are open fires and wood- or coal burners. But they create loads of mess and — unless you have a modern wood burner — their use negatively impacts air quality and contributes to global warming. 

One of the latest trends in home heating is bioethanol — but this is no flash in the pan. Bioethanol offers a genuine alternative to help reduc our reliance on fossil fuels. And — even better — it's considered a greener, carbon-neutral fuel. 

Bioethanol fireplaces don’t require costly installation, unlike a wood burner, which can cost thousands. In fact, bioethanol fireplaces don’t even need a chimney or flue because they emit zero smoke, soot, or ash. You just get a real flame without the hassle. 

And unlike gas or electricity, the price of bioethanol is way more stable, costing — on average — £3.50 per litre, which provides 3.5 to 5 hours of burn time.   We don’t recommend that a biofire replaces your existing primary heat source, but we do think they make a perfect secondary option, if for example you just wanted to keep one room cosy with a real flame.  

How can I keep my home warm this winter without heat?

This might seem like a very odd question, but it’s one we get asked all the time. And luckily, there are lots of winter home-warming tips that don’t rely on increasing the temperature of your heating.

Build a terracotta heater

Grab an unused terracotta pot from the garden and place it — upside-down— over a burning candle. 

Of course, the pot needs drainage holes or some form of ventilation to keep the flame going, but terracotta absorbs heat well, drawing and retaining heat from the candle, creating a makeshift heater for your room.

Alternatively, try making a double-pot heater — check out this YouTube how-to. You could always paint it to add your own touch of creativity.   

Move your furniture 

What’s the ideal home heating temperature in winter? Well, many people consider 21ºC the optimal comfortable temperature during the winter season. And that’s easily achievable, as long as you’re not blocking your radiators. 

The biggest culprits here are sofas or armchairs in front of radiators, preventing the air circulation needed to distribute heat around the room. 

Additionally, keep your seating away from external walls — you'll feel more comfortable if you move your sofa to a warmer area of the room (and less likely to dial up the temperature).

Install a shelf above your radiator

It doesn’t cost a lot to fit a shelf to the wall, and a shelf above the radiator can help distribute your radiator’s heat more evenly around the room (rather than just up to the ceiling).

Hanging a shelf actually makes better use of the wall space — giving you a space for a clock, a little bookshelf, or some funky ornaments. 

Bleed your radiators

Most people rush to the thermostat if their radiators feel like they never get hot enough. But, this is wasteful, making your heating system work harder than necessary. 

Simply bleeding your radiators eradicates the airlocks that prevent even heat distribution. It takes fifteen minutes tops to bleed all of the radiators in an average home, but it will reward you with a season of better fuel efficiency without turning up the thermostat. 

Radiator positioned under the window

Add more soft furnishings

Bare wooden floors are attractive, but they’re draughty — especially if you’ve got a chilly cellar. In fact, uninsulated floors account for 10% of your home’s heat loss. 

Carpeting a bare floor is effective, but you might not want to cover your beautiful polished floorboards. So, buy an attractive rug that covers enough surface area to keep the room a little warmer. The thicker the rug, the more effectively it will prevent warm air from escaping. 

Consider bioethanol to warm your home this winter

We hope we’ve offered some practical tips and hacks to help heat your home this winter, but if you have any questions about bioethanol, we’d love to hear from you. 

You're likely to have lots of questions, so check out our FAQs and find out if bioethanol could offer you freedom from fuel poverty this winter. 

Thanks for reading. And remember to share this article with your friends and family.