There’s something extra special about being at home during the winter. The nights drawing in offers the perfect excuse to cancel hectic schedules, and get home to a warm, cosy living room.
However, for many, rising energy bills are continuing to put extra pressure on at this time of year, so how can you make your house warmer during winter?
Thankfully, there are ways that you can keep your home comfortable, without having to spend a small fortune on energy bills.
To help you save costs without compromising on comfort, we’ve shared our top tips below. Check out our handy strategies for increasing the warmth in your house, making your house warmer without heating, and ideas for keeping your living room cosy. Of course, we’ve also highlighted the benefits annexe living has on reducing energy costs too.
How an annexe can help to keep heating costs low
Keeping a house warm during the winter can start to become pretty expensive. But, in an annexe, you can keep your day-to-day energy bills significantly lower.
This is because annexes are both a much smaller area (compared to an average, standard home), and they are a new build. As a result, they are built with state-of-the-art insulation and energy-efficiency features, and you’re only having to heat a fraction of the space.
Annexes use efficient electric heating (rather than gas heating), and are highly insulated. Plus, if you’re staying in that one space for the whole day, it makes sense to strategically reduce your heating to a smaller area.
Or, if you are living with multiple generations (either adult teenagers or older parents or grandparents), then you’ll probably all have different routines. As a result, you’ll all most likely be in the house at different times. This could mean that your heating has to be on throughout the day.
A granny annexe stops this unwanted waste. Not only do you all get your own, private living spaces, but you can ensure everyone is warm and comfortable in a much more energy-efficient and cost-efficient way.
What temperature should my home be, and when is the best time to put the heating on?
The optimum temperature for a home will vary from house to house, depending on the personal preferences of the people that live there, and the temperature at which they feel comfortable.
There are also a number of other items to consider in older properties, properties without insulation features (like double glazing), or naturally colder properties (such as ground floor flats) may need to increase their heating to a higher temperature, to achieve the same effects.
Generally speaking, the recommended temperature range for a house is between 20-22 degrees Celsius.
This may vary throughout the year, depending on how many people are at home, the time of year, and the geographical location of the house.
For example, for a house to feel 20-22 degrees warm, if there are only two people at home in the middle of January, then you will need your central heating to work harder than if you had a full house in August.
Equally, the question of when to put the heating on will also vary, based on your personal comfort levels and how long it takes for your house to warm up.
One of the most practical ways to save money is to use a programmable thermostat or install smart home heating controls, to help you more accurately monitor and adjust your home’s heating.
An effective way to reduce your energy bills is to turn your heating down when you go to bed, and then turn it back on again in the morning. This means that the house’s temperature will slowly drop overnight, but it will still be warm and comfortable during the rest of the day.
You can use a programmable temperature control system to determine your preferred temperature during the night, whether that means setting your heating to a lower temperature, or turning it off altogether. Either way, these systems make it easier for you to adjust your heating, and even automate these changes throughout the day for you.
How can I make my house warmer without heating?
If you’re looking to increase the temperature of your house without resorting to heating, there are numerous ways that you can make your home more thermally efficient.
These range from long-term investments in your home’s insulation, to handy quick tips, which you can implement straight away.
You can make your house warmer without heating by:
- Installing a programmable thermostat or smart home heating system
- Not turning your heating on full all at once. Instead, a more efficient way to heat is to increase it gradually, bit by bit
- Checking whether your energy provider offers off-peak hours. If so, heating your home during these periods (rather than in peak hours) will be cheaper
- Opening your curtains or blinds during the day, to allow more sunlight to stream in and warm your room
- Closing your curtains or blinds during the night, to prevent heat from seeping outside
- Draught-proofing your windows and doors, sealing any gaps that are causing a draft
- Insulating your home’s hot water pipes, to minimise heat wastage
- If your home is made up of heating zones, only heat your home in the areas that you are using (if your home doesn’t have zone heating in place, then you might want to consider investing in this)
- If you know you only need to heat one room for a few hours, then using a modern, energy-efficient electric heater can be cheaper than turning on the heating for the whole house
- Using (or installing, if you don’t have them already) thermostatic radiator valves to adjust the temperature of individual radiators in your home, and ensure that none are unnecessarily warm
- Covering radiators with curtains can stop them from working at their optimum. As a result, it can make your radiator less efficient. So, ensure your curtains aren’t blocking or covering your radiators
7 simple and affordable living room cosy ideas
At this time of year, while it may be cold outside, there is a really exciting opportunity to get wrapped up inside. Considering seasonal furnishings is something that can really add to the magical feel that winter brings. We have put together some ideas to help give you inspiration for a warm and inviting annexe interior:
- Use thick, heavy curtains – not only do these look and feel luxurious, but they are also a great way to keep heat inside your home.
- Add rugs – these help to keep your feet warm, and minimise heat loss through the floor
- Add blankets to your living room – they look stylish and inviting and will make you less likely to be tempted to crank up the heating.
- Use warm-toned lightbulbs – these further enhance the warm, cosy atmosphere of a room.
- Place candles around the room – although the fires are too little to add heat to the room, they certainly keep a room feeling cosy.
- Look for wool or fur furnishings – these fabrics are great insulators, meaning they’re perfect for keeping a room cosy. These could be wool or fur pillows, blankets, rugs or throws – the choice is yours!
- Add wall hangings – not only are these very much in style, but wall hangings can also help contribute to the insulation of your walls, and keep warmth locked into the room.
We’re here to help
If you’d like to find out more about the benefits that annexes have to offer, or to browse our range of premium, energy-efficient annexes, the iHUS team is on hand to help.