Over 40% of Brits do not turn on the heating during cold spells due to worries about their bills.
And with icy arctic blasts sweeping their way across Europe, the Energy Saving Trust is urging people to insulate and draught-proof their homes so they can end their annual winter worries.
The Energy Saving Trust has found that 42 per cent try to dodge bills during cold spells by leaving the heating off; with more than a third of us also saying we find it difficult to keep our homes as warm as we’d like.
By comparison, only 15 per cent have draught-proofed their home in preparation for the cold weather and 10 per cent have insulated their pipes or checked that their pipe insulation is sound.
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Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive, Energy Saving Trust, said: “The fact that 42 per cent of us are worried about being able to keep our homes warm is a concern; especially with the wintry storms now spreading across Europe.
“Pulling on a jumper or using a blanket can keep you warm, but winter proofing your home is the best way to insulate yourself from the chills of the season.”
The Energy Saving Trust says seven simple household tips could help end worries about bills during the chilly spell:
- Draught-proof your home
Improving seals on windows and doors reduces creeping chills and save you up to £35 per year.
- Insulate your pipes
Adding foam insulating tubes to water pipes is a great way to prevent unnecessary heat loss and can save you £10 per year.
- Upgrade heating controls
Got no valves on your radiators? Adding them gives you more power to save – add a thermostat and you could pocket anything from £75 to £155 per year in extra cash.
- Get a new boiler
If your boiler is more than 10 years old, upgrading can significantly reduce your household’s running costs.
- Top up hot-water cylinder insulation
A hot water cylinder jacket can cost just £16, but can save you £25 to £35 per year.
- Top up loft insulation
Adding an extra layer of insulation to your loft is a quick way to reduce heating bills by £15 per year.
- Insulate your walls
Prevent warm air escaping through your walls is a no-brainer – and it can save you anything from £155 to £260 per year depending on your home.
“Only 29 per cent of us bleed radiators in preparation for winter, meaning they could have cold spots, while a third of us have not had our heating system serviced in the last year – which could leave it more prone to breakdowns,” continued Mr Sellwood.
“Performing these simple tasks can make heating your home less costly too, and they don’t take long to do.”
More help is available though, particularly for renters and people in receipt of certain benefits.
Explaining, Mr Sellwood said: “Homeowners or renters in receipt of benefits may get some help towards the cost of fitting insulation or a new boiler, so it’s worth checking. The best place to start is by calling the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.
“Private tenants living in cold homes should talk to their landlord about making improvements to insulation and heating systems. Under new regulations, tenants who are receiving certain benefits can access a grant to pay for some energy improvements – and landlords have to agree to the installation. The Energy Saving Advice Service can advise if you are eligible for a grant.
“Tenants who have major problems with cold and damp and whose landlord won’t help, should contact their local authority housing health and safety team.
“The Energy Saving Trust website is a great resource for all; giving independent advice and guides on the problems you can address quickly and easily.”