Brits are already snuggled up under blankets and duvets as winter starts today, instead of following some simple steps to warm up their home during this cold season.
New research from the Energy Saving Trust has found that 42 per cent of us avoid switching on the heating during the colder spells because of worries about energy bills; with more than a third of us also saying we find it difficult to keep our homes as warm as we’d like.
In fact, 65 per cent of us will put on a warm jumper indoors, and 42 per cent of us will cover ourselves with a blanket. People under 35 years old are almost three times more likely to use a blanket to keep warm than people over 55.
By comparison, only 15 per cent have draught-proofed their home in preparation for winter and 10 per cent have insulated their pipes or checked that their pipe insulation is sound.
There are a lot of ways that people can prepare for winter. It is a good idea to have the right column radiators. However, it is also necessary to make sure the radiators are properly setup and that you have sufficient insulation. You don’t want a radiator that doesn’t operate efficiently.
Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive, Energy Saving Trust, said: “With winter officially starting today, we are asking people just to double check they’ve done all they can to prepare for the approaching cold snaps.
“The fact that 40 per cent of us are worried about being able to keep our homes warm this winter is a concern; we should all be confident in being comfortable in our own homes.
“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.
“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.”
Other findings include:
• 25 per cent of people with an elderly friend or relative are worried their elderly friend/relative will not be able to keep their home warm enough
• 50 per cent of people on means tested benefits say they struggle to keep their home warm
• 1 in 6 don’t even know what temperature they heat their home to
• 48 per cent of renters struggle to heat their home compared to 29 per cent of homeowners
• Renters are far more likely to avoid turning the heating on compared to homeowners
Sellwood added: “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.”
Household efficiency information and advice can be found on the Energy Saving Trust website, onwww.energysavingtrust.co.uk.