Winter Weather Advice: Keeping Warm In Winter
Tips for keeping your home warm in winter
As it gets cooler outside, it’s tempting to turn up the temperature on your thermostat to help keep your house warm and toasty.
However, increasing the temperature can mean your boiler and heating system has to work harder and for longer, using more gas in the process which can result in higher heating bills.
The good news is that there are a number of ways to help you manage your home’s heating during the winter, by both retaining heat, and minimising excess energy use.
If you’re wondering what temperature your property should be, the government recommends that our homes should be between 18 °C - 21 °C in winter, although this can depend on a person's age, any medical conditions, and the type of room.
Small home changes
Close internal doors
Closing doors inside your home can keep the heat in each room for a longer period, also helping it to stay at a more consistent temperature too.
Each time a door is opened, warm air can escape the room and be replaced by cooler air from outside, decreasing the temperature of the room. The longer a door is left open, the more heat can escape.
Remembering to keep the bathroom and bedroom doors closed is a simple and effective way of trapping heat in, minimising the need to turn up the thermostat and even reduce the amount of time your central heating is on for.
Another effective way of retaining heat in your home is by drawing your curtains and keeping blinds closed as soon as it starts to get dark. This helps to provide an extra barrier of insulation to decrease the chances to heat being lost through draughts around the windows and doors.
If your curtains are quite thin or your home isn’t well insulated, upgrading to thicker curtains that are made from thermal properties are a good option to help keep as much heat in as possible.
Add soft furnishings
We all like our home to feel comfortable and relaxing, especially in the winter. Adding some soft furnishings can help make a difference, not only to give it a cosy feel, but to seem considerably warmer. If you have laminate, wood or tiled flooring that is notoriously known for being cold, adding rugs or carpets can instantly help to make the room feel hotter.
Rugs and carpets made from natural materials such as wool or cotton are the best for reducing heat loss through the ground as they have superior air-trapping properties compared with synthetic fibres. Rugs with a high pile or thick backing will also provide better insulation. Although this can be pricey, you may be able to pick one up second hand from charity shops or online.
Control the temperature
Choosing the best control for you
Making sure you’ve got the right thermostat or heating control for your home helps to ensure a comfortable living requirement, especially during the chilly months. You will be able to easily regulate the temperature to suit your needs and maximise efficiency.
There’s a variety of thermostats available, all at different price points. At Glow-worm, we offer smart, programmable and mechanical thermostats that are all compatible with all our range of boilers.
Smart thermostats work by controlling your heating and hot water needs via an app on your mobile or tablet. Here, you can easily set your desired temperature even when you're not at home, so your house should always be the perfect temperature to tailor you.
Similarly, programmable thermostats use electronic sensors to maintain the temperature of your home within one degree of your desired setting. All you need to do is program your heating to come on to fit in with your lifestyle, making it a super easy control to use.
Mechanical thermostats are more traditional in the way that you use an analogue dial to turn the temperature up or down to meet your requirements.
Read our ‘What is a thermostat and how does one work’ guide here.
The best settings for your heating control
It’s important to know how to get the most out of your heating control to ensure you’re not wasting energy. However, when opting for a new thermostat, there are a few factors to consider.
Smart controls use intelligent technology to understand your schedule and what temperature best fits your lifestyle. Glow-worm’s Mi-Go personal heating assistant learns your energy needs from the moment it’s installed.
The best settings for your heating control
Using the app, you can adjust and customise the temperature on the go. If your heating is due to come on at 6pm but you’re not going to be back home until later, you can quickly modify the timings to come on later so you’re not heating your home unnecessarily.
If you prefer your heating to come on at a routine time each day, a programmable or mechanical thermostat may be a better option as you can leave it ticking along without having to adjust the temperature each time.
Programmable thermostats, like Climapro1 and Climapro2 RF control work by setting your specific heating and hot water requirements for each part of every day. With clear and straightforward settings menus, you can choose the temperature and the times you wish your heating to come on. By having these functions, means your heating only switches on at certain times of day in line with your schedule and to minimise your energy consumption.
With mechanical thermostats, like our Climastat control, all you need to do is adjust the temperature by turning the dial. You can set the time (usually first thing in the morning and the evening) so it comes on automatically without having to do anything. If you have a busy lifestyle and you want a no-hassle heating control, mechanical thermostats are a great option.
Upgrading to a smart control
Smart controls have been growing in popularity due to their convenience as well as being known for being more energy efficient. If you’re looking to have more control over your heating, upgrading your traditional thermostat to a smart control is a good option.
Smart controls, like the MiGo offer weather compensation functionality so they can monitor the weather conditions outside to help get the ideal indoor temperature for your home.
If you’re thinking of upgrading your thermostat to help you stay warmer during winter, read our guide to smart heating systems or if you wish to discuss your options, speak to your local Glow-worm installer.
Improvements around the home
By making a few small changes around your home can have a big impact on how warm it is. Here are a few options to get you started.
Radiator reflector panels
Radiator reflective panels are thin sheets of aluminium foil that are placed onto the wall bracket behind the radiator. These work by preventing the heat that is emitted from the radiator being lost as the foil reflects the heat back into the room, making it feel warmer for longer, maximising every degree of heat produced by your boiler.
Available in most hardware shops, this is an inexpensive way of saving lost energy and you can easily install the sheets yourself. As these are behind the radiator, they are also discreet so don’t affect the aesthetics of your home.
Insulation and draught proofing
Draughts are one of the main reasons why we feel cold at home in winter, even if the interior temperature is actually warm. By blocking draughts at the source, you can help to prevent the amount of cold air flowing into the room, keeping it warmer for longer.
You can often feel a draught around windows and doors. These can be rectified by using draught excluders or weatherstripping tape. Fabric or cushioned door draught excluders can help to block cold air from travelling underneath the door and warm air from escaping, helping to keep the room to stay warm. Weatherstripping tape is great for sealing any gaps around doors and windows where heat is lost. There is a variety of weatherstripping tape available, all made with different fabrics depending on the affected area. Make sure to do your research to see what type of tape is best suited for your home.
You can also eliminate draughts by adding extra layers of insulation to areas in the home where heat tends to escape. These mainly include lofts, and through the walls. Although the initial cost for this is expensive, insulating these areas has long lasting benefits and ultimately reduces your energy costs.
Upgrade your windows/doors
Poorly insulated windows can have a significant impact on the overall warmth of your home. By upgrading your windows to double or triple glazing, you’re adding an extra layer of insulation, helping to improve the efficiency of your home and lower your energy bills.
Double glazed windows consist of two panes of glass with a small space in between, known as an air gap. The air gap contains a type of gas (usually argon) that works as an insulator and prevents heat from being transferred back outside, preventing heat loss. Similarly, triple glazing is made from three panes of glass with two air gaps, meaning they act as better insulators compared to their counterparts. However, they are considerably more expensive than double glazing.
There are grants available to help support you with the cost of installing double glazing, but there are certain criteria your property has to meet to be eligible.
Make sure your heating system is efficient
For most people, their gas boiler and central heating system is the primary heat source for their home, so ensuring your boiler works correctly is vital before the winter weather sets in. To make sure your getting the most out of your boiler, there are a few things you can do to help optimise your boilers efficiency.
Bleed your radiators
Bleeding your radiators is an important part of annual heating system maintenance. This process releases the air that’s trapped in the heating system, allowing warm water to circulate through the entire radiator and emit a greater amount of heat.
You will be able to tell if your radiators need bleeding if they are cooler at the top than at the bottom. Doing this process will help to improve the performance of your central heating system, making your home feel much warmer during winter. If you’re unsure about bleeding your radiators or you’re still having problems with your central heating system, contact your local Glow-worm installer who will come and take a look for you.
Have your boiler serviced
Having your boiler serviced annually by a qualified heating engineer is essential in maintaining a properly functioning central heating system. During the service, the engineer will check, clean & replace parts as necessary to keep your boiler in optimal working condition throughout winter.
If your Glow-worm boiler is still under guarantee, having an annual boiler service will help to keep the guarantee valid after the first year.
Stay warm this winter with a Glow-worm boiler
As experts in domestic central heating systems, Glow-worm have been keeping homes warm since 1934.
Our range of energy-efficient combi, system and regular boilers are a great option for those who are looking to upgrade their current boiler for a modern and reliable one that’s kinder to the environment as well as your bank balance.