How To Keep Your House Warm In Winter And Save Money

Last Updated on 14th July 2020 by Emma

Worried about your energy bills?

Want to know how to winterize your home?

Autumn/Fall is on it’s way and with it the potential for a large increase in your energy bills.

Humans are warm bloodied creatures so we like to be warm whether it’s summer or winter.

Being warm in winter can come at a price – a hike in our energy bills. Right now the sun is shining and the wintry weather you know is coming seems a long way away.

But now is a good time to to prepare your house, minimize your energy consumption and keep your energy bills from going through the roof.

Without sacrificing the feelings of warmth.

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american house and front garden covered in snow

Here in the UK we don’t usually get the extremes of weather that our friends in the US and Canada get but last winter was a serious shock to the system.

We had snow! In the South of England! I know, shocking isn’t it?!

The problem is our UK homes are not built to be super efficient and warm during really cold weather as it’s not something we often have.

So when the snow descends the energy bills can rocket.

Not so in the Tuppenny household, we are preparing like we do every year to keep ourselves warm and keep our energy consumption down.

We might not have super harsh winters but we have no intention of paying higher energy bills just because we haven’t taken the right steps to keep them down.

You might also like: 7 Simple Tips of Fabulously Frugal People to Live a GREAT Life

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Reduce Your Energy Consumption – Turn the Heating Off Over Night

If you are in a really cold climate you probably can’t afford to turn the heating off overnight as the temperature would drop too much.

We save energy by happily turning the heating off at 9.30pm every winters’ evening. It kicks back in 20 minutes before we get up.

On a crisp winters day the inside temperature will drop to around 13c/55f.

As I am first up it’s fairly cold when I get up first but my morning routine is one of doing, not sitting around.

If you are doing – getting showered, getting dressed and getting breakfast – then you are moving around and will keep warm that way.

Even in winter I have a cold shower although I do rinse with hot water as the brain freeze gets to me!

Reduce Your Energy Consumption – Don’t Let Heat Escape Through Gaps in Your Windows and Doors

Insulate your window and doors to keep the warmth inside your house.

If you haven’t yet got double or triple glazing then if your budget allows you might want to consider investing in these.

However that’s a long term energy reduction strategy which could cost you a significant amount of money upfront.

In the meantime, double glazing or not, you can add plastic coverings to your windows to act as an additional thermal layer.

It’s rather like putting cling film on your windows, where you use a hair dryer to create a taught finish.

Sounds a little crazy but it works! We used it on our first house as we couldn’t afford to make any home improvements.

It helped us reduce our energy bills during 2 winters before we could afford to have double glazing installed.

You may also like: Cut These 10 Monthly Expenses and Crush Your Budget – Today!

Energy Saving Tip – Put Blankets on Your Bed

On cold winter nights, instead of keeping the heating on or turning up the thermostat, put a couple of extra blankets on everyone’s bed.

Extra layers will make everyone feel wonderfully cosy and warm without increasing your energy bills.

Energy Saving Tip – Insulate Your Attic

If your attic is not adequately insulated you can lose a huge amount of heat straight up into the attic and then the atmosphere.

The general guidelines for what level of insulation you should have has changed a few times over the past 20 years.

If your insulation is more than 10 years old you might want to consider adding to it. This will cost you money but will pay for itself in a couple of years.

close up shot of large icicles hanging down

Energy Saving Tip – Wear Extra Layers

Shorts and t-shirts are for the hot summer months. They are not for winter days where you turn the thermostat up to keep warm.

Winter clothes are for winter and that includes more than one layer.

Mr2p doesn’t feel the cold as much as I do so whilst he might wear a long sleeved shirt and possibly a fleece on a cold day.

I will be in a thermal top, further long sleeved top and a warm fleece.

As an added warmth factor I tend to wear fleece lined trousers in the winter. So comfy and keep me toasty warm.

I bought them for winter walking but can’t help wearing them around the house – toasty!

Ways to Save Energy – Turn the Thermostat Down

Once we have completed all our jobs for the day/evening then you are likely to find us relaxing on the sofa, possibly watching TV or talking.

You can get quite cold when you are sitting down after a while so the impulse, preference, habit is to turn the thermostat up as you feel cold.

Instead we have beautiful blankets that we snuggle under if we start feeling the cold.

We keep our house at a balmy 66F/19C in the evening and 61F/16C during the day.

Ways to Save Energy – Service Your Boiler or Furnace

Although an annual service will cost you a small chunk of change, it is part of your essential home maintenance which will pay dividends every year.

Servicing your boiler/furnace will ensure not only is it operating safely but also at optimum energy efficiency.

The more efficient your heating system is the lower your energy bills will be.

Reduce Your Energy Consumption – Only Heat the Rooms You Use

Don’t waste energy heating those rooms that aren’t being used from one day to the next. We keep the spare room door closed and the radiator turned off/very low.

We only use our bedroom for sleeping in and we have a lovely warm duvet so we don’t heat this very much either.

It’s usually 5 degrees cooler in our bedroom than the lounge.

We also like the window open at night so there’s no point having the heating on, only to watch it fly out of the window!

Reduce Your Energy Consumption – Heat The House Only When You’re at Home

With both of us usually being out of the house all day it seems pointless and wasteful to be using energy to heat an empty house.

Our boiler program is set to kick in 30 mins before one of us arrives home.

If we get home early we can override the program so it kicks in straight away.

You can also operate your thermostat via an app with some systems.

We have a minimum setting similar to frost protection setting so if the house drops below 54F/12C then the heating will kick to bring it up to this minimum level.

You may also like: The Easy Way To Save Money – 15 Tips To Save $14,000 a Year!

How to Save Energy – Make Use of Sunny Days

We are lucky that our house faces due south and we have large windows which let in a lot of light.

During Autumn, Winter and Spring we get free heating courtesy of the sun.

Keeping our curtains open all day allows the sun in to heat the house nicely.

Obviously in the summer we have the opposite problem and have to keep them closed!

The sun pouring through double glazed glass really heats up a room and will help you keep your energy bills down low.

half a house and front porch covered in snow

Energy Saving Tip – Invest in Thick Curtains

Curtains can make a real difference to your home.

Not only do they add a nice touch to the look of your rooms but they can be highly functional and help you keep warmth in and the cold out.

Thick, lined curtains are perfect to help you save electricity yet keep your house cosy.

Save Electricity – Keep Your Curtains Closed at Night.

Curtains are a real energy saving winner, especially if you have lovely thick lined ones. Utilize their warmth properties by closing your curtains as soon as the sun has set.

They will keep the warmth inside your house instead of letting it escape through your windows as the outside becomes colder.

Save Electricity – Keep Your Radiators Free

There is a tendency to place sofas up against the radiators in your living room. And beds or cupboards against radiators in your bedrooms.

Doing this actually blocks the heat from moving freely around your rooms and you end up with a colder room.

Which in turn is likely to encourage you to turn your thermostat up.

If you have curtains above a radiator make sure they aren’t floor length and thereby stop the heat from getting into your rooms.

Curtains that finished just above your radiators work best in doing their own job of keeping the warmth in and helping the radiator do its job of giving out warmth.

a garden and shed covered in snow

Save Energy By Warming Your Floors

If you don’t have underfloor heating then laying thick carpets will help you keep warmth in the room.

I love a real wood floor but they can make the house feel cold. Wood floors can be made warmer by throwing down a couple of rugs.

Be Smarter With Your Energy Consumption – Cook and Bake More

Using your oven more during the winter months gives you extra heat which will make it’s way through the house.

In the summer you wouldn’t want your oven on for a few hours.

But in the winter, comforting foods that warm you up from the inside tend to lend themselves to being cooked in an oven.

Think hearty casseroles, lasagna and a good old roast.

You have the added benefit of the oven warmth being shared whilst you enjoy a hearty meal.

You may also like: 13 Killer Ways To Save Money On Groceries – Save Hundreds Every Month

How to Keep Your House Warm and Your Energy Bills Low This Winter – Bonus Tip

If you haven’t changed your energy provider recently then you definitely should look into doing so.

Many energy providers offer fixed rates so you know what your bills will be for the fixed period.

The problem with fixed rates is when they finish you end up on your providers variable rate which is never a good deal.

Utility companies rely on us not questioning our utility bills. In some states and countries you have a choice of utility company to use.

This makes for a great way to save money as these companies always offer new customer discounts.

Even if you can’t change company, you can certainly contact your existing company and ask for a discount. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Look After My Bills is a fantastic new service in the UK that will automatically switch you to a new provider as your existing one becomes more expensive.

Not only is LAMB free to join, they keep checking the market and switch you again as your existing deal ends, so you know you will always be on the best deal. How fab is that?!

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About Emma

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10 thoughts on “How To Keep Your House Warm In Winter And Save Money”

  1. Hi Tuppenny
    My husband doesn’t feel the cold like I do and he’ll be in shorts and T shirts while I’m under a blanket in the winter! I remember the cling film and hairdryer double glazing too – it worked though so I won’t knock it! You’ve inspired me to get my house ready for winter – I need to insulate our over-hanging eves as they’re very draughty. As for winter – I love it, just not the being cold part.
    Helen 😉

    Reply
    • Mr2p and I are like you and your husband then! I’ll be wearing fleece lined trousers and under a blanket and he’s in shorts, t-shirt and no socks! Horror! My feet always get cold in the winter. We’ve recently tested our boiler to ensure it will work when we finally put the heating on and I’ve got the blankets out and washed ready for cosy times.

      Reply
  2. Blankets, blankets, blankets! That’s one of my favorite parts of colder weather. My down comforter is so cozy in the winter… I discovered last winter it was warm enough to turn the heat off during the night! I sometimes even sweat through the night with it on. Also about heating one room at a time, I feel like last year there was a lot of advertising here in the US for new heating and cooling units that are individual to the room as opposed to central air (which is what a lot of post 1950s homes have) specifically for this reason.

    When I was living in the Midwest where the winters actually include regular snowfall, putting plastic on your windows was the weather-proofing norm. They have actual kits for these so you’re not using kitchen and bathroom essentials. Can’t believe we’re thinking about winter and Christmas already, Tup!

    Reply
    • Hi MERJ! I had to put my winter duvet on this week – had a couple of cooler nights and I got cold. Obviously our heating isn’t on so hello winter duvet. Individual room heating units sounds like a good idea, as long as they aren’t more expensive to run. Being in a milder climate here in the UK I wouldn’t dream of keeping the heating on overnight although when it’s -8c outside it gets pretty darn chilly!

      I currently have my blanket on my lap with a large cat on top – they seem to prefer my lap when it is covered in a blanket 🙂

      Reply
  3. My husband has a high school friend that is going to come to look at our furnace next week. If we need it I’m hoping he can service it for us at a reasonable price! My husband just put plastic around our windows, the plastic came with some double-sided tape that made it super simple to put up. We’re hoping this helps!

    Reply
    • Hi Chonce! That window plastic will help, I promise. We used it for 2 winters until we could afford double glazing, so glad you’ve found it. So many people don’t know about it and think I’ve lost it when I explain what it is. Friends with skills are the best don’t you think? He won’t rip you off and he’ll do a good job for a good price and you’ll likely use him in the future – win win. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Reply
  4. Great list! My wife and I normally tough it out each winter by keeping the thermostats down and bundling up, but we have a one-year old now and we feel bad making her endure the cold. This year we bought a new wood burning stove, and I’ve had it running around the clock since it has gotten colder (we live in New England). So far our boiler hasn’t turned on at all because the stove is keeping the house warm. And we have access to firewood for free, so no added cost!

    Reply
    • Hi Adam! Your wood burner sounds like it’s going to repay its cost in double quick time! Young children always change the focus of your frugal efforts and usually mean an increase in costs. Especially young ones as they can’t regulate their own temperatures easily nor explain when they’re cold or hot. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

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