As the nights draw in and the temperatures begin to drop, we all want to keep our homes warm and cosy, whilst not blowing a fortune on energy bills. Here are some tips on how you can stay nice and toasty this winter.

Get your boiler serviced

Boilers can start to work less efficiently over time and they do need regular maintenance. Booking an annual service will ensure that your boiler works efficiently, keeping your house warm and saving you money on your heating bills.  

Install double glazing

Your home loses on average 10% of its heat through the windows and doors. By installing double glazing, which has an insulating barrier to slow down the rate of heat loss, you’ll not only keep your house warmer but in the longer term you’ll also pay less in energy bills. You can now even buy triple glazed windows, which provide even better insulation. Here at Minster Windows we specialise in double glazing, so contact us today to find out more.

Buy thermal curtains

As a lot of heat escapes through your home’s windows, closing the curtains at night makes sense as it will keep the warmth in. To maximise the benefit, buy a pair of thermal curtains, which have an insulated lining.

Keep the curtains open during the day

Whilst it’s a good idea to shut the curtains at night, make sure you leave them open during the day – especially when it’s sunny - to make the most of the natural, free heat from the sun. Close them at dusk to retain the heat.

Use rugs on wooden floors

Many contemporary homes have wooden floors, which look great but which also allow heat to escape. To help stop heat escaping, place rugs on the floor that will act as an insulating barrier.

Bleed the radiators

If your radiators are working efficiently, then they should be heating right to the top. If they’re not, it’s because trapped air is preventing the hot water from rising, and they need bleeding. Use a radiator bleed key to turn the valve at the top of the radiator. You should hear the air hissing as it escapes, and as soon as you see a drop of water, close the valve.

Keep radiators clear

You should try and avoid placing large items of furniture such as sofas in front of your radiators, as they will absorb the heat and stop them from efficiently heating the room.


Whilst expensive home insulation options like loft insulation can really help keep the heat in, a DIY approach can still be effective and save you money. You can create a draught excluder for doors from foam pipe lagging, by cutting a section the same width as your door, and sliding it on to fill the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. Using spray foam insulation to fill in gaps in your walls or cavities at the backs of cupboards is another low-cost way of keeping in the heat.

Don’t lose heat up the chimney

If your house has a decorative fireplace which isn’t in use, you could be losing heat up the open chimney. To prevent this, purchase a chimney balloon. Chimney balloons cost around £20 and are made from a special laminate. You fit them in the chimney hole and then inflate them to seal the chimney and stop heat escaping - or cold air entering - the room.

Set your timers properly

Energy experts like those at The Energy Trust and British Gas say that keeping the heating constantly on low all day is not the most effective way to heat your home, despite many people believing it is. It’s actually more energy efficient to only use the heating when you need to – which means using timers and letting your thermostat turn your heating on and off to keep your home at the temperature you set it.