MILLIONS of households are feeling the squeeze on their pockets and the cold pinch on their cheeks as winter kicks in full throttle.
And with energy costs rising, it’s important to get the most out of your heating to reduce unnecessarily high energy bills.
Last October, the energy price cap was increased to £1,277 by energy regulator Ofgem, adding £139 to the average bill.
But during the cold winter months, it’s not as simple as switching off the heating to ease rocketing bills.
Though some households are doing exactly this, as the cost of living crisis forces some families to choose between heating or eating.
For others, rising energy bills means racking up a debt of £760 for electricity and £605 for gas, according to Citizens Advice.
Meanwhile, more energy companies like Together Energy continue to face collapse, which would affect another 170,000 customers on top of those whose providers had previously gone bust.
Martin Lewis wanted Brits earlier this year that energy bills could rise to £600 within months, but with little that can be done about that, The Sun reached out to energy experts for advice on how to heat a home most cost-efficiently.
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You could be making these radiator mistakes
If you’re planning to keep the heating on, here’s seven radiator tips you may not know about to eradicate that winter chill in your home.
Use foil panelling behind radiators
Energy Helpline's energy expert, Tashema Jackson, advises that foil panelling behind radiators can work to keep heat from escaping the house.
You can purchase foil panelling online and install it yourself, making it a cheap way to conserve the warmth.
But Tashema warned that this tip is only really of use on radiators located on an outside facing wall where the heat is most likely to seep out of, otherwise it may not be worth it.
Keep an eye on rusty radiators
Rust on your radiator could indicate that it has a leak.
Tashema said any damage to your radiator panel will reduce the amount of heat which it emits and push your bill up higher, as you seek to get your home up to temperature.
Not to mention, leaks that go unnoticed can seep into floorboards or ceilings, causing other issues that may need attention in the future like staining.
Don't forget to bleed your radiators
Bleeding a radiator is a quick job that takes seconds to do, but many people can forget.
By bleeding them, you are removing trapped air that can create cold spots and stop your radiator working at its best.
All you need is a radiator key and some old clothes or sheets to catch any water that comes out. Never bleed a radiator when the boiler is on as you may risk scalding yourself.
Tashema says bleeding your radiator at least once a year is a must, otherwise they won’t work in keeping your home warm, regardless of how long you keep your boiler on.
If it's your first time bleeding a radiator, there are plenty of free videos on YouTube to show you the ropes.
Avoid blocking them
A simple trick but sure to make a difference.
Whacking the heating up to its highest won't do any good if your living room sofa, bed or other furniture is placed in front of your radiator.
If you furniture is covering the radiator, heat will not be able to spread most effectively. Consider rejigging your room to allow the heat to cover all bases.
If you can't rejig your furniture, you should at least allow for breathing room by creating a gap between the radiator and obstruction, says Tashema.
Be aware of curtains
It's not just the sofa that could be rendering your radiator pointless. If you have curtains hanging in front of your radiators, the heat is inevitably absorbed or trapped by them and any heat generated will be lost as windows are one of the main ways heat escapes your home.
You should tuck your curtains behind the radiator to encourage the heat outwards.
Stay on top of cleaning
Tashema notes that dust in your radiator can make it less effective, so it is worth dusting your radiator as part of your cleaning schedule to keep your home warmer.
You can find lots of helpful cleaning tips on TikTok that show you how to clean your radiator properly and also having a lovely smelling house as a result.
Rethink your radiator cover
Naturally, anything that sits in front of the radiator is going to reduce its effectiveness somewhat, and this includes radiator covers.
They may be aesthetic, but if you don't need your radiator cover for any kind of storage or purpose, then you should consider removing it or changing it to one that has bigger gaps for heat to pass through.
If you're looking for more cost-effective ways to keep your house warm over the winter, we've got some tricks and tips to help you heat your rooms for less.
Some households on low-incomes and benefits may be able to get help towards energy bills throughout the winter as part of the Household Support Fund by the government – check if you can apply.
And it's not just energy bills that you could get help with over the winter. If you have white goods that need repairing or replacing and you can't afford to do so, you may be able to get help – find out how.
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