Help me keep my house warm!

(13 Posts)
Madratlady Thu 10-Oct-13 22:16:08

My house has a large living/dining room and the house itself is badly insulated and draughty. I need some tips on how to keep us warm over winter without needing the heating all the time. So far I've got:

- Curtains with thermal linings, including for over the front door
- rugs for the laminate floor
- draught excluders for the doors
- blocking up the unused key hole on the front door (it has a yale lock)

Any suggestions for places I can get nice and affordable things on that list would be great as well.

I turned on heat last night and was wondering about the same things as you.
This is our first UK winter in a long time I was wondering about buying thermal blinds or curtains for the bedrooms and living room windows. Can you feel a difference with the thermal curtains you bought?

gamerchick Fri 11-Oct-13 07:28:45

Bubble wrap over the windows. The type with the big bubbles. Spray of water on the windows.. smooth it on and a little bit of tape in the corners.

Soft metal roll behind the radiators it tinfoil died the job well.

deepfriedsage Fri 11-Oct-13 07:30:33

How do you look out the windows with the bubblewrap?

gamerchick Fri 11-Oct-13 07:49:35

Surprisingly easily and it doesn't block out the light.

It's not as noticeable as you have though from outside either.

MummytoMog Fri 11-Oct-13 11:13:35

Big rugs, over as much floor as possible. Have fleece blankets tucked away in the living room for evenings in front of the telly (my kids have them first thing in the morning for breakfast too). A snuggly throw of some kind will make your sofa feel warmer when you sit on it.

Top up your loft insulation. It doesn't matter if you have some already, put some space blanket over the top (find it on special offer and it's dirt cheap). It makes a really big difference.

Plastic panels behind radiators are good and cheap. Check all your window frames. We found ours were poorly fitted on the outside, letting in draughts, so we used filler and sealant to close those up (and in one particularly bad one, expandable foam filler).

Everybody needs slippers or bed socks. My two are shockers for keeping them on, but it does make a difference to padding around the house.

I put up extra curtains behind my normal curtains. Curtain wire stung across the window with a thermal curtain of some kind (I actually made my own from Ikea fleece blankets, but anything will do). That plastic film that you put on windows with a hairdryer works, and is probably less noticeable than bubble wrap. If your windows are not double glazed, then you MUST do it and also tape up the edges of your windows with masking tape for the winter. In fact, if they're draughty, do it anyway. It does make a difference.

Keep bedroom doors shut to keep them warm (really works for my kids' rooms).

Obvious, but everyone needs to wear a vest. Kids and adults. My OH has thermal sleeveless vests from M&S under his clothes at all times, and I have spaghetti strap vests under my clothes. Kids have a vest mountain (all sleeveless plain white boys vests from Primark) and wear one religiously.

PigletJohn Fri 11-Oct-13 12:53:12

how thick is the loft insulation?

keep the internal doors closed

Buy adhesive draft strip (the EDPM rubbery stuff, not the foam which is rubbish). It sticks to clean gloss paint, not to dirt.

aldi, wilkos etc will be selling it around now, so do the DIY sheds.

The plastic film window sheet is very good. Sticks best to clean gloss paint. I wouldn't use bubble. If you put it on the casements or sashes, you can still open them for ventilation. Beware excess moisture leading to condensation, damp and mould.

Insulate all hot pipes with climaflex or similar stiff plastic foam. Insulate all external pipes, including loft and garage, with the extra-thick Regulations version.

Have you got a hot water cylinder? What colour is it?

Piglet John always gets in first with what I was going to say (or even better suggestions!)

I can't say enough about loft insulation - it is the biggest bestest way to make an impact, followed by cavity wall insulation,

There were loads of simple grants and utility providers were arranging installs for free or really low prices so investigate. Or get some fit young men in to Put more loft insulation in.
It is quite cheap and fairly easy to do (i'm a middle aged, short, fat woman so i don't mean I would do it).

cestlavielife Fri 11-Oct-13 14:03:57

good ideas - i seal up certain windows around now... however, any thoughts on plugging a big gap above top sash window where it has sagged ie window does not close up to top - draught raging thru kitchen and living room!

(rented and the whole window thing is pending external works by freeholder apparently)

PigletJohn Fri 11-Oct-13 14:16:58

if the sash window weights and cord are the prob (might be that cord has broken on one side) I would hesitate to interfere if it is a rental and you might get blamed for anything going wrong. Replacing a cord involves prising off the wooden sides and damaging the paint, then lifting the sash out, possibly dropping and breaking it.

However if you have other openable windows in the room, get someone to go outside and push the upper sash fully up, them do up the flitch fastener that holds top and bottom sash together.

It is also possible to screw blocks to the running grooves in the sides of the frame to hold the sash in place, but the owner might whinge.

cestlavielife Fri 11-Oct-13 14:22:44

tks - even with fixing top sash in place using fastener it still leaves gap at top.... more on one side than the other. so still need to plug hole which bigger than insulating draft strip...

PigletJohn Fri 11-Oct-13 14:31:22

'mmmmmm

I suppose you could buy some pipe insulation, which is a tube of stiff, resilient plastic foam, and trim it to size with kitchen scissors or breadknife, into a strip that will press tightly into the gap.

Sealants and expanding foam will be difficult to clean off and more likely to trap water leading to rot.

(If the gap is bigger on one side, I expect it is a broken cord)

Madratlady Fri 11-Oct-13 15:24:12

Thanks. It's a rented house so we can't do anything that counts as a permanent change. Will look into loft insulation though and sealing round the windows.

I'm going to order some thermal curtains this weekend I think and possibly a couple of rugs.

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