Money saving winter questions

(25 Posts)
IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Tue 02-Oct-12 17:02:14

Is there a consensus on whether it's better to keep the heating on low constantly or have it coming on only at critical times? Last year I had it on constantly whilst paying a monthly fixed amount on electricity and gas ( unfortunately can recall amounts) and ended up paying an extra £17 on gas and was owed £224 for electricity.
We are now in a different house and so onto the related question about draught proofing. What is the best way to draught proof doors. Every one in the house has some form of failed seal and you can see daylight around the edges including the upvc back door.

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jumpingjackamo Tue 02-Oct-12 17:56:23

I was going to start the same thread and have been researching thermal curtains all day!

I have double glazing but it doesn't seem to be doing very much and all the doors except the back door are not sealed and very draughty.

I have the dreaded pay meter's installed here and this is my first winter in this house but from a couple of short trials it seems I run through gas like crazy with the heating on low all day. I am not sure if this is to do with the fact that my heating system doesn't allow for the heating to be on without heating the water tank at the same time though, but that is what I have put it down to.

I have lowered the thermostat to 18 and the water tank temp to 130 Fahrenheit this afternoon to see if that helps.

Sorry I am not being very helpful OP, glad you started the thread though because I am cold.

I did read a lot about it being better to have it on low all day while researching today. I think mine not being effective this way is just down to the type of system I have here.

Leilandri Tue 02-Oct-12 19:29:51

We have just turned our heating on. Currently have it set to be on between 6-8am (young DS's up studidly early!) and 5-8pm.
We have a convector heater downstairs if we need a little boost during the day, but we shall be wearing jumpers/snuggies alot more this year due to skintness sad
I read on a similar post to this last year that I can't find that putting foil covered cardboard between the back of the radiators and the wall is supposed to help lots as it reflects the heat back into the room. I have just bought a roll of tinfoil.....

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 02-Oct-12 21:20:21

Cheap charity shop curtains can be used to line curtains for extra warmth, I close mine at 6ish. eBay do thermal linings cheaply. Dunelm mill do special ones for curtains with the inbuilt circular hoops you thread onto the pole? The names failing me.

Most of the utility companies are doing free insulation for lofts and cavity walls. You don't need to be on benefits. Moneysavingexpert will tell you more.

I've just put a second jacket on the hot water tank, wickes are doing them for £5.

Try thermal underwear for around the house, hot water bottles and using a duvet as a throw on the sofa.

Could you get a local glazing firm to quote you for redoing the upvc seals?

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 02-Oct-12 21:55:12

I've just looked at foil panels on amazon and they get great reviews, I just need to work out how to attach them without dh noticing.

He gets cold sweats everytime I go near anything like that.

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Tue 02-Oct-12 23:21:48

<<adds foil to list of things to get>> forgot that one!
My curtains are all lined already or are thermal blackout ones- in DC's rooms.
I am going to do a trip to Homebase to look at stuff to go round doors. I have a vague memory of a strip that got nailed on the outside on the frame from many years ago. The upvc door has already been inspected and declared unfixable as it is warped or something. So some wide stuff for the bottom of it is required
I can recommend the film that is hairdryered taut over windows but it doesn't look great, takes the paint off when removed and is highly susceptible to curious cats and small children so I am not doing it again. It really makes a difference if you can put up with the negatives.

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IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Tue 02-Oct-12 23:24:52

Omg my mention of a well known DIY store has spontaneously made itself into a link! What the.....

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Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 02-Oct-12 23:29:56

We have ours on all the time at a lower heat, and despite prices rising and me being at home with preschoolers we have kept our bills the same for 3 years now.

Last winter we added another layer of insulation in the loft, Homebase had huge rolls of it for less than £10 each, it was an amazing bargain and the house was noticeably warmer.

bluecarrot Tue 02-Oct-12 23:56:57

After freezing two winters ago and not particularly enjoying last year, I decided to save extra hard during the year so I can relax and use the heating more this year if need be. However, we just got gas installed so I dont know what the bills will be... I do love being super cosy though and try to do everything that needs done early so I can cosy up in bed with a book or film with dd from after dinner time til bed. (13tog with extra blankets-toasty!)

OP, are you in the house all day with young children? Heavy curtains over the back door will help with draughts but theres also a foam strips you can buy to close out small gaps like this (I dunno about that specific brand...just to give you an idea what I am talking about!) I have it on the doors to our eaves.

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Thu 04-Oct-12 18:25:05

Hurrah for me! Yesterday I loosened the painted shut top sash window which had gaps showing at the top and managed to then get it moving freely and push it up fully to the top.
Then today I bought some outside edging for the front door which has rubbery seals. I can no longer see daylight around the edges.
I contemplated foam edging for the back door but was not keen to spend fifteen more quid. Maybe next month.

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IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Thu 04-Oct-12 18:54:19

Blue, Just clicked your link- very cheap! But the found these upvc replacement seals.

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InMySpareTime Thu 04-Oct-12 20:14:21

I have curtains over all the doors. Charity shop curtains are cheap, curtain tracks are also pretty cheap, curtains stop a surprising amount of draughts.
I do the sofa duvet, and have been known to wear a hat indoors if alone.
We have 400mm loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, an AA rated boiler, our gas & Electricity is £45 a month.
We have the heating set to different temperatures at different times, warm (16.5C) as we get up and dressed, and in the evening, cool (12C) through the night, and in between (13.5C) during the day at weekends.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 06-Oct-12 10:44:44

InMySpareTime , 400mm? you are my new hero. I never would have thought of that.

We only put our heating for short periods of time and we have the rads turned off in un-used rooms and the kitchen as kitchens tend to be hot anyway with the oven and hob on.

I read on one site that it's a good idea to silicone seal the gap between the skirting boards and floorboards, when we lived in a cold house and the wind blew a draught would be felt at floor level that was really quite strong, it was a new house too, only 15 years old. It's something I will do with the next house definitely.

I want triple glazed windows too, everyone thinks double glazing is good enough but I dont agree, northen european countries use them routinely from what I have read. Plus any saving in heat retention lowers our bills.

I often have a hot water bottle on my tummy rather than have the heating on high. I hate people moaning it's cold when they are wearing only one thin top and shorts. I always think "of course your cold, it's WINTER".

Mum2Fergus Sat 06-Oct-12 10:48:45

Front and patio door curtains too...lined and Ive doubled up to (2 curtains at front door, 4 at patio...super warm and dont have to store the spare curtains lol) I made draft excluders too. Loft well insulated. Ive mid length curtains at all windows...when I close them at night I tuck them behind the radiator, that keeps some heat in too.

InMySpareTime Sat 06-Oct-12 12:44:45

fluffy when we got the insulation, 200mm rolls were cheaper than 100mm rolls, so we put the extra in. It's nice seeing frost on our roof in winter when it's all gone from everyone else's.

YoungJoseph Sat 06-Oct-12 13:07:04

Advice from our plumber was to have the radiator nearest the thermostat on high then turn all your other radiators in the house to low (assuming that you can do this with yours). The advice was given about some other problem BUT it does seem to keep the house warm and our bills are low (according to woman in bank who was switching our account).
I have been trying to think why our bills are relatively low (£92 per month dualfuel, 4 bed detatched house, well insulated inhabited most of the time about 20 yrs old) and I can only think that it's the way we have set the heating up AND the fact that I don't iron or tumble dry.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 06-Oct-12 13:09:05

I've been looking at silver reflective foil for lining roof spaces too, now that would be toasty, foil lined and double insulated roof spaces.

I hate being cold, I often wonder if the people who live in our old house realise why I didnt mind moving out now they have had a taste of winter with a north facing living room and bedroom. It was -10c most of the week one winter.

Wiggy29 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:06:06

I must be tight as sh*te as I just put on extra layers! Luckily dp and ds are total 'hot bods' and always boiling (ds often goes to bed naked in winter... and is still warm to touch in bed, he's the type who sweats buckets in the soft play). I, on the other hand, am freezing most of the time. I sleep with pjs, thick socks, dressing gown, duvet and fab thermal blanket thing I got from TK MAXX yonks ago, (sit with it downstairs too in the evening). Only time we really use heating is when we need to dry clothes.

About to have dc2 though so all of this will change as I'll need to keep house a decent temp.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 06-Oct-12 18:18:01

It's not healthy for the bedrooms to be too cold overnight, it aggravates chest condtions and makes infection more likely.

The air needs to be a little bit warm.

I'll have to run our heating overnight soon, I used to get terrible chest infections and I was only 30.

InMySpareTime Sun 07-Oct-12 07:29:55

OTOH it's not healthy to keep windows closed all the time, as moist, stale air builds up, and bacteria multiply in warm, damp conditions. Opening the windows of especially bedrooms for a bit (while the heating's off of course) gets the stale air out and brings in fresh air.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 07-Oct-12 11:38:38

Thats true, I have mine on the latch at the moment.

I used to do home visits for the elderly and the stench that would hit you when you walk into an overheated flat that never has the windows open is vile. The air was virtually solid.

Badvoc Sun 07-Oct-12 21:03:45

Yes. No matter how cold it is I always have the windows open for a little bit each day.
Airs the house out.
I must look into getting curtain for the front door...

ivykaty44 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:20:01

Is there a consensus on whether it's better to keep the heating on low constantly or have it coming on only at critical times?

Put the heating on at 7am on low - say 16 degrees - and read the gas meter, jot it down on a peice of paper. At 7am the following day or later if you forget take a meter reading and turn the gas heating off.

Now the next day - so two days later. Take a meter reading at 7am and then put the heating on at 20 degrees for critical times - the next day at 7am take another meter reading

Now multiply the readings by 182 and subtract the lower reading from the bigger reading. This will give you a fair idea of the difference in gas usage over 6 months with which ever uses the most gas

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Sun 07-Oct-12 23:29:24

Jeez ivykaty you lost me around the second sentence. <<thick>>.
However from my limited understanding I am not sure that would work as the temperature fluctuates quite bit over the winter.

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ivykaty44 Mon 08-Oct-12 08:52:06

The outside temperture may alter but it will show you whether it is cheaper to leave the heating on at 16 degrees for 24 hours

or whether to have the heating coming on at 20 degrees for possibly 12 hours per day at critical times

I think the latter will be cheaper

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