Almost half (47 per cent) of people in the UK have been caught unaware by the recent plummeting temperatures, according to a new survey, with draughts and poor insulation leaving homeowners struggling to keep their houses warm.
After months of mild weather, ‘Real Winter’ has well and truly landed, according to forecasters, with temperatures plunging below zero (and a real feel of -16° in some areas). The survey of 1,578 homeowners by Duette® Shades, revealed that more than a third (37 per cent) of people wished they had planned ahead for the cold weather before it hit. Almost one in five (19 per cent) think they will be paying the price with an inflated heating bill.
A quarter (25 per cent) or those surveyed claimed that their homes are under insulated leading to noticeable drafts and heat escaping as soon as the heating is turned off. Whilst one in five people admitted they have put off properly weather proofing their homes for more than five years.
“The sudden drop in temperatures has once again left people regretting that they haven’t taken steps to insulate their homes better,” says Kirsty Hunt of www.duette.co.uk. “An unseasonably warm winter at the end of 2018 has also led many homeowners into a false sense of security – but now the weather has taken a turn, all sorts of draughts and insulation problems are being exposed and lots of people are struggling to keep their houses warm.”
“It’s not too late to look at some clever and simple ways to keep homes warmer without doubling energy bills,” continues Kirsty. “Duette® Shades, for example are proven to retain up to 46% more heat in a room, thanks to their unique honeycomb design, by reducing the amount of heat escaping from windows - the place where homes lose most heat. As a result, they can also reduce heating bills by up to 25%.
Other easy ways to keep the warmth in your home, keep bills down and keep the winter chill at bay:
Alongside fitting Duette® Shades, draught-proofing windows is a simple, worthwhile DIY task. Apply self-adhesive foam tape to a window frame (or ask a local handyman to do the job). A 10m roll of foam draught excluder, enough for four average windows, costs as little as £2.50, but can save around £25 a year.
Door draught excluders can make a style statement for as little as £3 if you make your own. Alternatively, Not On The High Street has a fantastic selection. Amazon or Ebay are also good places to find stylish solutions.
It may seem obvious but closing doors and keeping them closed makes sure the warm air current remains within the designated space.
Even the addition of the humble rug to bare floors during the winter months can retain heat. Rugs can warm a room by acting as insulation between the floor and feet. Generally, the larger and thicker the rug the warmer the room will stay. If a single large rug isn't affordable or practical, consider several matching or coordinating rugs. Try www.therugseller.co.uk
Seal skirting boards
Eliminate draughty gaps between the skirting board and floor by sealing them to make homes warmer. Often people underestimate the scale of this problem - the cumulative gaps between the skirting and floor in a room can equate to the same as a small window. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a household can save £20.00-£40.00/room/year by filling skirting and floorboard gaps.
Gaps can be filled easily and successfully with expandable foam tape. Simply push it into place with a wallpaper-stripping knife. Once in place the tape automatically expands to the thickness of the gap and stays firmly in place. Black tape becomes an invisible shadow once in the gap. This can be undertaken on floorboard as well as skirting gaps.
A quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home. Insulating the loft, attic or flat roof is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce heating bills. Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years and it should pay for itself many times over.