10 Ways to Warm up your Rental Property without Turning the Heat Up
It’s not that you’re being Scrooge-like – just that you’ve got better things to spend your money on than heating up your home. That’s why, in this article, we’ve come up with 10 ways to keep warm this winter without adding to the cost of your utility bills.
They’re not difficult or expensive methods, and they’re far more imaginative than putting on an extra jumper.
We should point out that you should check with your landlord or letting agents before you block the chimney or hang curtains on the door.
Reflect heat from radiators. You can make your radiators work twice as hard by simply taping a sheet of silver foil behind them (if there’s space – but most radiators have room). How does this work? Well, instead of the heat from the back of the radiator going on to the back wall and staying there, it’s reflected into your room for your benefit instead. Result!
Free up the furniture. By a similar token, move any furniture such as a sofa, desk or heavy chest of drawers that could be blocking the heat coming from the radiator. You’ll be amazed at how many flats have a sofa planked a foot or two in front of a radiator, effectively blocking the heat behind it from circulating into the room. And tempting though it may seem, don’t put a clothes horse in front of the radiator either!
Block the draughts. Your parents probably did this at home when you were younger. Well, guess what – it’s still relevant today. That means a stuffed snake at the bottom of the sitting room door. You can also buy rubber seals to stick over particularly draughty gaps in windows and doors.
Curtain the front door. This is another from our childhood – and it really works too. Hanging a curtain over the front door is the best way to keep heat in the hallway and prevent really icy drafts permeating through the rest of your house or flat.
Use solar heat. Yes, even if you don’t have solar panels you can still make the most of the sun. Keep your curtains and blinds open during the day so that it can stream into the room. It won’t just make you feel cheerier, it will also heat up the room. Some of that heat will be retained for later on at night too. Just remember to shut the curtains when it gets dark and cold…
Lay area rugs. If you live in a flat in Edinburgh, chances are it has beautiful varnished wooden floorboards. Unfortunately, that’s where you’ll also find draughts if you’re on the ground floor. To prevent draughts, lay down a big area rug for winter. If you’re on the top floor, then congratulations – the heat from the other flats will come up through your floorboards!
Use heating timers. You maybe don’t bother during the summer to set your heating timer since you don’t really need it. Well, now is the time to programme exactly when you’ll get up and when you need the heat most so that you’re not heating your home unnecessarily. It’s better to set times because then you can set it on low and let it heat up, rather than jumping out of bed and bumping the heat instantly onto high (which, of course, will cost you more…).
Spot heat special areas. If you regularly sit and read or watch TV in the same chair then get a heating lamp for that spot. Or sit cuddling a hot water bottle for extra warmth instead. Use an electric blanket prior to going to bed at night (it’s not going to make much of a dent on your heating – and you can afford to if you’re cutting back in other ways).
Block the chimney. Some of these old Victorian and Georgian flats still have open fireplaces and chimneys. If your rented place has a fireplace then block it over for the winter. You can do this by asking your landlord to buy a chimney balloon, which should certainly prevent draughts coming into the room.
Get a letterbox brush. You’ve probably seen these. They’re not just good for preventing unwanted objects being shoved through the letterbox, they’re also great for stopping draughts. A keyhole cover works in a similar fashion to prevent the cold seeping in.
These are just some ways to keep the heating bills down in your rented property this winter. And they all work! So, get cracking and make sure you don’t go cold with fear when you open your utility bill in a couple of months’ time…