The changing of the seasons is well underway, as the warmth of the summer becomes all the more distant a memory in place of seemingly endless wind and rain. While the Autumn has been a relatively mild one thus far, the dropping temperatures have nonetheless got many of us digging out jumpers and winter coats.
The colder months have been made all the more difficult to navigate by the still-growing cost-of-living crisis, which has impacted millions since its first impacts at the end of 2021. Energy prices were among the first to rise and remain double their pre-inflation price today – even after the government’s own interventions to bring costs to consumers down.
For every household, though, this means an austere winter of being shrewd about energy. Homeowners have the relative luxury of being able to invest more readily in home energy efficiency measures, but Generation Rent are not so lucky. If you live in a rental property, what can you do to reduce the cost burden of staying warm this winter?
Draughts and Property Integrity
Older properties in particular are prone to draughts, and not just those that flow under doors. Older or poorly installed windows can develop cracking around their edges, or experience sealant failure, allowing warm air to escape as a result. External walls can develop cracks, too, that wick heat away from your living spaces.
Your first port of call might be to talk to your landlord or letting agency about repairs to the property. Even an afternoon of a handyman touring the property with silicon sealant can have a measurable impact on the temperature feel of a space. You might also be able to take some matters into your own hands, with draught-proof tape for wall cracks and door snakes to place under your external and internal doors.
Curtains and Rugs
As well as direct draught-reduction measures, there are other ways in which you can use furnishings to improve the temperature and feel of your home. For example, drawing your curtains can help keep heat from transferring outside via your windowpanes.
Solid floors, whether stone or hardwood, can be effective stores of heat where heat is plentiful – but in colder winters where energy usage is costly, they can be unavoidably cold presences under-foot. Adding rugs can keep your feet warmer, and add a small layer of insulation to prevent heat dissipating downwards.
Efficient Energy Usage
Lastly, it is important to address the elephant in the room: your central heating. While the objective may be to use as little energy as possible, avoiding turning on your heating can prove difficult and even dangerous as temperatures continue to fall. Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do to use energy efficiently.
For one, the flow temperature on your boiler can be reduced; this brings down the temperature to which your system’s water is heating, improving efficiency. You might also switch off certain radiators in less-visited rooms of your home, so as not to waste energy heating empty spaces.