1. Only have the heating on in the rooms that you are using frequently. There is no point in heating room such as guest bedrooms and rooms that you dont use. Either turn the thermostatic valves on the radiators off or down. Keep the main rooms you use toasty.
2. Insulate your home - by not insulating your roof and outer walls it is estimated that upto a 1/4 of the heat is lost. Insulating your loft is a simple way of reducing your heating bills. You can even do it yourself, I did! It needs to be at least 11 inch thick to have the desired effect and will probably save you around £150 per year. There are grants and offers available for some people. The Energy Saving Trust gives lots of useful information about what is available. To check if your home is adequately insulated try the snow test - compare your rooftop with that of a neighbour. If your home has little or no snow on it is poorly insulated because the heat loss is melting the snow.
3. Stop the draft - Light up a match and the cooler air nearby will draw towards the match flame indicating a draft. When your home is heated the rising air will pull cold air from outside into the house. Its vital to cut down the spaces where cold air could enter into your property. Underneath the door is one space that could be letting in alot of cold air. Keeping internal doors closed will ensure natural air passages are closed off so they cant act like a chimney allowing warm air to escape up through the house. To test whether draft excluders are worn light a stick of incense and run along the whole door frame. If the smoke blows inwards then you have a draft.
4. Draw your curtains - This is true especially at night and in winter periods. A considerable amount of heat can be saved this way. Also properly fitted curtains can also save alot of heat loss.
5. Radiator reflectors - For older houses with not much insulation on the outside walls a good trick is to keep the heat from the radiators in by placing heat reflectors behind. You can buy radiator foil which is around £7 for 2.5 metres or just use normal kicthen foil but place the shiny side facing toward the back of the radiator.
Many people are likely to suffer this winter as the perishing weather sets in. The low income, infirm and elderly are at most risk and it is vital they access all the benefits available.