Winter is on its way. While we’re still enjoying autumn – and up until recently the weather has been particularly mild for this time of year – we should bear in mind that the recent colder snaps hitting the UK will become ever more frequent and the scarves, gloves, winter coats and woolly hats will become increasingly familiar.
As the temperature drops and these cold spells become more frequent, it becomes even more important for tenants to efficiently heat their rental properties, to ensure that you aren’t subjected to damp, mould, cold draughts or other issues.
As a tenant, you might be worrying about the cost of all this. But fear not, there are a number of effective ways of keeping your rental property warm this winter, whilst keeping costs down. Below, we outline some of the best...
1. Draw the curtains (or blinds)
When it starts to get colder and darker, keeping as much heat in as possible becomes that much more important. One way of doing this is drawing blinds and curtains – and keeping all windows closed – to prevent heat escaping from your home. This is particularly important in the bedrooms and bathroom – rooms that you will want to keep warmer than most.
What you don’t want to do, however, is deny your home any outside air whatsoever, as this could cause problems with condensation, damp and mould. While the temptation will be to keep all windows firmly shut when winter really bites, it’s advisable to ventilate your property well, particularly after cooking a meal or taking a shower.
2. Fit draught excluders
They might not sound very glamorous, but they do serve a very useful purpose. These handy little things, which come in all shapes, sizes and colours, are excellent at keeping the heat in and the cold out. What’s more, they’re cheap and found in all sorts of shops. Prices vary, but expect to pay between £3.99 and £15.99 (depending on how fancy you’re willing to go).
3. Use a clothes horse
It’s something most of us have done in the past – hanging our washing or bedding on radiators to help them dry more quickly – but this can actually affect your home’s ability to heat itself. Instead, it’s wise to use a clothes horse instead or find somewhere else to hang your wet clothes and linen.
4. Keep your thermostat steady
Keeping your heating on a constantly low heat can actually be more effective, and less expensive, than switching it on and off for short bursts of heat. To ensure you can do this efficiently, you will first need to get to grips with your thermostat (and its timer settings) to make sure your home is being heated just the right amount.
5. Close those doors
One way of cold air moving around a house – or, more to the point, heat escaping a room – is for doors to be left wide open. You want to contain heat in your home. The best way of managing that is to close the doors in your property to try and keep rooms as warm and toasty as possible; to capture rather than lose the heat you have mustered.
6. Stay snug… with a rug
If you have wood flooring in your rental property, you are likely to lose more heat than if you have carpet. That was the whole point of carpet in the first place, to insulate floor space. In fact, floors that aren’t insulated can lose as much as 10% of heat from a home, the National Energy Foundation has said. If you have wooden flooring, rugs and blankets – which can be purchased for reasonable prices from any homeware shop – can help to keep the heat in.
The above tips could help you to keep your property warm as the winter months hit, saving you money in the process. Remember if you’re not sure what you’re able to do to your property, under your tenancy agreement, always check with your landlord first.
If you do have any serious problems with heat retention, your boiler or the property’s insulation, you should get in contact with your landlord or letting agent as soon as possible.