For those who can't afford to use central heating this year - How are you going to cope?

(509 Posts)
mama2moo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:06:51

We have 2 dd's - 3yo and 20mo and already owe money to our suppliers. We are going to have to be careful with not using the heating too much but our house is feeling cold already!

We have bought thermal vests, fleece pjs, fleece tops and extra duvets.

What else can we do?

TBH Im dreading it. By the 3rd week of every month we are skint at the moment.

mama2moo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:07:35

Should add - We will obviously have to use it when it gets freezing. Im thinking of buying an oil filled heater for the girls room. Would that be cheaper??

SwearyMcSwearason Tue 18-Oct-11 20:12:54

Hot water bottles? I have spent all day today wearing my dressing gown blush

I don't have central heating, just storage heaters that are a bit broken so are either on full or not on at all. I am loath to put them on now and get addicted to the heat!

I find that dd doesn't feel the cold as much as I do, probably because she doesn't sit still for a moment.

witchywitchof2biggerones Tue 18-Oct-11 20:13:25

Make sure all doors and windows are closed, close curtains as soon as it gets dark (I close the upstairs curtains late in the afternoon to retain as much heat as possible). Have you had one of the insultating companies out to see if you can get your house better insulated?

We only have oil to rely on for heat and last year it was horrific for heating costs (think we had £1,000 worth of oil in 6 weeks), we have only just finished paying this off before the next winter starts (in the next day or 2).

If we do put the heating on now, it goes on for an hour or 2 then we turn it off and add layers, tbh the heat stays quite a while in the room.

MurderBloodstabsandgore Tue 18-Oct-11 20:13:47

don't open curtains if you don't have to.

after you cook, open the oven door.

that secondary glazing film works miracles in DS's room.

I have a large blanket that we all snuggle under to watch telly. DS lives under it all morning and doesn't want to get dressed smile

I found the heaters just raised my bills further, so I stopped using them.

TooImmature2BDumbledore Tue 18-Oct-11 20:13:54

Not sure about the oil heater cheapness thing. Halogen heaters are supposed to be cheap.

Try looking up the Warm Deal for cavity wall insulation if your house is suitable. Failing that, try extra thick curtains, putting a curtain over the front door and possibly DIY double glazing. Google it, but it's basically clingfilm, double sided sellotape and you use a hair-dryer to set it. Keep all internal doors shut as far as possible...mmm...can't think of any more. My dad would say if you're feeling cold to go run round the house 10 times!

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Tue 18-Oct-11 20:14:53

Have you seen if you can apply for the warm hone discount scheme?

mama2moo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:16:03

We had our cavity walls done last year because our house was so damp! The damp is no better but the house is warmer!

Hadnt thought of hot water bottles!

Tianc Tue 18-Oct-11 20:17:09

Deal with drafts where possible. You do need some ventilation, but many houses are like collanders.

What sort of property are you in?

TooImmature2BDumbledore Tue 18-Oct-11 20:17:16

Do you have a working fireplace?

MonsterCherry Tue 18-Oct-11 20:18:37

buy cheap lengths of fleece material and use it to line all your curtains.

mama2moo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:18:49

We are end of terrace. We have an electric fire that doesnt work!

I would love to put a log burner in but guess that would be v.expensive to do.

Its scary because everyone is saying that they are putting their heating on now! Luckily our house isnt that cold yet and we can just layer up but if it gets colder it wont be easy!!

notjustme Tue 18-Oct-11 20:19:42

I am pretty sure that oil heaters work out astronomical - at least, I have two to heat the shed in the winter for the animals and the first year I used them I had them on a lot, and our bill was nearly £700 just for that quarter blush. Not used them like that since!!

mama2moo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:20:26

OMG! Maybe I will re think that one!!

fergoose Tue 18-Oct-11 20:21:15

I agree oil radiators eat electric - halogen cheapy heaters are very economical, and very quick to heat up.

Tianc Tue 18-Oct-11 20:21:48

Oh, just saw that you've already done your cavity walls, and also have damp. If you can manage it, keep door to kitchen closed when cooking, and vent damp air out of a window/fan. Ditto bathroom.

Dry laundry outside where possible of course.

This should help keep down the amount of moisture indoors, but I know it's not always practical to do these things.

TooImmature2BDumbledore Tue 18-Oct-11 20:23:50

Do you have loft insulation? You could buy rolls of that yellow itchy insulation stuff and have a bash at it, if not. (I am not going to do this myself as refuse to set foot in the loft, which is haunted by massive spiders and mice, if the giant cobwebs and piles of mouse poo are anything to go by. Also, is rented house and is landlord's responsibility!)

Draft excluders?

Pawsnclaws Tue 18-Oct-11 20:24:50

Warm drinks as often as you need them, and try to keep moving. I know it's tempting to huddle under blankets but a 10 minute dance to some music will really warm you especially cold fingers and toes.

Speaking of which I'd recommend fingerless gloves and definitely slippers.

Chummybud1 Tue 18-Oct-11 20:25:27

We have electric storage heaters which are rubbish. 2 years ago we were advised to buy halogen heaters. We did, this ended with us getting a huge electricity bill, which our supplier blamed slolely on the halogen heaters. Last year we bought a cal or gas heater, it's great, it has a display showing how much gad is in bottle, so we can easily monitor and stretch it out when we need to. We can easily move it from room to room, and the heat off it is amazing. At night we put it on in the living room for a wee while, heat the place then keep the doors shut. We keep all curtains closed from mid afternoon, we all wear housecoats and slippers.

ShowOfHands Tue 18-Oct-11 20:25:37

We don't have central heating, just a fire in the front room.

Electric blankets can be quite economical. Blankets/throws on every sofa or chair for snuggling. Hot water bottles. Bed sharing. Er, porridge?

mama2moo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:25:41

Im thinking we put more insulation in the loft. Last year we dried clothes in the house so this year it will all be in the garage!

Thanks all, some great tips. Just wish I could live somewhere warmer and then worry about air con!!!

frutilla Tue 18-Oct-11 20:25:55

We don't have central heating where I live. It's warmer than UK but has snowed in the last 5 years. Sometimes the kitchen is the only warm place, we huddle round a portable heater in the bedroom or living room. You get used to it....

Pawsnclaws Tue 18-Oct-11 20:27:55

Also a good idea to get out and about as much as you can. This is why libraries are full of pensioners all winter smile.

Tianc Tue 18-Oct-11 20:28:17

Big users of electricity are anything to do with heating and cooling, so if you can cut back on anything else there, you might be surprised how much you could save.

So fridge should not be next to cooker. Airflow round fridge should be kept clear per manufacturer's instructions.

If you have a separate freezer but don't use it much, consider switching it off.

Washing machine's biggest use is in heating water, so try to do efficient loads.

Tumbler drier eats power.

Sorry if this is all stuff you're either on top of or can't do anything about, by the way.

smokinaces Tue 18-Oct-11 20:30:37

We have hot water bottles. And big fluffy warm blankets on the back of each sofa - even the boys at 3 and 5 know if they feel chilly to curl up in one of those before the heating goes on.

Lots of layers (we have been known to walk around in our dressing gowns over our clothes indoors) and socks/slippers. Rugs in every room (especially if you have wooden floors) Internal doors shut as much as possible, turn rads off in rooms very rarely used so the other rooms heat better. Nets as well as curtains to keep the heat in, and try and get long ones that tuck behind radiators so the heat is retained in the room and not straight out the window.

We have thick winter duvets at night, with big blankets over the top and fleecy PJs.

I try not to use my heating much. My thermostat rarely goes under 20, and it usually goes on for an hour in the morning and maybe 2 in the evening at most. Other people (such as my Mum!) when they visit say my house feels cold to them, but to me and my 2 kids it is normal and we are happy with a cooler house.

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