With temperatures dropping and wintry weather setting in, households across the country will be wanting to crank up the heating.
But despite energy bills having dropped slightly from the start of this month – after Ofgem’s new price cap kicked in – lots of people will be struggling to cope with the cost of keeping their homes warm.
Average bills now stand at £1,923 a year, down from £2,074, although the exact amount you pay will depend on your usage.
And as the cost-of-living crisis shows no sign of easing up, millions will want to cut back on costs where possible.
The best way to keep a lid on energy expenses is by ensuring your home is as energy-efficient as possible, according to home heating and insulation expert, Dave Raval, from LoftZone.
“October is the crucial month to be proactive about preparing your home for the winter,” he said.
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“Don’t wait for the first frost to arrive before you take action.”
He has a clever tip which involves investing in a nifty little device to help you save cash.
The loft insulation aficionado told The Sun: “Heating up large rooms can often feel like an impossible task.
"As heat rises, the ceiling gets warm first, then only afterwards does the lower part of the room start to warm up. To tackle this, why not consider a radiator fan.”
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One of these devices can be placed on top of a radiator.
“The fan simply blows the heat on to you, rather than let it drift upwards,” said Dave.
“This means you feel warmer sooner.”
You can pick up a radiator fan for £25 on Amazon, with smaller models available on the site from around £15.
Elsewhere, at OnBuy.com, there’s a "radiator booster and heat diverter" priced at just under £23.
Figures from radiator fan provider, Radfan, suggest households could save up to £300 a year on their bills by installing these devices.
At Radfan, the "classic small" fan is priced at £49.95.
Even if you weren’t able to make such big savings – perhaps due to not having particularly robust insulation in place – you would still be able to shave a decent £75 a year off your bill setting your heating 1°C lower across the year, according to The Eco Experts, a comparison website.
Dave said: “What these radiator fans do, is blow heat on to you at ‘human level,’ as opposed to heating up the top of the room.
"This allows you to feel warmer faster – meaning you can turn your thermostat down.”
They can be really helpful in smaller spaces, according to the insulation supremo.
He said: “Note that purpose-built models can be rather expensive, so are probably best used only in your coldest rooms.”
Helpfully, fans are easy to install.
“They are secured by magnets at the top of your radiator,” said Dave.
"No additional plumbing or wiring is required. A fan is a decent purchase to make to improve radiator performance.
"It’s an easy and relatively inexpensive way to help save on your heating bills.”
More cheap ways to slash your energy bill this winter
Dave adds that when thinking about your home more generally, the best way to save energy – and money – is by looking at where heat may be escaping.
“In a typical property, 25% of heat goes out through the ceiling, into your loft, and out through the roof,” he said.
“Insulation stops this by acting as the woolly hat for your home. The government recommendation is a minimum of 300mm – which is almost a foot.”
Dave warns that most people don’t know that squashing your loft insulation makes it 50% less efficient.
“We love to use our lofts for storage,” he said.
“But if you put your boxes straight on top of the insulation – or if you put boards down directly on the joists – this will halve its effectiveness.
"This can have a big impact on your bills.”
While you’re busy thinking about ways to reduce the heat escaping through your loft, Dave recommends checking for draughts throughout your entire home.
“One cold evening, go around with your hand across every window and door, and feel for draughts,” he said.
“Older houses typically lose more heat through gaps in doors, floorboards and windows, so plug these gaps.”
You can buy cheap adhesive foam strips to put around your windows. Also look at investing in thermal curtains and door curtains, as these can be great for keeping the heat in.
You can pick up a draught excluder relatively cheaply, with options at Dunelm for around a tenner.
Better still, fashion your own for next to nothing by stuffing rags into an old pair of tights.
One further tip from Dave is to ensure each of your radiators has a ‘thermostatic radiator valve’ or TRV.
“These can be fitted without needing to do any plumbing,” he said.
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“They just screw on. Then, rather than heating rooms that you are not using, you can turn an individual radiator up or down as required.
"This is a much more efficient way to heat your home, saving you money on your bills.”
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