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If you need us we will be under our duvets (Picture: Getty/iStockphoto)
Working from home has many benefits. You can do it in your pyjamas, put a wash on during your morning meeting, have as many homemade snacks as you want.
But one downside has to be keeping your house warm throughout the day when temperatures plummet.
The UK is currently in the grip of an icy cold snap, and while commuting in the cold is definitely unappealing – at least your office is likely to have powerful central heating to shield you from the cold.
At home, it can be a different story.
Even with the heating cranked up high, it can be difficult to stay warm – particularly when you are sitting for hours in one spot.
Of course there’s also the heating bill to consider – can you really afford to have your thermostat at max level 12-hours a day, all week long?
So, to avoid an eye-watering energy bill, and to make sure you’re warm enough to function while working from home – we asked some experts for their top tips:
Use your window furnishings
‘Try to utilise the (few) hours of sunshine we have by keeping your blinds open during daylight hours,’ says Richard Petrie, home expert at Thomas Sanderson.
‘The sunlight will warm your home and you won’t have to turn the heating on! Remember to close your blinds once it’s dark as they’ll then act as a layer of insulation and keep your rooms warmer.
Draught-proof your home
Richard adds that this is a simple but effective techniques.
‘Draught-proofing your house will quickly help your home stop leaking heat,’ he says. ‘Typically draughts can be found in windows, doors and other gaps in floors so check these first.’
Jordan Chance, heating expert from PlumbNation agrees: ‘Stopping heat from escaping through unwanted gaps is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and money.
‘To draught-proof your home, you need to primarily identify the problem areas where draughts are causing issues, these could include doors, windows, chimneys and floorboards.
‘You can block unwanted gaps by using draught-proofing strips around your windows and doors, or flexible silicone-based filler to fill the gaps in your floorboards.’
It’s your mum’s classic line from when you were growing up, but putting another jumper on really could make all the difference.
‘It seems obvious but wearing that extra jumper really can save you money if you’re trying to keep your bills down,’ says Richard. ‘Wearing extra clothes or getting under a blanket is a cost-free way to stay warm at home and feels extra cosy.’
That is one benefit of working from home – business-dress is whatever you want it to be. You might just want to whip off your fluffy dressing gown before presenting to the board members over Zoom.
Move your furniture
Is your furniture blocking your radiators? Richard says you need to move it if so.
‘You may think having furniture near your heat sources will make you feel warmer but, in reality, it will be blocking them from warming up the rest of the room,’ he says.
‘Position your furniture so they don’t block any radiators as this will help them heat your home more effectively.’
Jordan also says you should think about adding more soft furnishings to your living space.
‘Soft furnishings, such as curtains and rugs, can make all the difference in saving money on your heating.
‘If you have a carpeted home then it will naturally help to boost insulation; however, if you have hard flooring investing in some good quality materials, such as a plush rug, will help to prevent heat from being lost.’
Keep doors closed
This is an easy one.
‘Keeping rooms shut off will reduce airflow and help them stay warmer for longer as heat won’t escape through open doorways,’ says Richard.
‘If you don’t plan on using a room, don’t unnecessarily heat it as it’s a waste of electricity and money.’
Leave the oven door open
Another simple hack – particularly if you’re making yourself a warming dish during your lunch break.
‘If you’re using your oven to cook a meal, after you’ve finished simply leave the door open,’ Richard suggests. ‘This will act as an extra heat source and make your room feel toasty.’
Think about your radiators
Now, there are a few different things to think about when it comes to optimising the heat from your radiators.
Firstly, they need to be clean.
‘If your radiators aren’t in your weekly cleaning routine, then it’s time to add them,’ says Jordan. ‘A buildup of dust can affect your health, allergies and your heating bill. Layers of dust in your radiator can prevent heat from escaping effectively, meaning your radiators will have to work harder to warm your room.’
Secondly, think about where you’re drying your clothes. It may seem counterintuitive, but you shouldn’t put your wet clothes directly on the radiators.
‘The clothes that you place over the top of your radiators prevent the heat from escaping and heating your room, meaning that your boiler has to pick up the slack and work at a greater rate – increasing costs,’ says Jordan.
‘Similarly, the increase in the air’s moisture can create condensation, leading to potential issues with mould and dampness.’
Got a radiator cover? They look super stylish, but they need to be efficient too.
‘If you have a radiator cover make sure to check that it is a good conductor of heat,’ says Jordan. ‘Radiator covers made from materials such as wood are poor conductors and can prevent heat from being dispersed effectively – wasting energy and money.
‘Also, if your radiator cover has a solid top then you may be losing even more heat, as it will be absorbed by the top of the cover.’
Eat well and keep moving
Gareth Knell founder of GK Plumbing adds that one of the most effective ways to keep yourself warm throughout the day is to eat properly, and to get up and move – frequently.
‘Keep doors shut and keep heat loss to a minimum by blocking unnecessary air gaps,’ Gareth tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Homeworkers will feel the cold more because they’re sitting at a desk all day, so while it’s not heating the house, you can feel warmer by drinking and eating hot food and drinks and staying active.’
Time to fire up those YouTube workouts for your lunchbreak.
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