Christmas is now only a matter of weeks away and many of us will be gearing up for an expensive December. With the inevitable worsening weather that winter brings, you’ll no doubt want to turn up the heat to keep your home warm and welcoming for family and friends over the festive period…resulting in high heating bills that can add to the cost of an already costly month.
There’s plenty of advice available for cost-conscious homeowners on saving energy – from shopping around for the best price on your gas bills to simple DIY solutions to help retain heat better.
But what if you’re looking for a low-cost, quick fix solution to keeping your home cosy or supplementing your existing central heating? A great place to start is by only heating the room you’re in and turning the radiators down in areas of the home that you use less often.
That’s where using a portable heater could really pay its way, say the home heating experts at Calor. Here’s their simple guide to heating a single room, from as little as £1 a night.
That’s a lot of energy going to waste, so it’s worth thinking smart about which areas of your home you heat all of the time and which rooms you might only use infrequently – and whether you can cut down on your central heating by warming up rooms as and when you use them using a portable heater.
For busy households where you’re out most of the day and then spend the evening together in one room, heating one area of the house can make good sense in the face of rising fuel prices.
A portable heating appliance can also offer an alternative if you’re trying to ration your energy use or save metered fuel for other essentials like cooking or hot water. By adopting this pay-as-you-go approach to heating, you can really start to have greater control over your fuel bills and more flexibility over the areas of your home that you heat.
You’ll find that there are lots of options on the market, from electric or oil filled radiators, to fan heaters, convector heaters and portable gas heaters.
But think carefully before you rush out and buy, as there are a few things you need to take in to account to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Running costs, heat intensity and the speed of heat are all important factors if you’re going to be using your heater regularly.
A portable gas heater can offer a good, all-round solution. It will heat a space up really quickly and comes with variable heat settings, so you can turn the heat up or down as needed. Costs can be as little as £1 a night – based on Calor’s range of portable heaters using a 15 kg butane cylinder burning for four hours (at 24 pence per hour) with the heater on the lowest heat setting.
Another area to think about is portability and how easy it will be to move your heater from room to room – and remember that all portable heaters should be positioned safely, away from any furnishings.
Electric appliances will need to be plugged in to a socket so you’ll need to have one in close proximity to where you want to position the heater – and be careful to watch out for the cable across the floor.
Gas heaters come complete with their own gas cylinder so they don’t need any additional power source. This means they can be placed wherever you most need the heat, often best in the middle of the room. This means the heat can radiate really easily to warm the whole room, not just the person sat directly in front of the heater!
Retain the heat
One you’ve got your room nice and cosy, there are also some simple things you can do to retain the heat.
- Exclude the draught – First of all, shut your interior doors! Cold air can creep in through the smallest of holes; even the tiniest of gaps can make a difference to the heat within your home and if it’s windy outside, your heat loss could increase by up to eight per cent.
- Draught excluders can be a great way to combat the cold – you could even get creative with the kids and make your own out of old, unwanted clothing.
- If your doors have keyholes, a bit of clear tape over the hole can make a real difference.
- But do remember, when you’re using a portable heater, it’s important to allow adequate ventilation, so if the room becomes too stuffy, let a bit of air in.
- Shut your curtains – You’ll probably want to draw the curtains anyway when it gets dark to keep your room feeling snug. By doing so, you could reduce heat loss by 15-17 percent. Just remember to open them again during the day to let the sunshine back in!
Does a portable heater sound a good idea to you? Maybe you’re using a portable heater already? Let us know in the comments section below.