fter months of unseasonably warm weather the UK is set to enter its first cold snap of the season, with temperatures dropping down to around minus 10C in some parts of the country.
With energy bills at record highs many people across the country will try to keep warm without turning up the thermostat too much.
But how can you stay warm this winter without burning large amounts of expensive gas?
An extra jumper, a pair of thick socks, a pair of long johns or a base layer beneath your clothes can help keep you warm during the colder days.
Wearing layers is often better than putting on one big thick item, according to the British Heart Foundation, which also recommends sticking to wool, cotton or fleece fabrics.
If you are very cold a hat and scarf can also help.
Check out your windows and doors
Once you’ve burned that expensive gas to heat your home you want to make sure that heat stays in your home and does not leak outside where it does little good.
Plugging up any gaps in your windows or doors can help, as can finding any other places where drafts could be coming in and heat could be escaping. Drawing your curtains will also help keep it warmer in your home, although keep them open if the sun is shining in.
According to the Energy Saving Trust you can hire a professional to draught proof your windows, doors, cracks in your floors and skirting boards for £225, which will save you around £125 a year in bills.
For another longer-term solution consider installing new insulation in your home if you can afford it. However, this can be much more expensive.
By keeping active you can burn more energy in your body, which creates heat and helps to keep you warm.
Even though it feels warm under your covers, a short jog around the block – if you are able to – could heat you up more than sitting still. Even light exercise can help you keep warm.
Heat the person, not the room
As long as you are warm it is less important that the air around you is warm. It will be a lot more effective to use hot water bottles and electric blankets to keep warm at night than heating your entire home at night.
Wearing pyjamas can also be a good way to keep a little warmer in bed if you are not normally in the habit of doing so.
Be smart with your central heating
Turning down your thermostat too low can be dangerous, especially if you have vulnerable people at home, so be careful about letting your home get too cold.
However, reducing the temperature on your thermostat by just a degree or two could likely save you hundreds of pounds this winter.
Importantly you should also ensure your boiler is operating as efficiently as possible. If you have a condensing combi boiler you can do this by lowering the flow temperature.
You should lower the flow temperature – that is the temperature that the water is when it is sent to your radiators – as far as it can go while still keeping your home at the desired temperature.
The lower the flow temperature, the less gas the boiler will need to burn to keep your home warm – even though it will have to be on for longer. There are guides on how to do this online.
Don’t heat empty spaces
There is no point spending money heating rooms that you rarely use.
So close doors around your home and turn down the radiators in the rooms where you spend less time. That way you can focus on keeping your bedroom, or other more well-used rooms warmer instead.