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Dublin: 1 °C Saturday 27 December, 2014

Brrr! Ways to keep warm inside when it’s cold outside

Easy tips for a cosier winter.



UNLIKE THIS 1966 lady, the 21st-century homeowner is very aware that oil will not last forever, making them mindful of waste – and cost.

When temperatures start to plummet (Ireland has been warned about levels as low as -10 degrees Celsius), Irish people will begin grappling with leaky windows, old storage heaters and dodgy thermostats.

While it is still relatively mild outside, why not sort out what’s happening inside? TheJournal.ie has been having looking at some ways to make sure you’re nice ‘n’ toasty in the coming months.

  • Pay heed to the recommended temperatures: A house of adults should be kept at about 18 degrees Celsius. If there are elderly people or children living in the property, the recommended temperature should rise to 21 degrees Celsius. Heating costs will increase by about 8 per cent for each one degree of overheating so it does matter! Be accurate.
  • Service your boiler: Boilers are not 100 per cent effective but they will be a lot closer to their optimum is they are serviced once-a-year. Also, make sure they – and your pipes – are insulated.
  • And bleed your radiators: AA Ireland advises homeowners to place radiator insulation foil behind radiators to direct their heat into a room. When the central heating is on, check if they feel warmer at the bottom than at the top. If so, they will need to be bled for an improved performance. Channel4 has a handy how-to.
  • Stating the obvious but: Also make sure there is nothing obstructing your radiators. Move any furniture away from the beacon of heat and keep them garment-free – that’s what the clothes-horse is for!
  • Manage your curtains: Open your curtains on south-facing windows to let the sun (fingers crossed) heat the home. In the evening, close them to retain maximum heat. But ensure your curtains are not blocking radiators.
  • For the love of god, don’t run out of oil: It is both a waste of time, money – and precious oil. If it happens, the system may need to be bled and it will cost more to heat the home to the required temperature. Companies also say that you should order oil at greater quantities for better value.
  • Light a candle? It might create a little work but the pay-off will be getting rid of that beastly draft. Light a candle and hold the flame near windows, doors and light fixtures. If there is smoke moving in a horizontal direction, there is an air leak so heat is escaping from the building. To solve the issue, install some low-cost caulking (that gooey stuff that seals gaps).

And remember, layered clothes, hot-water bottles and socks are your friend. Storage heaters are not.

(Sources: AA Ireland, Maxol, MSNBC, The Oil Company)

(YouTube Credit: MiscVideos78rpm)

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