It's that time of year already. Back to uni, thoughts of the summer fading and long days of study to look forward to. You want to be warm... AND you don't want to be skint! So here are our top tips for heating your student house this winter.
Step 1) Do you really need to turn the thermostat up!?
Guidelines suggest you should heat living areas to 21 degrees and bedrooms to 18 degrees. If you are sitting still at a desk, you are likely to feel the cold more. But before you turn up the dial, put a jumper and a wooly hat on and try some star jumps every half hour. Not only will this fire up your brain and prevent back pain, it will save you some money!
Step 2) Programme your heating.
There is no point heating a room when you are out. If you have regular hours at uni and work, make sure you create a heating schedule. Use a comfort temperature for when the room is occupied and a set back temperature for when you are out or for during the night.
If your hours are variable, you may wish to consider heating with Wifi control or geolocation. This will allow you to turn the heating up or down remotely.
Step 3) Do not cover your radiators.
If you have shelves or sofas blocking your radiators, they will not be as efficient. Covering them with washing is another no no! If they are electric radiators, you could cause them to overheat and fail. By ensuring you let the air circulate around the radiator, it heats the room more effectively.
Step 4) Keep the doors closed!
Always close a door behind you as leave a room. This will prevent heat escaping into cooler areas of the house. Communal areas such as corridors don't need to be as warm, so make sure you keep all the heat in living rooms.
Step 5) Pull the curtains and address the draughts.
As soon as it gets dark pull the curtains to stop heat escaping. Equally, open the curtains during the day to maximise the heating power of the sun! If you have draughty windows and doors, you may need to speak to your landlord to address the problem.
Step 6) Understand your bills
Do a monthly meter reading and keep track of how much energy you are using. Check your bills every month and ensure you are on the best tariff.
Step 7) Ventilate!
Good ventilation is essential to prevent damp. Always open a window for a few minutes after you've had a bath, shower or when you are cooking. When steam hits cold surfaces like windows or walls, it condenses. A build up leads to mould and damp, which can exacerbate chronic conditions such as asthma.