Keep the cold where it belongs.

The mornings are getting colder, the days are getting shorter… Soon enough we’ll be living in what seems like a world of perpetual darkness. Winter is back.

So before it arrives, it’s worth getting your house in order (literally) and planning your assault on trapping the heat where it belongs.

To help you on your crusade, we’ve compiled six handy cost effective tips to help you warm your house over the chilly months!

1. Curtains are your ally

Whenever the winter sun is shining over Ireland, take advantage.

Heat from the sun is free, so open your curtains and let the sunlight in during the day to make use of this free heat.

Then as soon as it gets dark shut your curtains, which act as another layer of insulation and keep warmth in your rooms.

Closing the curtains will also help reduce condensation on the windows.

2. Use timers on your central heating

Setting your heating to come on at certain periods during the day, such as thirty minutes before you wake up in the morning, is great way to save on energy costs.

This is because a boiler heats up at a constant speed – whether you set your thermostat to 20°C or 30°C – Which means there’s no point leaving the heat on low all the time, because then you’re just paying for heat when you don’t need it.

3. What’s blocking the radiator?

You might have your favourite chair positioned perfectly in front of the radiator, and you might love that chair with all your heart… But it’s absorbing heat that could be warming your home.

By moving it away from the radiator, the hot air can escape and do it’s job.

The same principle applies for drying clothes and towels, keep them off the radiator.

4. Insulation is king

Nearly 25% of heat is lost through the roof.

You can reverse this by installing as little as 25cm of insulation throughout your loft.

The ESB estimates the typical cost of attic insulation for a three- or four- bed semi-detached house is about €460.

But with an estimated saving of €130 a year, it’ll pay for itself in just a few years time.

5. Turn down the dial

Research shows that turning your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bill by up to 10%.

So by keeping the dial at a nice temperature of around 20°C, you’ll save money and avoid shivering through a damp and cold home.

6. Block out the draughts

The Energy Saving Trust in the UK estimates that DIY draught-proofing your doors, windows and cracks in the floor could save €28 per year.

Simple things like self-adhesive rubber seals around doors and windows and door draught excluders are relatively easy to install and pretty cheap.

So it’s worth getting on top of this before winter properly kicks in.