The winter’s really taken hold now and we keep hearing in the news about snowbombs and thundersnow – which means that our heating is certainly on all the time and more often than not, there’s a lovely comforting fire roaring away in the Victorian fireplace.
But how can you keep your house nice and warm, and your energy bills down to a minimum? New research from comparethemarket.com has just revealed that almost one in ten elderly people here in the UK expect to come down with some kind of health problem this winter because of the high cost of energy – so making savings wherever possible is definitely a wise move.
Insulating and draught-proofing your house is a must if you don’t want precious heat to escape. Your chimney is obviously one of the places in a property that will see heat disappear – as soon as you open the damper on your woodburner heated air simply floats out through the top of your chimney. And then as the fire heats up, even more hot inside air is grabbed and sent up the chimney… which could make the rest of the house colder as a result.
There are steps you can take to minimise this, however. You could, for example, keep the damper partially closed when the fire reaches a certain temperature, or you could also use a glass barrier placed in front of the fireplace.
Or there are fireplace inserts that you can buy that draws air from outside instead of the living room. The insert then gets hotter and will radiate more heat than your open fireplace. There’s also something called a Chimney Sheep, which works similarly to a draught excluder and can prevent heat loss while reducing your energy bills and saving you money.