How to save money on your heating bills this winter

Woman wrapped up warm in the house
Woman wrapped up warm in the house (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want a warm and toasty home this winter, you’ll need to know how to save money on your heating bills.  Particularly with the cost of living going up, it’s even more important to think about how to save on energy bills in the long-term.

Before you panic, there are some simple things you can do to keep your home warm without sending your heating bills sky high. In fact, by making a few energy saving adjustments in our daily routines, these can make all the difference to our pockets. What’s more, it will reduce our carbon footprint. So, if you don’t want to spend a fortune heating your home, here’s how to save money on your heating bills this winter. 

For more money-saving tips, find out why energy bills are soaring and what you can do about it, plus 5 tips to keep your house warm without turning up the thermostat. And while you're unpacking your groceries, these are 5 tips to organize your fridge and make food last longer

1. Turn down your thermostat or go ‘smart’ 

Woman adjusting thermostat on wall

Woman adjusting thermostat on wall (Image credit: Shutterstock)

While it may sound counter-intuitive when it's cold, turning down your thermostat by one degree can save you hundreds a year. In fact, you often won’t feel any difference to the temperature. Similarly, you can also invest in one of the best smart thermostats to ensure you don’t waste energy, and save substantial money on your bills. In addition, a smart thermostat can detect when you’re not at home, and have it ready at the right temperature for when you return. This should significantly reduce your heating bill as it’s only using what’s needed. 

2. Only heat the rooms you need  

White living room

White living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re working from home, or only using one room in the house, there’s no point heating the entire house. Save money on your heating bills by turning the radiators off in unused rooms; if you have central air, close the vents in that room. Then, close the door to that room to prevent any hot air from getting in — and cold air getting out to save energy wastage.

3. Insulate windows 

Man insulating a window

Man insulating a window (Image credit: Shutterstock)

During the colder months, we lose a lot of heat through gaps in our windows or around our doors. Keep drafts out by knowing how to insulate your windows, or use weatherproofing to banish chills coming in from doors and windows. You can also buy a window insulation film like this Window Insulation Film for Heat and Cold ($25, Amazon), to create a temporary layer of secondary glazing. Or simply invest in thick curtains or thermal-lined drapes to prevent warm air escaping. 

4. Close all doors 

Man closing a door

Man closing a door (Image credit: Shutterstock)

This may seem simple enough, but close all internal doors to keep the heat in. If there are any gaps around the edges of the door frame, you can use draft-proofing strips to seal any gaps. Or you can use draft excluders like this Everlasting Comfort Under Door Draft Stopper ($19, Amazon), on the bottom of doors. For gaps in floorboards, use a silicone-based filler to prevent hot air from escaping. 

5. Layering clothing 

Woman wrapped in a blanket on chair

Woman wrapped in a blanket on chair (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re not ready to turn your heating on just yet, layer up your clothing to keep warm and toasty. In addition, simple tips like having warm drinks, cozy blankets, and even a hot water bottle will all help to keep you warm. Best of all, this will reduce heating bills, and save you money.  

6. Bleed your radiators 

Container to catch water from bleeding a radiator

Container to catch water from bleeding a radiator (Image credit: Shutterstock)

While it seems like a boring task, this will save you cash on your heating bills. If you want your central heating system to give best results, you’ll need to learn how to bleed your radiators to remove trapped air. A sure sign is when the top of your radiator feels cooler than the bottom. If your radiators are blocked, heat will not flow through properly, which often makes us crank up excess heating and waste money. You can also get the most out of your radiators by giving them a regular MOT.

7. Use a space heater 

Space heater in a room with lady lying on sofa

Space heater in a room with lady lying on sofa (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you just want to heat up one room, having one of the best space heaters will help you save money. These will quickly warm up the room effectively and evenly, instead of heating up the whole house. Space heaters are portable, convenient and can be programmed to your required times, so you don’t waste energy. In addition, some can double-up as a fan if you get overheated.  

8. Get your loft space insulated 

Loft insulation

Loft insulation (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Did you know that we lose a quarter of our home’s heat through poorly insulated roof and attic spaces? There are a number of different types of insulation, from fiberglass to cellulose to expanding spray foam; the important part is to make sure the R-value (a number that indicates the effectiveness of the insulation) is appropriate for your area. For colder climates, homes should have insulation with a minimum R-value of 49, while houses in hot climates should have an R-value of 30, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You'll also want to ensure that the area around any pipes or vents leading into your house are properly sealed/insulated.  

If you're looking to reduce your bills in other ways, check out 7 ways I’ve kept warm without turning the heat on and these 15 water saving tips too. And we've got 7 things to know before buying solar panels if you're mulling over that change to your home. Plus, did you know that this is the cheapest time to do your laundry? Also, what is an Energy Star rating and how can it save you money? 

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!