Keep the cold out and the heat in!

A recent Bord Gáis found that 43% of Irish people believe their homes are insufficiently insulated, so here are our top ten tips for keeping your home cosy and warm.

1 Close curtains and prevent them overhanging radiators as this channels heat towards the window.

2 Have your radiators power flushed to eliminate limescale and debris to ensure maximum efficiency.

3 Your natural gas boiler is key to an efficient heating system and should be looked after by having it serviced annually.

4 It is especially important if you are going away or leaving your home unattended for a period of time to keep your boiler running for 2-3 hours periodically during the day by setting the timer, or else leave the heating on a low setting. This will help to avoid freezing pipes if the temperature drops.

5 If there are any drafts in your home, get them sealed before the temperatures outside drop. Ensure your attic door is draft-free and if necessary, fit some draft excluder. Also fit draft excluders to external doors and your letter box.

6 Think both clever and stylish interior design! Carpets or rugs help to insulate floors.

7 To save on unnecessary energy consumption, use a portable space heater when only one room needs to be kept warm. Alternatively, install heating controls and/or thermostatic radiator valves to control the temperature in each room independently.

8 Where radiators are on external walls, fit reflective foil-backed insulation behind them to reflect heat into the room.

9 Update the lagging jacket on your hot water cylinder and it will pay for itself within 2–3 months.

10 Lag pipes in unheated areas of your home such as your attic.