WITH energy bills escalating, trying to keep our home warm on a budget is increasingly tricky nowadays.
It means most of us are looking for cheap and effective ways to eradicate cold draughts and keep the heat in as much as possible – without switching on the central heating.
Thankfully there are some simple and effective home hacks we can all do.
Here, DIY and home pros share their top tips to make your home warm and cosy, for a tenner or less…
Draught in the experts
First things first, make sure you eradicate any draughts in your property.
There are many ways to do this, and it doesn't have to be an expensive task.
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DIY guru Vincent Murray, Manager at Leyland SDM, says: "If you have an older front door it’s likely to have warped and will therefore let in draughts.
"A little trick I’ve used myself is to erect a curtain pole above the front door, which allows you to drape some material over it – maybe an old duvet or a rug.
"That makes a huge difference in the amount of cold air coming through your door and into the hallway."
You can also pick up a draught excluder on the cheap, like this one from Dunelm Mill, priced just £7.
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Alternatively, Matthew Jenkins at Myjobquote.co.uk adds: "You can easily make a fabric excluder to save money.
"If you have an old jumper, unpick one arm and stuff it with
the remaining jumper material.
"Then simply stitch up the ends.
"Most people only use draught excluders on their front and back doors, but you can also use them on internal doors to help rooms stay warm."
Winter-proof your windows
Another area likely to welcome in the cold is around your windows.
Vincent adds: "Amongst the biggest ‘culprits’ for heat loss in most homes are the gaps around windows and doors.
"Strong draught prevention can save around £50 a year for an average property.
"Gaps around windows can be rectified easily with caulk or specialist tape."
Matthew adds: "You can lose about 20 to 30 per cent of your home’s heat through your windows.
"So, thick curtains can help to stop it escaping.
"To save buying warmer curtains, add thermal lining to an existing pair.
"Look for roll-end lining fabric, which can be found for as little a £1.50 per metre."
Insulating your hot water pipes can also help.
Vincent explains: "Heat is inevitably lost from pipes as the hot water travels to radiators.
"You can easily limit this from happening by installing cheap insulation around the pipes.
"We sell pipe wrap in metre lengths for less than £2. The tube easily clips around the pipes in seconds."
Bleed the radiators
It's a boring job, but bleeding your radiators regularly can also make a huge difference.
Vincent says: "My number one tip would be to bleed the radiators regularly.
"This means removing trapped air so that radiators work more efficiently to heat your home.
"I would recommend doing this more than once a year.
"At Leyland SDM we sell radiator keys for £1.29, so it is also the most cost effective DIY solution and takes less than a minute.
"Check whether your radiators have cold spots when in use.
"If they do, it’s a sure sign they have trapped air and need bleeding.
"Start at the top of the house and at the radiator furthest away from the boiler."
A simple solution
As they’re at ground level, the gaps in your skirting boards can be another source of cold draughts.
Matthew says: "For wide gaps between the floor and your skirting, you can use cork expansion strips.
"A pack of these costs around £6 from DIY shops.
"If you have small gaps at the top or bottom of your boards, use decorator’s caulk."
Pick up decorator's caulk from Screwfix for as little as £1.19.
Finally, make sure you have enough soft furnishings to make your home look and feel cosy.
Warren Kinloch, an interior expert from Bathroom Deal, says: "Rugs can really insulate a room, especially if you have hardwood floors.
"These aren’t always as expensive as you might think either.
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"Pound Stretcher often has affordable rugs, and Facebook Marketplace is the perfect place to look as people will upload soft furnishings to the marketplace when redecorating."
This rug from Ikea – which looks like sheepskin but is actually made from recycled pet bottles – costs just £10.
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