In shared houses up and down the country, this is the time of year wars start breaking out over switching on the heating. “Just put on another jumper” stoically sticks it out till January, but “Icicles are growing on my window sill” secretly cranks up the heat when they’re home alone.
Heating adds up to about a third of UK greenhouse gas emissions. So maybe an end to all this housemate warring is to use heating better.
Here are six things you can do right now to save cash - and carbon - over the winter.
1. Bust three draughts
You'll often find big gaps where pipes or cables go into the wall. If they’re hidden, you can plug them with scrunched up carrier bags, old socks, back issues of the Daily Mail – that sort of thing. Try a few old pillows up the chimney, or get your DIY on with some weather strips for gaps around windows.
2. Let the air flow
Shift your sofa away from the radiator and let the warm air circulate. The same goes for dry clothes hanging on the radiator - channel your mum and put them away!
3. Try tin foil
You can also try a clever trick to reflect heat back into your house. Slide some tin foil down the back of the radiator and blu-tack it to the wall.
4. Timer time
If your boiler has a timer function, it's worth taking a minute to get the hang of it. That way you can keep warm when you’re in without having the heating on 24/7. Set the timer to match your routine of getting up, going out and coming home.
5. Get curtains
Stop heat escaping through from windows with some nice thick curtains. You can also put curtains across external doors. Drawing them at night will make your house warmer, and provides entertainment as people fight their way through it to come inside.
6. Turn the heat down?!
With all these home improvements, you can also try turning the thermostat down a bit (gasp). Just one degree cuts your fuel consumption by 10%.
So what are you waiting for? Get cracking and see if you can end those housemate wars!
This blog was written by our climate activist pals over at 10:10. Find out more about the great work they do here.