Keeping the heat inside this winter

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As the temperatures drop interior designer Jamie Hempsall takes a look at some energy saving devices for your home

Winter is fast approaching and it seems we could be in for another bumper freeze. Unfortunately, it looks as though fuel prices are not set to tumble, so we should all start acting now to help save money on our fuel bills.

If you want to start making in-roads to savings without significant capital investment then you can look at some simple options to help you reduce the amount of heat escaping from your home.

As the nights draw in simply closing curtains as the temperature dips can be an effective way to help keep heat in. You can add to this impact by replacing standard curtain lining with thermal lining. This is usually a poly-cotton mix and a little dearer than standard lining, but the savings can soon add up.

If you are having new curtains made then for ultimate draught exclusion and a delightfully full appearance consider interlining your curtains.

One look and feel of interlined curtains is enough to tell you how effective these are at helping to keep your rooms nice and toasty.

For those who prefer blinds to curtains, then the softer fabric styles (such as Roman, Soft Fold and Austrian) can be made with thermal linings and interlined. In addition, normal roller blinds can be replaced by thermal versions, which are readily available throughout the high street and on the internet.

Before painting your walls then consider adding a product call Thermalite to your emulsion. Independent tests by a Salford University lab in 2005 showed that this product could save you up to 25 per cent on your heating bills by reflecting some of the heat normally absorbed in the wall back into the room. It can be added to all types of paint including lime and is available from Green Stamp, a company who specialise in finding eco-efficient products (www.greenstamp.co.uk; 01637 854717).

While floorboards can be an attractive option (particularly in older properties) they can be incredibly draughty. The difference in a room after it has had carpet and underlay laid can be considerable, with our clients finding that a chilly and under-used room often becomes the new “go to” location. However, if you like the visual appeal of a wooden floor, a new floor sealant called Draughtex may provide an energy efficient solution for you. Draughtex is a thermal strip that you simply fit between your floorboards. The colour has been formulated to mimic natural shadows and is virtually invisible to the naked eye. It comes in three widths to tackle gaps up to 12mm wide – which is pretty impressive. A 40m roll suitable for gaps between 4-8mm costs £24.99 from Greenstamp (details as before).

Of course, some ideas seem to be no-brainers once you hear about them and I think that the Terrier i-temp fits this category perfectly. Pegler Yorkshire has developed this product, which could revolutionise central heating use in many homes.

The company decided to solve the issue of heating rooms that we do not need – a simple enough idea and one we could all solve by constantly turning our radiators on and off, but is this something you do on a regular basis? They identified a typical family will heat their whole house during the morning, although they may only require heat in the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen; therefore, wasting the heat in the other rooms.

In response to this, they developed the Terrier i-temp, a programmable radiator control used to replace the standard thermostatic radiator valve on each radiator. The control allows each radiator to be individually timer controlled (so it can remain off even when the heating is on) and set to an individual temperature. Visit www.saveonheatingbills.co.uk.

While these tips might not be as pretty as my usual ones, I feel sure the cost savings will prove attractive.

Tenterhooks for news of award

Yorkshire Post columnist and interior design consultancy Jamie Hempsall Ltd has won the UK Property Awards Best Leisure Interior for the UK for their work at the National Trust’s Barkers Restaurant, Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.

The team at Jamie Hempsall Ltd are now on tenterhooks as the project progresses as the UK entry for the International Property Awards in association with Bloomberg Television and Google that take place on December 12 at the Savoy in London.

To find out more visit www.jamiehempsall.com or call 0800 032 1180.

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