£6 trick raised temperature in my home by 5C & other ways to cut energy bills

MORE cold weather this week will be bad news for an estimated ten million people living in draughty homes across England.
These energy-wasting houses lose a third or more of the warm air when the heating is turned on.

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Rosie Taylor with the thermal imaging cameraCredit: Brighton Pictures

The average private tenant is paying an extra £350 a year to heat poorly-insulated and damp homes, with those worst affected forking out £1,000 more, according to Citizens Advice.
Major works to make your home more energy efficient can be costly or difficult if renting.
But taking small steps could save you £105 or more per year on bills, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
This week, Rosie Taylor tries cheap DIY hacks to block draughts – and uses the FLIR ONE Edge Pro thermal imaging camera to test how effective they are.

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Heat loss shows up as blue, while warmer areas are orange or yellow.

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BLOCK DRAUGHTY GAPS
DRAUGHTS happen where there are tiny gaps in the build of your home or where openings to the outside are left uncovered.
The most obvious simple fix is to cover any cracks with a draught excluder.

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Draughts happen where there are tiny gaps in the build of your home or where openings to the outside are left uncovered

You can buy the long, tube-shaped pillows from Dunelm from £6 each.

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Or make your own for next to nothing by stuffing rags into the leg of a pair of old tights and tying off the top.
External doors are particularly prone to draughts around the edges, where small gaps let cold air in and warm air out.

The thermal camera showed the air temperature at the bottom of my door was a chilly 15.3C.
But adding a cheap draught excluder instantly raised the temperature by three degrees to 18.3C.

Hack £6 Heat Rise +3C

IT’S CURTAINS FOR COLD
FRONT and back doors are one of the main culprits for heat loss in any house.
Warmth can escape at door edges or through keyholes and letterboxes.

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Front and back doors are one of the main culprits for heat loss in any house

You can buy stick-on foam tape to go around edges from £6, keyhole covers from £3 and letterbox brushes from £8.

But an even cheaper fix is a door curtain.
I bought an old one from a junk shop for £1 and fixed it in place using screw-in hooks and wooden dowels from B&Q, costing less than £5 altogether.
The camera image showed a huge difference with the whole door a cold purple without the curtain and a warm orange with it.
The area around the keyhole rose from 13.8C to 19C.
A thicker, lined curtain and draught excluder would be even better protection.

Hack £6 Heat Rise +5.2C

CHEAT’S DOUBLE GLAZING
WITH single glazing, windows are a major source of heat loss.
If installing double glazing for £600-plus per window is not an option, you can create a similar effect using a shrink film window kit.

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With single glazing, windows are a major source of heat loss

Cut the transparent film (similar to cling film) to size and cover the window by sticking it to the frame using the tape supplied.
Then heat the film with a hairdryer to make it stretch taut, …
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