VENT WHEN NECESSARY
Think before you ventilate. In very cold weather, consider only putting your bathroom or kitchen extractor fan on if necessary. If your modesty isn’t compromised, consider leaving the bathroom door open while you shower and let the steam escape into the house instead. An extractor fan will pull hot air out of your house so make sure you don’t accidentally leave it on.
STOP COLD AIR RETURNING
Have a quick look outside your property and make sure the outlet for your bathroom fan or kitchen vent has a draft blocker on the outside to stop cold air blowing back into the house.
CLOSE UNUSED SPACES
Close internal doors to rooms not in use so that the rest of your home can heat up more efficiently and reduce your heating costs.
BOUNCE THE HEAT BACK IN
If you have a radiator, heater, wood-burning stove or other internal heat source, you can carefully line the wall behind it with tinfoil (or other heat-reflecting material) to reflect some of the heat back into your home. This is especially effective for the inside of exterior facing walls or walls adjoining an empty property next door if your home is an apartment or semi-detached house.
CHECK YOUR CHIMNEY
Many of the older Spanish homes have open fires, especially country properties. If your fire is not in use, make sure the flue is closed – open chimneys can suck the heat right out of your house.
RUGS AND CARPETS
10% of heat loss in your home can be due to a bare floor. Try to insulate your floor with some rugs or carpets to keep heat loss to a minimum.
MAKE THE MOST OF THE SUN
If you have south-facing windows, make sure the curtains and blinds are open during sunshine hours to make the most of solar gain.
PREVENT WINDOW HEAT LOSS
For the rest of your windows, and at night, curtains will also prevent heat loss around windows. There are also cellular blinds (in many homewares shops, and online) which have ‘pockets’ that trap air and actually insulate your windows.
REUSE OVEN HEAT
If you have been baking, leave the oven door slightly ajar when you’re finished (assuming you don’t have small children!) and let the heat disperse around your kitchen.
Fleecy blankets are a stylish and inexpensive addition to your home. Roll one up at the end of your sofa (or use it as a layered throw) and you can use it to cover your lap while you are sitting reading or watching TV. Our circulation slows down while we sit, so having a warm blanket handy is a good idea.