Now that autumn is getting a little colder, how do you plan to keep warm without wasting too much energy?

To celebrate National Energy Saving Week, Yahoo! Green and Yahoo! Answers have teamed up with Warren Evans to give away a double Sunday bed and a Grand mattress to the Best Answer to this question.

Get creative and tell us how you intend to keep warm while saving energy this winter. If you want to illustrate your answer, load your photo to and add the url in your answer.

To find out more about the competition, see the Answers blog

303 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    I have bought as much ECO-WOOL as I can afford (it was on BOGOF at B&Q) and rolled it out on top of the other insulation in my loft. It's lovely stuff to handle - if you wrap it round yourself you can feel how warm it is! I have stapled THERMAWRAP general purpose insulation (it's a heavy-duty, reflective bubble wrap) to the rafters, making the loft feel like a space capsule. My photo (attached) shows both these types of insulation fitted in my loft

    We also have an extension with an enclosed roofspace. I have filled this to a depth of 200mm with loose insulation called WARMCEL 100, made from recycled newspaper fire-retardant. As well as keeping the bedrooms warm, this has the added benefit of deadening the sound of the aeroplanes that pass over my house as they come in to land at Heathrow airport.

    I have replaced my old boiler with an A-rated condensing boiler from BUDERUS (same company as Worcester Bosch).

    My most expensive investment in keeping warm without wasting energy was a whole house ventilation system with 90% efficient heat recovery, from ADM SYSTEMS. This gives us clean (filtered) fresh air 24/7 while the windows remain firmly shut, keeping the warmth in and the noise out!

    I have also installed a solar water heater which provides enough hot water for all our showering and washing up during the summer months.

    In the year since this I made all these changes, my gas usage has dropped by 23%, saving over 4 Megawatt-hours of energy and avoiding 800kg CO2 emissions annually.

    The total cost of installing the condensing boiler was £2500, the same price as installing the solar panel with a new, dual coil hot water cylinder. Having the heat recovery ventilation system professionally installed cost me £4500 and the insulation cost me £500. So I have invested £10,000 in more efficient heating - paid for by selling my car!

    It won't all be paid back in reduced energy bills but I did it in order to reduce my carbon footprint. With no car, my total greenhouse gas emissions are about a quarter of what they were a couple of years ago!

    These investments have also increased the value of my home so I will see some benefit when I sell up and the emissions reductions from this house will continue indefinitely, whoever is living in it.

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  • stef
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Before the days of electricity people managed to keep warm in winter with log fires (not practical these days unless it is wood from renewable resources). Style of clothing was much heavier and layered. This style of dress can be imitated with modern thermal under garments not so heavy or restrictive but certainly warm. For women a shawl was often used to keep the back warm and men can always wear a waistcoat or jerkin.

    In the evening if it is not yet too cold and you want to sit and read or watch the TV then instead of putting on the heating sling a spare duvet across your legs just to take off the chill.

    Hot drinks will help to warm and regular moving about will stimulate your circulation.

    When the heating needs to go on keep the temperature at a lower level and wear warmer clothing rather than set the temperature to high and sit in short sleeves.

    Turn off the water when you clean your teeth this will save loads of water.

    Invest in energy saving light bulbs. Fill the dishwasher up properly before using. Fill the fridge and the freezer as the more there is in it the better it will function. If running the freezer down then fill a bag with old newspaper to make a bulky package to put in your freezer.

    Be fuel economic when driving your car or riding a motor bike and walk when possible.

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  • 1 decade ago

    We Make sure we have the required or above roof insulation as quite a lot of heat is lost through not having the required amount.

    We Turn all electrical appliances that can be turned of and unplugged from the socket.

    We Turn the heating down two or three degrees.

    We Close the curtains in the room we are using to watch Tv in the evenings.

    We never use electric heaters, blankets or kettles. Put an extra couple of sheets on the bed at night.

    We make sure that lights are only on in the room we are using and making sure we turn them off when not needed also using energy efficent light bulbs through out the whole house.

    For any one that doesn't have one get a lagging jacket for your hot water tank.

    We turn off radiators in rooms that we only use occassionally.

    We put on fine layers of clothing rather than one heavy jumper or fleece, this way we can turn the heating off for the most of the day.

    We never put the washing machine on for just a few items, wait until you have a full load (and there are five in our house myself, my hubby, and 3 teenagers) it is possible and much more econmical as well as being Greener.

    We never use a Tumble Dryer they are extremely unenergy efficent.

    We use a fridge and freezer themometer this way we are able to keep the temperature at what it shoud be -18 degrees for the freezer 5 degrees in the fridge.

    On extremely cold days we keep our windows shut, we always make sure doors are closed in each room and that any draughts are sorted out immediatly, If you don't use a fire but have a fire place then block off the chimney. If you do use a fire ocassionally block it of by stuffing used newspaper up the chimney BUT remember to put a notice on the front of the fire saying that it is blocked with newspaper and must be removed before use.

    We only use the amount of water we need when boiling the kettle for a cup of tea, never let taps run whilst brushing your teeth turn it off and turn it back on when needed, time everyone in the shower making sure they use it for a maximum of 5 minutes if possible couples could even shower together, if you really want a bath put only a small quantity of water in the bath and reuse the bath water eg: husband uses the same water as the wife or they could bath together.

    Source(s): Own experiences
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  • 1 decade ago

    If you can't afford insulation and double glazing (as if bills aren't bad enough already!), get some exercise, eat porridge, stews, etc...

    Blankets, huddle/cuddle (The whole crisis was simply corporations' ways of bringing family's back together)... As a kid living on what seemed to be a permanent building site, we became very close as a family and used less rooms (i.e. the ones without windows).

    Heavy curtains offer some protection fron drafts alongside those sausage shaped things that block the gaps under your door. Fun to make with small children; or you could just use them instead.

    Wear a hat (a lot of heat is lost in that direction).

    The best thing, but it does require cash, is a wood burner. Get hot chopping logs and kindling, then bask in the warn glow of your labors. Harder to do in a city but, we don't have the West End, so it's even.

    I have an old book for householders during WWII on how to be thrifty. It has some good heat saving ideas. Maybe it's time to rummage through the 2nd hand bookstores? Mind you, I'm still too complacent to make a real go of it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    When we moved into our present home a few years ago, the only heating that it had was a small open fireplace in the living room. The windows were single glazed and as the house was old, no cavity walls or insulation of any sort. The bedrooms are in the pitched roofed attic , again, with no insulation.

    We are in the Scottish Highlands!

    We had no money to do any work and as we moved here in November, no time either.

    I hunted out charity shops and bought up all the cheap quilts and blankets that I could find and used them to line curtains for the windows and the doors. I sewed them together to make 'pockets' for the beds. In the bedrooms, I even stapled them to the ceilings!

    We eventually had the roof insulated and cladded the walls so that insulation could be fitted but we have not installed a heating system. When the temperture drops, up go the quilted curtains and on go extra clothes. We always have home made soup on the stove, ready to heat up when it is needed, and there's nothing like hot buttered toast made on the fire!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    We have unplugged absolutely everything, we have switched off the cooker and therefore saved as you are using electric on the clock which is always illuminated. The microwave is also unplugged again saving money as the clock is no longer illuminated.

    The lights that held upto 5 bulbs now have 1 or 2 energy saver bulbs in.

    We open blinds and curtains fully so the sun helps in warming the house.

    I have knocked off all the timers and only use what we want when we need it.

    After watching tv its unplugged and nothing is left on standby.

    We no longer use radio alarms we use the alarms within the mobile phones.

    After using the oven I leave the oven door open allowing the heat to spread.

    We will wear more layers and after a cup of tea is made the left over water will be put in hot water bottles and we will snuggle up with fleece blankets and then go to bed early keeping snuggly warm in bed.

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  • 1 decade ago

    This year, I was determined to lose my dependence on the utility companies by installing a log burning stove. It's just gone in and I'm finding it a real pleasure. I've collected a stash of wood from friends and family and I'm adding to it by advertising locally for unwanted wood. So far, I've been offered more than I could possibly cope with - so there's plenty out there. This way, I'm using a carbon neutral source of energy and it's even more eco-friendly because I'm not cutting down (renewable) resources to fuel the stove.

    The activity of collecting and sawing the wood keeps me warm and fit and stove itself will double as a slow cooker/water boiler when it's going full blast in the very cold weather.

    I reckon it will pay for itself in two to three years. I intend to live in one room (I have a combined sitting room and kitchen) and not use the central heating except for half an hour in the morning while I have my shower and maybe half an hour at night just before going to bed.

    Here's a photo of my new stove:

    I also have the reassurance that if we have the threatened brown outs/black outs soon, I'll be able to heat my home.

    Having grown up in the fifties, I already live a very frugal life cos that's the way I know best and all the great suggestions in this comp show that all that is coming back again. Great news!

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  • Carrot
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I havent even turned on my heating yet as I just dont need to yet coz i make use of some top tips i just dont get why more people dont do them. As I rent I cant go down the 'double glaze and insulate' road but hteres plenty more to do...

    use a thick duvet

    make use of blankets

    wear pj's in bed

    use good curtains that keep the warm in

    ensure there are no drafts...use towels or old jumpers if you cant afford excluders

    have rugs or carpets to feel warms under foot

    wear more clothes

    snuggle up when watchin telly...use a blanket with your other half or friend provides a giggle if nothing else

    Drink a nice hot drink if you feel chilly

    Make use of nice healthy winter warmer dinners like stew mmm

    Finally, the reason i cant illustrate my answer, warm up the bedroom with a little bed aerobics, you'll soon forget the chilliness and be ready for a long sleep ;-)

    It really frustrates me when people walk round in very little clothing in winter months and just turn up the heat. If you dont care about the world you live in...think of the pennies you could save!!!

    Source(s): me...a pennie pincher and someone who cares about the world around me
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm the proud owner of a couple of heavy Scottish Harris tweed jackets and a high qulaity worsted wool overcoat.

    In winter I put on one of my tweed jackets and then the overoat with a hat too.

    Indoors I often just sit at my pc or waching TV with a tweed jacket on.

    All of my radiators have individual theremostats and I can adjust these either to the off position or to a lower level to save on energy and cut waste.

    Right now at 8.55am my room temp is 61F but wearing a tweed jacket it feels more like 70F.

    My heating is off and will stay off until about 6.30 pm when it will come on for one hour.

    If we get a really big freeze this winter, I'll probably camp out in the front room where there's a gas fire.

    I'm an active pensioner aged 67.

    Anyone wishing to save energy can do so if they buy themselves a windup lantern and even a windup radio etc.

    Of course for many pensioners the above may be out of reach cashwise. But the £25 or so investment in the windup lamp is easily going to be earned back within the first year of use. I have not got one yet but am planning to buy one next birthday. Why not?

    Meanwhile all my lamps have the new energy saving light bulbs. Did you know that the plan to fase out the old fashioned light bulbs - think by 2012 or thereabouts. Thus it will only be possible soon to buy the energy saving time of bulb soon.

    Do yourselves a favour, buy energy saving bulbs now. In most cases they have more than 3000 hours of life, compared to a 2 bob hi-enrg bulb with only 1000 hrs of life, that's a sensible investment. Yup and only 11volts too and as bright as the sun - well, nearly.

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  • Suzy
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    We had good quality double glazing fitted not long after buying our house... A few years ago we were given cavity wall insulation...

    Can't have a fire as we are in London where they are banned and we don't have a chimney anyway... but this year we are saying a great big "THANK YOU" to those lovely folk from Warmfront - we were given a much needed new gas boiler and insulated hot water tank plus additional radiators in the bedrooms and a replacement in the bathroom - thermostatic valves everywhere and the bedrooms are set low... heating off overnight unless really freezing when the house thermostat goes down to about 15 and we leave it on all the time..

    Hopefully the chaps will be back soon, as they have promised to top up the loft lagging by 10 inches!! In the meantime I have topped up under the boarded area - otherwise I will have no storage left ;) We also have polystyrene panels in the rafters, particularly over the storage area - improves the almost non-existent lighting as well as keeping us warm and keeping out noise from the occasional plane or helicopter!!

    When our washing machine broke down some years ago we bought a new one and got rid of the tumble dryer - we use a high dry, indoors except for really good days when it goes into the garden.. Nearly all the light bulbs are energy saving ones - Morrisons, lovely and cheap!

    We have just got a new thermal lined door curtain for outside our chilly internal shed and are getting another thick pair for the patio door.. We will check around the front door for drafts and are fitting a large doormat just inside which will deal with the gap under the brush!! All curtains get drawn at dusk - if not before...

    The beds have luxury feather toppers and 4 seasons quilts plus - bean bags, warm throws, bed socks and occasional visits from our lovely moggies... and underneath all that we have nice warm nightclothes... For breakfast throw on a dressing-gown and slippers (personally I like the booties)... Cold mornings means porridge or shredded wheat with hot milk plus, of course, hot tea or coffee...

    Dinner is often a lovely casserole or a tasty curry and we top up with an extra woolly or climb under the throws which adorn the sofas - and we treat ourselves to a few extra degrees which keep the temperature up whilst the heating is off for the night....

    That said - nothing is stopping me from having up my Christmas lights!! Mind you nothing OTT - just a tree and my hallway grotto!!


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  • 6 years ago

    I would love to enjoy higher quality meat and I do feel guilty on a regular basis about the conditions my food lives in before it gets killed. I even used to shoot my own before that became both socially unacceptable and quite frankly a rich persons sport instead of a way of getting food. None of this stands up though to the relative difference between cost of living and income in this country, and I'm very much afraid you'll find that the lowest common denominator for most people is that keeping bellies full comes before doing the right thing. I've heard it said that we're all three full meals from barbarism and I think this points to the reality that, without changing the underlying culture and social conditioning (which I think the retailers and advertising have a huge if not insurmountable sway over), people will always come down on the side of value over morality unless they can afford otherwise. Sadly, few can afford otherwise.

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