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CEL home > Resources >Articles for parish magazines > Keepwarm

John Kibble, a Methodist in Cardiff, gives advice on, and runs conferences on Church Heating. Here he gives practical advice for keeping warm in the home.

Why not download this article in rtf ready for use in your parish magazine?


1. Wear warm clothes; several layers are better than a thick coat. A lot of heat can be lost from your head, so wear a hat, indoors as well, even in bed. Knit yourself a woolly hat. Knit some others to give away.

2. At home, cure draughts; sealing strip for doors and windows is quite cheap. If you have a gas cooker or fire which does not have a balanced flue, an air intake is essential and must not be blocked up. (A carbon monoxide detector is a good thing, too) Otherwise, you only need very little ventilation, so keep most windows and doors closed. If you are too hot, on no account open a window - turn down the heating.

3. If you have a spare bedroom or other room which you are not going to use for some time, turn off the heating and keep the door closed. (Most people are horrified if a light is left on for any length of time, though in fact it will cost less than 1p an hour; but a radiator costs about 5p an hour or an electric fire 15p.)

4. Try to have thermostats on all heaters; it is much better than remembering to turn them down. If you have central heating, learn how to control the temperature; if you don't have thermostatic valves, it is well worth having them fitted.

5. Central heating again: make sure your timer is properly set; it should come on a little while before your getting-up time and go off an hour or so before you have an evening bath.

6. You can't have too much lagging around a hot-water tank; wrap it with any old eiderdowns or blankets.

7. Draw all curtains at dusk; they must be short enough not to cover a radiator, with a shelf to stop the heat going up behind the curtains.

8. For any central-heating radiator against an outside wall, stick baking foil to the wall to reflect the heat.

9. Your loft should have at least 10cm (4 inches) of insulation on the ceiling surface.

10. You may be able to get grants to assist with the cost of some of these measures. Enquire from a CAB or Post Office. Contact the Energy Efficiency Advisory Centre ( 0800 512 012 free during office hours for free energy efficiency advice, or for a questionnaire to fill in which will then be computer processed and will show you how you can improve energy efficiency in your home)

John D Kibble MA, Ceng, FIMechE, MIMM. 5 Llandaff Close, Penarth, CF64 3JH


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