Itís that time of year; the nights are getting longer, the cold is creeping in and youíre thinking about that heating bill again.
As well as investing in boiler lagging, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, there are loads of cheap and easy ways to keep warm this winter without turning up the gas and burning a hole in your pocket.
Read out top 10 tips below and see if you can cut the cost of your energy bills...
Many people choose to leave their heating off as much as possible during the winter simply because they canít afford to heat their home.
Itís essential to heat your home properly, especially if you have older people or children in your household as theyíre more vulnerable to illnesses caused by the cold. The best way to make savings on your energy bills, without having to suffer in the cold, is to switch supplier - it can save you as much as £200.
British Gas' (www.britishgas.co.uk) online energy tariff WebSaver 6 is the cheapest online energy deal at the moment, providing discounts of at least £67 when compared to its standard tariff. You will also benefit from paperless biling, and the tariff is available to new and existing customers.
Turning your thermostat down by just one degree centigrade can save you 6% on your heating bills - around £30 a year. You probably wonít notice the difference that this makes in your home, but if you do find that youíre cold at home, rather than turning the gas up, simply set your boiler to come on a little earlier, that way you wonít be cold while you wait for the house to heat up.
You might think this is an obvious one, but many people donít realise that the best way to keep warm is by wearing lots of thin layers of clothing, rather than just one bulky item. Slippers indoors are another great way of keeping you toasty, and itís also a good idea to wear a hat or headscarf outside, as lots of heat is lost through the head.
Your body needs food to keep itself warm so what you eat can make a real difference. Try to eat a balanced diet, with hot dinners and donít forget that hot drinks can help too.
A bit of exercise does wonders to get the blood flowing and keep you warm. However, you donít have to sign up at your local gym in order to keep fit; doing a little housework, like vacuuming, will keep you moving and help to keep you warm.
Sitting for long periods of time makes you colder so you could try spacing activities out through the day, so that you can alternate between rest and activity.
Since the smoking ban came into place, all smokers have to go out into the cold whenever they want to light up. But giving up has another way of keeping you warm too; smoking actually slows down your circulation so youíll get colder quicker.
The benefits of stopping smoking are huge - and fast. Within just eight hours of giving up your blood oxygen levels return to normal and circulation begins to improve after just two weeks - helping to keep you warm from the inside (Department of Health, 2006).
Many people forget the importance of keeping wrapped up and warm at night. You donít need to keep your heating running all night though. Just set it to come on about half an hour before you get up, and wear bedclothes and socks. You could also use a hot water bottle, or an electric blanket - though not together of course.
Donít have your heating running with your windows open at the same time. Many homes have radiators situated underneath windows, so if you have them open, youíll be losing your heat as quickly as your boiler can make more.
Also, cold air on the head at night has been proven to increase blood pressure so make sure that, even if you like fresh air in the house, you keep bedroom windows closed - especially at night.
You donít need to double glaze your windows or spend hundreds of pounds having your cavity walls filled to make your house a warmer home - although it does help.
Hanging thick curtains on the front and back doors, and using cheap draught exclusion strips on windows and brushes on the bottom of doors keeps cold air out and warm air in so your boiler wonít have to work as hard to keep you warm, and you wonít have to work as hard to pay for all that gas youíre burning.
If your boiler is more than 10 years old it might need replacing. By law all new boilers fitted in the UK have to be energy-saving condensing boilers. These A-grade boilers are extremely efficient - using as much as 96% of their fuel - and can cut your heating bills by up to 40% a year, which can be as much as £200. definitely a good investment.
Comparing and switching is quick and easy when you use the EnergyChoices.co.uk calculator