In many countries around the world, people are switching their central heating on in September or October, and they use it until late April. This coincides with the period when the temperatures drop. When people know that the winter is approaching, they are thinking about the strategies they should use this year to keep their house warm. It is important to note that the majority of people want more than to just keep their house warm; they also want to save some money, because during winter this looks like an impossible mission. In case the house is older, the homeowners could also face difficulties, in trying to keep it warm. 

During winter, the household energy consumption increases with around 70%, due to the heating system. If you are looking for ways to reduce the heating costs, and to keep your house warm and comfortable this winter, you will have to make some changes. 

Install a programmable thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat is an effective way to cut down the energy bills and to keep the house warm. The majority of heating systems come with a manual thermostat, and this means that the homeowner has to fiddle it every time they want to change the temperature in the house. But, specialists state that a programmable thermostat will help you maintain the temperatures in the house at a level comfortable for your body. Here is a scheme you should follow: 
Set the thermostat to 55 degrees when you are away from home, for more than 5 days.

Set it to maintain:     -     68 degrees between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. 
- 60 degrees between 9 a.m. and 5.30 p.m.
- 68 degrees between 5.30 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- 60 degrees between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

In case, you consider that the nighttime recommendations are too chilly for you, you can adjust the temperature to a degree you consider comfortable. Make sure that you do not set the thermostat at a too high temperature, because studies show that mid 60 temperatures promote better sleep. 

Maximise the insulation level
Statistics show that the majority of houses lose around 30% of their heat through the roof. You can prevent this if you install a layer of 25 cm of insulation before the winter kicks in. Before starting the insulation project, it is advisable to also check the state of the walls, because a third of the heat is lost through walls, if the house is not insulated. It is not cheap to insulate your house, but if you manage to save money to do it, it will help you cut down the energy bills. In order to get the best price for the insulation project, it is advisable to contact a professional energy supplier, because they can offer you recommendations according to the insulation schemes that have great results in your geographical area. 

Check the state of the boiler
If you are using a boiler to heat your house, then you should know that there are certain ways to increase its efficiency. One of the best ways to make sure that it will properly function during the cold season is to check it annually. In addition, you should inform yourself on how to maintain its state, because if you operate a maintenance program regularly, you will slow down the deterioration process and keep it reliable. One essential step in maintaining the boiler is to get a Boiler Cover from Corgi Home Plan; it will bring you peace of mind. You will know that, if you face a problem there is an expert, who can offer you support. 

One great way to improve the effectiveness of the boiler is to insulate it. Boilers can lose heat through their expansive surfaces, but if you insulate them, you will offer the boiler the support it needs to function properly. 

Inspect the ceiling fans
If you own a house that has ceiling fans, then there are great chances they to be dormant during the winter months. Depending on the system you have installed, it can have a winter setting, that it reverses the movement of the fan. Therefore, when the heat will rise, the fan will no longer trap it in the ceilings, it will push it back in the room. In case the ceiling fans do not have this feature, it is advisable to consider changing them, especially if your house has high ceilings. 

A wood-fireplace is not the most effective way to warm up a house
You may be a romantic person, who likes to spend the chilly nights in the front of a fire, but you should know that this heating option is effective only for the room where it is placed; the rest of the house will remain cold. A fireplace loses a lot of heat through the chimney, because it pulls outdoors the hot air. If you want to have part of your romantic nights, and maintain the heat inside your house, you should install a glass front on the fireplace. It will prevent the hot air from escaping up the chimney when the flames will go out. The glass front will also maintain the heat indoors, when the fireplace is not used, because it will prevent the cold air from entering the house. 

Allow sunlight to enter the house
Even during the cold months of winter, the sun can still warm up your house. Once it is up in the sky, you should do your best to capture its heat, because it is still warm during the cold season. Before you leave the house you should open up the curtains from your windows, and allow the sun to enter your house. 
Once the sun sets, you should close the curtains, because they will help you keep the heat indoors. During the night, the heat has the tendency to leave the house through the windows, especially if you live in a cold geographic area. A great addition would be to install insulated curtains during winter; they will prevent the warmth from leaving your house.