Another issue is the amount of drafts we have to deal with, much of this problem is down to UPV windows which are falling apart, all the units are blow and in several case the vents are rusted constantly open so they are always letting in a gale (they are on the list to be replaced next spring), we are trying to solve the problem with thick curtain lining and putting up a heavy door curtain over the front door. So far this has worked fairly well, but I some how think we would still struggle to maintain bloody temperature if it wasn't for our trusty Squirrel! While searching google earlier I came across this interesting article from the Guardian in 2011:
We were contacted by a retired 66-year-old retired academic who worked at a London university. She spent half her working life caring for her children and doing voluntary work, which reduced her pension, so she now makes an effort to keep her heating bills down. She has taken rationing her energy use to a new level, and she wanted to share her methods.
"I am a pensioner, at home and with the computer on most of the time, who pays well under £100 for my annual, total, combined gas and electricity bills. I have worked out gradually how to do this, and now find it so easy it is automatic.
"Although I am very lucky in my housing and neighbourhood, at least some of my savings could be made by anyone. A few ideas are fairly costly to set up, but they could be paid for many times over in savings on later annual bills – especially given that carbon fuel prices are only going to keep rising.
"My main heating is a wood-burner, and for that you have to have a chimney or some kind of wall outlet. My burner, with installation by a plumber, cost about £500. Even a large room is fine with a small burner, and they last forever.
"The other expenses are logs – about £200 a year. So that does bring my fuel bills up to nearly £300, and you do need somewhere to store the logs without having to carry them far. There is very little ash, which only needs clearing out into a small bag about once a month. The annual chimney sweep costs about half the price of checking the gas boiler.
"You can get burners with in-built boilers, which heat radiators and water tanks. Instead, I always keep a filled kettle on my burner, and add that hot water to pans or to an electric kettle whenever I need boiling water. I slow-cook stews on the burner, after heating them on a hob, and you can hang clothes around for very quick drying.
"My glass-fronted burner is a beautiful companion. Throughout the year, I collect twigs and lumps of fallen wood in nearby parks to use for kindling and to start a quick blaze in the morning.
"Maybe you are thinking that a good quality of life demands several warm though hardly used rooms, plenty of hot water on tap, and lots of electric equipment on standby. But think about all the things you could buy instead of burning money on fuel bills."