• We research some of the quick and most cost effective solutions to prepare for the colder season
  • Avoiding estimated energy bills and keeping your furniture away from the radiators are just two of the tips from the National Energy Federation (NEF)
  • Jo from slummysinglemummy.com gives us her top tips this Winter

With ever rising fuel costs, not to mention the endless demands on our budgets from day to day living and our children, it's worth taking some time before the winter kicks in to make some simple changes to keep your home as warm as possible. A warmer home means you can hold out that little bit longer when it comes to putting the central heating on, and have more spare cash over the festive period for mince pies and mulled wine.

If you've forced the kids into extra jumpers, and they're still complaining, here are some quick tips to help keep your family home that little bit warmer:

Make your own draft excluder

Not only will this help keep your home warmer, it'll also warm up little fingers in the crafting process. This simple guide from The Guardian will give you some inspiration, but don't be afraid to get creative. You could create your very own family of draft excluder snakes or sausage dogs.

Use your curtains wisely

Thick curtains are a very effective way of keeping heat in during the evenings and at night, but make sure to open them during the day or you'll undo all your good work - you need the sunlight to warm the room back up.

Insulate your chimney

If you have an open fire that you aren't using, consider a chimney balloon. A lot of heat is lost up chimneys, so this simple device could save you a lot of money.

Invest in fun hot water bottle covers

Rather than heat the whole house, you could focus on the main living areas, and leave the heating off in the bedrooms. To reduce the risk of any complaining from little ones, turn it into an adventure by dishing out hot water bottles instead. There's all kinds of wholesomeness in a hot water bottle.

Hold a draft hunt

Entertain your children and save money at the same time by sending them on a hunt for drafts. There are all kinds of odd places where heat can escape, like letterboxes and key holes, so set your kids the challenge of finding them. The one who finds the most gets a pair of woolly socks.

Train your children

We're not talking general fetching and carrying here, although that would be useful - this is a bit more specific. How many times have you sent them outside for something, only to find they've left the back door wide open? Teach your kids to close windows and doors behind them quickly, to keep the heat in. Make it relevant to them by equating the savings to daily Netflix subscription costs.

Avoid drying clothes on your radiators 

We all want warm fluffy towels to use after a hot shower on a cold and frosty morning. However, by putting clothes and towels on your radiator, it actually lowers the quantity of heat released by the radiators, so the boiler has to run for longer to achieve the same room temperature which results in using more fuel and possibly a higher winter bill.

By using these, and many other tips that can be found on the National Energy Foundation (NEF) website, you can protect your home throughout the winter months.

A small model house with a scarf wrapped around it to keep it warm in the winter

What are your top tips for keeping your home warmer?