Stagecoach

How to survive in a student house over the winter

28 Nov 2017

Brrrr! It’s getting chilly across the UK and, if you’re living in a student house, this might be the first time you’ve had to think about how to keep yourself warm while also being responsible for paying the heating bills!

There are two ways this can go – you either crank up the heating and cripple yourself with extortionate gas and electric bills, or you wear four pairs of socks plus three hoodies at all times and can’t move your arms until April.

So, how do you get the balance? Here’s our guide to surviving winter in a student house…

1. Agree on bills

Firstly, make sure you agree on the heating bills with your housemates. Will you only need heating in the morning and evening, or will your housemate with fewer contact hours be home during the day? Will you have your heating on high for a few hours a day, or on low for longer? Do you have the heating on constantly over the weekends or just grab a third jumper? While most gas and electricity companies will increase your bills during the summer to even out over the winter, it’s still likely that your bills will increase throughout the colder months. Make sure everyone can afford a slight increase and agree on your limits.

2. Wrap up warm

jumper

It seems simple, but just wrapping up can save you a LOT of money on heating bills. Invest in plenty of layers, especially thin ones which trap air in between and add insulation and ensure you have some warm socks and slippers. If you’re chilly, grab another layer or two before you resort to turning up the heating.

3. Add some winter warmers to your Christmas list

bed

Hot water bottles are cheap and very effective – and not just for your granny! Add an electric blanket to your Christmas list for a toasty bed throughout the winter. They’re not expensive to run and can be a lifesaver on a cold winter night.

4. Take advantage of the library

library

Instead of studying at home, head to the library when the weather gets cooler and take advantage of the free heating and electricity! Save your heating for the mornings and evenings.

5. Say no to estimated bills!

It’s likely that your electricity and/or gas provider will set you up on estimated bills – this means you pay what they think you’re spending each month, and not what you are actually using. So you could get to the end of the year with credit – which would be great! – or get hit with an unexpected bill when you’re about to move out because you’ve been underpaying all year! Instead, make sure you submit your meter reading regularly to ensure you are paying the right amount each month.

6. Block up after draughty gaps

If you’ve got any cold spots in your house, be sure to keep an eye out for any draughts that could be letting in cold air. These are easy to cover up with a little help from a DIY store and YouTube and could save you loads off your bills.

7. Put your heating on timer

If you’re all out of the house most of the day, don’t spend money warming up an empty house! You might be able to get away with a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening. Make sure you check when everyone is going to be home and try to coordinate the best times to heat your house.

 

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