Each winter British Gas service enough boilers to fill 622,000 glasses of mulled wine or 33,600 hot baths. Last year’s pre-Christmas peak saw 20,940 British Gas engineer call outs on the 9th of November – 873 every hour! This year they have launched a winter campaign to help people prepare their homes for winter.
Despite last winter being one of the worst for 30 years – and predictions of another cold winter this year – a British Gas survey has found that 68 per cent of people fail to prepare their homes for winter before a problem arises, with 41 per cent doing nothing at all and a further 27 per cent only taking action once something has gone wrong.
Unlike our Scandinavian counterparts who embrace and enjoy the season, more than three-quarters of Brits dread winter and more than half say it is their least favourite time of the year. Almost a fifth (17 per cent) even avoid buying winter clothing as they refuse to believe it will be consistently cold enough to justify the purchase.
Here are some great keep warm tips from other nations who feel the freeze at winter:
- Take a tip from the Norwegians and think insulation. The Norwegians cover their windows with heavy curtains to protect from drafts and keep the heat in. But make sure they stop at the top of the radiator. Look for ways around your home where you could do the same, from simple draught excluders at the bottom of doors, to loft or cavity wall insulation. It’s worth bearing in mind that nearly 50% of all the heat lost in an average home is lost through the loft space and walls.
- Careful Canadians never get caught short in the snow and have a heap of ways to beat the cold conditions. When stuck on an icy road, Canadians bleach their car tyres to help with traction. One thing they’ll always warn you against however is the Scottish myth of taking a ‘Wee Dram’ to keep out the cold – in reality it will actually make you colder as alcohol lowers the body temperature.
- The Russians survival tips to beating the cold are second to none; after all, Russia is the coldest country on our planet. Whilst fur lined clothing is a necessity, double layer windows in their homes are equally as important. Keep the heat locked in by checking your windows and doors have adequate sealing before the cold snap starts. By fitting the minimum ‘C’ rated windows or installing double glazing you could cut around 700kg of CO2 emissions and save up to £140 a year.
- Icelanders are known for their use of geothermal heat in their homes, using the heat from the earth or ground water to give them energy efficient heating in the winter. Ground source heat pumps extract the heat which the sun has transferred into the ground, to efficiently provide space and water heating for your home. Using a ground source heat pump here in the UK can save you up to £1,000 a year or £750 if you exchange an oil-fired system. If you replace a more efficient gas heating system your annual savings can amount to up to £410.