Office for the Aging


Keeping Warm Part 1: Five Tips

Heating your home can be a major expense. This expense can be especially hard on older New Yorkers on fixed incomes. Here are some tips to keep your home warmer and save some money.

1. Use tin foil. One way to prevent unnecessary heat loss from radiators, particularly on those attached to external walls, is to use heat reflective aluminum foil behind the radiator. This prevents heat disappearing through the wall by reflecting it back into the room. You can even use good quality kitchen foil.

2. Thick curtains are one of the main ways to protect your house from losing heat through the windows. Curtains with a thermal lining are a relatively cheap option, the thicker the better. You can line them yourself with materials like cheap fleece.

3. Let the sunlight in during the day. It's important to try to use as much natural - and free - heat (in the form of sunlight) as possible. Window shades and curtains should be kept open during the day. Closing your curtains as soon as dusk falls will maximize your house's potential to retain that heat.

4. Watch out for mini-draughts. Lots of draught comes through the letterbox. The same goes for keyholes, which can be protected with circular (keyhole covers) that slip over the top. Cat or dog flaps can also be filled with some sheep's wool insulation or pieces of blanket. It's amazing how even a small draught can make a room a lot colder, so if you can cut that bit of air out it immediately makes a difference.

5. Clear your radiators. Try and avoid placing large pieces of furniture in front of them. At least in the short-term, the sofa you love by the radiator is absorbing heat.

Did You Know? You may be eligible for HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program). To find out, please visit the OTDA's (New York State Office for Temporary and Disability Assistance)website(External Link).