Any Ideas on keeping a rented house warm?

Hey there all,
I was wondering if anybody could give me a few more idea to help keep my house warm!
I share a house with a good friend, it is a large old 3 bedroom above a shop with large steel, single glazed windows which as of late is unbearably cold.
I have taken all the measures I can think of to weather proof the house, covering the windows with insulation film, keeping all curtains/blinds closed, weatherstipping all gaps (even the serving hatch!!), using draugh excluders etc.
However, the central heating is VERY expensive to run (were on key meters, so everything is also hideously over charged). Even with all the heat proofing I've attempted the house will become cold again in just 45mins after the heating is turned off.
We're both on extremely tight incomes and can only afford to have the heating on for around 2 hours a day.
So I was wondering if anyone could throw anymore ideas in the pot that are cheap to implement and effective!



  • clockworks_2
    key meters shouldn't over charge you anymore. My opinion is i think is this weather 2 hours a day won't be enough to keep your house warm. Would be it be more efficient maybe to get a small electric oil heater and maybe keep one room warm - say the lounge, rather than heat up the whole house?
  • tori.k
    tori.k Posts: 3,592 Forumite
    you could try asking on freecycle if anyone has a gas bottle heater needing a new home, kip bags or a fleese throws are great for a cosy night in front of the goglebox, ive still got the heating off, but is not come in really cold in the southwest yet. have you taken a look at the getting ready for winter thread on the old style forum its full of some great ideas
  • thegct
    I looked into this, and an average electric oil heater (1-1.5kw) would cost the same amount an hour to run as the CH (around 13-19.5p an hour). Plus we would need two heaters running overnight for the bedrooms.
  • thegct
    Just to give an idea of how cold I mean, I am sat under a duvet and am still cold!
    The outside temperature at the moment is around 6 degree's, and the inside temperature in the warmest room (lounge) is 11 degrees.
    Is 26p an hour to run central heating a normal cost?
  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 5,114 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Surely you can afford more than 50 pence a day to heat your home between the two of you?
  • thegct
    Were both on ESA (friend still in assessment phase) hence having to share a house in the first place. All my (once) spare funds are paying off loans for furnature.
  • savemoney
    savemoney Posts: 18,127 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    ask you landlord to apply for insulation grants
  • spinningsheep
    spinningsheep Posts: 1,047 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 30 November 2009 at 3:06PM
    Fleecy blankets are great, I bought a few from Primark for about £2 each, mum has done the same and they are lovely to snuggle under at night. Try this too. Close every door and window, and light a candle, and walk round the flat slowly, near to the doors,windows, any vents etc, and see if the flame flickers, if so, you have a draught. This may be a really gentle one, but may well be contributing to your cold issues. I recently bought a thermal front door curtain from Dunelm Mill for £17, and I can tell the difference immediately. I needed my heating on 20-22 degrees at this time last year, now, I have it on 15-17 MAX and the house is all toasty. Made a massive difference. If you can afford to, buy these curtains for your doors if there are any draughts. You can also try sewing some fleecy blankets into the curtains at your windows, some people say this can help. I also find that at night I turn all the lights off, lamps in lounge etc and light some candles, aside from this saving electric (therefore you can afford to have the heating on a wee bit longer) the candles obviously give off heat, not much on their own, but a few together and it really does help! if you are happy heating one room and not the whole flat, you could buy a cheap oil filled radiator, say a 2kw one, and run this in the lounge, that way you are only paying to heat one space, not the whole property, and they are usually on casters so you can move it round to where its needed.An electric heater will be expensive to run in comparison to mains gas, but if its on a thermostat it wont be on constantly, and would be cheaper to run than the heating for whole flat. A calor gas heater would be the same but you can get issues with condensation with these, especially if you have sealed your windows with film, so you cant open them.

    Honestly though, do like my old nan used to suggest and having JUST done this I can say it really does work. If you get nippy, have a nice hot bowl of soup and a cup of tea or coffee, you will be so warm afterwards you wont feel any cold at all!

    CC limits £26000

    Long term CC debt £0

    Total low rate loan debt £3000

    Almost debt free feeling, priceless.

    Ex money nightmare, learnt from my mistakes and never going back there again, in control of my finances for the first time in my adult life and it feels amazing. 
  • triticale
    I'm also trying to find cheap ways to insulate my cold shared rented place. My room (upstair) isn't so bad, as I have an electric fan heater (bills are included in my rent - if my landlord doesn't make the place warm enough to live in, then they can shoulder the increased leccy bills!).

    It's the downstairs that really gets bad - bathroom, kitchen and hall. Bathroom window is double glazed but poorly fitted and doesn't close fully. Also draught comes right under the door from the hall/kitchen.

    Which is where I think the majority of the cold comes from. In the kitchen is an unused, old wooden back door to the garden. It is jammed shut (quite amusing for a supposed 'fire exit' :rolleyes:) but terribly leaky.

    In winter I spend as little time as possible downstairs, meaning fewer, quicker showers (and I love my long showers, but it's just not do-able in such a cold room), no baths and I have to plan food prep/cooking so I'm not in the kitchen too long.

    I was thinking of sealing up the bathroom window with newspaper, maybe the kitchen door too? Also I thought of a door brush-strip to stop the draught getting into the bathroom. But don't really want to spend my own money on a crap rented house with a useless landlord. Any other cheap/free suggestions?

    Also, regarding insulation grants, how do they work? If it just loft insulation etc? Don't think there is a loft. The top floor (3 bedrooms) is above a shop. One of the tenants is an old lady who has recently retired, so I assume is getting some kind of benefit/pension. Would this qualify the property for a grant? And is it the landlord's job to arrange this?

    Thanks for any help :)
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 343.7K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.3K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.4K Life & Family
  • 248.5K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards