Unusual ways to keep you and your home warm

Instead of cranking up the heating and wearing extra layers during the current cold snap, here are a few less obvious winter warmers.

With freezing temperatures and snow, the nation is wrapping up warm - but it's going to take more than an extra jumper, thermal socks and a hot water bottle to stop us shivering.

And while the easiest thing to do is turn up the central heating, that simply means spring will bring hefty heating bills along with the (hopefully) warmer weather.

So instead of cranking up the thermostat, give a few of these more unusual winter warmer tips a go…

1. Use foil

Put aluminium foil on the wall behind radiators under windows. Stick the foil shiny side toward the radiator, helping heat bounce back into the room instead of escaping out of the window.

2. Cover the key hole

You'll keep the house much warmer if you stop heat escaping through gaps and cracks in walls, but while some gaps are easy to spot, don't forget the less obvious areas - where pipes or cables go into walls, behind the washing machine, under kitchen cupboards, key holes, and around sinks and toilets.

If the gaps are out of sight, sealing them can be done easily with things like scrunched up newspaper and plastic bags, or old socks. But for more visible areas, sticky draught excluder products are available in DIY shops, as are keyhole covers. And you could even try stuffing cotton wool or cling film into the cracks with tweezers.

3. Bubble wrap it

It's not pretty, but if you don't have double glazing and a lot of heat escapes through your windows, placing bubble wrap over all the windows can create homemade double glazing.

Dampen the windows with water from a spray bottle and then cover the glass with cut-to-size pieces of bubble wrap.

Finally, cover the entire window (including the frame) with clear plastic and seal it with removable sealant or silicone. It might not look pretty, but perhaps that's a small price to pay for keeping warm.

4. Up your decor

Rugs don't just add a splash of colour to your room, they can help keep them warm too. Floors account for as much as 10% of heat loss if they're not insulated, so if you have bare floors, rug them up to keep the house warm as well as keeping your toes snuggly.

5. Layer your curtains

Don’t just add another layer to your clothing, double up your curtains too. Either sew or clip a thicker fabric or fleece to the back of your curtains, or hang it straight from the curtain rod.

This adds another layer of insulation which won't change the look of your curtains from the inside and shouldn't be too obvious from the outside if you only close them after dark.

6. Change your bedding

Bed will always seem like the warmest place in the house, but you can make it even warmer with some clever sheet choices – many people say swapping cotton for flannel will add extra heat.

7. Make the most of daylight

Instinct might make you want to shut the curtains all day, thinking you’ll keep in more heat, but actually, you’re also keeping out the sunlight and the natural heat that brings. So keep your curtains open during daylight.

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