Dark and cold winter can be very difficult when you haven’t got central heating. Figuring out the Cheapest Way to Heat a House without Central Heating is essential to save costs and keeping warm in the winter. One of the more important basic human needs is the ability to keep warm and heating surround space during a cold winter.
Having to deal with external winter temperatures is often unpleasant and the one thing you want when you get home is for it to be cosy, warm and peaceful after a long working day. A chilly, cold and unheated home is not great and can lead to severe health issues, it becomes more difficult when you don’t have a central heating system installed in your home or need to reduce costs by turning your central heating off.
So the question is, are there any cheap ways to heat a house without central heating by taking some simple and practical measures? Yes! Below are 6 ways you can avoid sitting in a cold, uncomfortable room with Icelandic winter temperatures. An inefficient central heating system and inadequate thermal insulation in your home are just some of the reasons why having alternative cheap solutions will come in handy.
The minimum home temperature thresholds as in the winter as set by the World Health Organization is 18 degrees Celcius for homes with adults only, rising to 20C for any homes with infants and the elderly.
In winter, people living in the colder countries on the continent especially Russia, begin using their central heating system in late September/early October and keep using it all the way through to March and April. This is the reason the winter energy bills are very high in cold areas like Europe.
A recent survey conducted in the UK showed that about 70% of the household energy bill is about heating the home. This makes it all the more important to figure out ways to cheaply heat homes without always having to resort to firing up the central heating.
There are also a lot of households in the UK that cannot afford to use their central heating systems during peak hours of the day to keep warm their homes. Approximately 11% of people in the UK, cannot afford the heating bills to keep warm their homes in cold winters. but while significant, there are cheaper and less costly alternative solutions available that can also be considered.
The problem of Heat Loss:
Before considering any small efficient heating alternatives, you should assess where you experience heat loss around your home and where cold air or a draft comes in through.
Heat loss is a major culprit in dropping your indoor temperature and keeping your home under-heated soon after you switch off your central heating system. Poorly constructed homes also have heat loss issues due to ceiling voids, air leaks, and lack of insulation or substandard insulation material. If the waves of cold air are coming through windows, doors, and you find that the walls are too cold to sit near in winter, it means that your home has heat loss issues that you need to deal with.
On the other hand, it is a rule of thumb that the warm air in your home will circulate to the areas of cold air until the temperature of both cold and hot areas is equal. If you have opening spaces in your home or void area, then there is a chance that your home will constantly feel under-heated despite even having your central heating switched on.
Here, I will share some of the cheapest ways to warm your room or home. These are the cheap options for staying warm indoors and keeping your house warm for people who do not need to heat a whole house when they are alone indoors and for people who just cannot afford a central heating system.
6 Cheap Ways to Heat a House without Central Heating
How to make a room warm naturally?
If you live in a small apartment or a house share where you occupy a small room in a large house then you probably rely on ways to heat your space naturally. If you are not happy to be sat at home with no central heating to warm up the whole apartment in the winter, then the following some of the suggestions below can help ensure you stay warm in winter conditions while indoors.
- Use the Sunlight:
While the winter sun is not as scorching as what you’ll get on a beach in Marbella, it still helps to some degree. So when the sun is out and you are indoors, try opening up your blinds to warm up the room with some sunlight.
The walls and room floors will absorb the little sunlight heat coming through during the day. The key thing is to get these good thermal curtains and keep them closed in the morning to avoid any heat escaping from your room, as the early morning brings with it really low temperatures. To get the best results, check to see which windows in your apartment face direct sunlight and time it for the right time of day and you’ll have a relatively warm space.
- Invest in Warm Clothes:
In most European regions where climate change has become a big concern and the energy bills have risen so high that it is not affordable for the average person, a new trend has become popular – it is a trend called ‘heating the person, not the room’. Looking for ways to retain your body heat by wearing warm and thick clothes is one of the better alternatives to paying for high heating bills in cold winters.
You can wear a thick warm jacket, coat or sweat pants to keep the body warm without needing any external heat source. If you are will to push the boat out, you should consider getting one of the rechargeable jackets shown below that gives you additional heat at the push of a button. You won’t need to spend a penny on heating and the clothes you buy will be suitable to be worn outdoors as well.
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Where possible you should consider wearing layers as you get the most benefit that way. For people that feel uncomfortable wearing layers, a pair of thick sweatpants and a warm “hoodie” sweatshirt will give the most warmth without sacrificing much comfort.
- Use a Hot Water Bottle:
Another cheap, natural way to get warmth on a winter night is to put the hot water bottle (or two) in your bed. It will help keep your bed warm enough for the time you’re in it. The procedure for using a hot water bottle to get your bed warm is so simple. You just need to pour some hot water into the bottle and screw the lid on tightly, then put it on your bed for a minimum of 15 minutes prior to going to sleep. The hot water bottle will stay warm and slowly spread the heat into your bed while you sleep making it nice and warm.
- Using the Plug Drafts:
For a start, block any gaps around the window frame and door frame with some decent weatherstripping tape. This is a cheap easy option for quickly insulating around your windows and doors. It is easy to fix into place and immediately stops any cold drafts you might be experiencing.
While weatherstripping tape sticks to door frames and window frames to remain in place, another short term solution is to use blankets. Plug any open gaps with rolled-up spare blankets creating a natural and cheap option for stopping the heat loss from the room. It is also great for stopping cold air from getting into your room. Using a rolled-up blanket or towel will work in the short term until you can get some weatherstripping tape.
- Increase the Efficiency of the Heater/Radiator:
If you have a radiator or heater at your home and it is not performing well enough to make your room warmer, you should check it over to see what’s wrong. A cursory inspection from time to time will help increase its efficiency and heating. This method will save your money and the heating will not be wasted.
- Invite your friends over:
Inviting more people into your home is another effective way to get your room warmer. As you know that the human body is walking and working natural heating element. The human body emits heat naturally while performing its biochemical process. So you will feel a clear difference after inviting two or more persons into your room.
The collective heat emitting by the people present in your home will warm it up in a short time. Just remember one thing, this will only work if you all occupy one small room. A small party in a small room will give the results but it will not as effective for larger rooms.
How to make a room warmer without electricity?
- Install Solar Panels
Over the last few years, the UK government has been giving out grants to have solar panels installed on homes. While the jury is still out on the savings to be made, using the sun is an ideal way to make a home warmer. So if you are in a position where you have a south-facing house and you get copious amounts of sunshine on winter days, installing solar panels might just work for you.
In the long run, it will help you reduce your electricity heating bill, which has a knock-on effect if you have electric storage heaters. The argument is that even though it can be pricey to install, any initial cost will be recouped in the years to follow.
- Get some wool house slippers
When walking around indoors with bare feet, the cold floor increases the body’s heat loss making you colder than when you first started. Wearing a pair of slippers is a great solution to this and is great for walking on laminate floors, hardwood floors and vinyl.
They are cheap to buy and can be worn all over the house. With these slippers though, you get what you pay for, so if you’re willing to buy a decent pair and avoid shelling out again then you should consider these Dunlop slippers.
- Using a Lantern
Lanterns are not as popular in the UK as they are in other countries but they serve the same function as candles do. It also has dual-function as well, as it can make your room warmer and also lighten it up. More expensive but safer than using a candle as a heat source.
- Portable propane-fueled Heaters
Propane gas heaters are often used in homes where electricity or gas is not an option. In the absence of electricity, propane gas is a popular fuel for home heat and backup electrical generation.
Apart from being used to fire up barbeques it is not massively popular in the UK and used more often in the USA.
- Fireplaces with Low-Cost Fuel (Using Animal Dung as Fuel)
The fireplace is the most traditional and old way to heat your room without the use of electricity. But a fireplace becomes more costly when you use it with standard wood logs as fuel. Dried animal dung is suggested as an alternative cheap fuel in fireplaces. It is a cost-effective way to make the room warmer without electricity.
Fireplaces help make your room or house warmer in cold winters but it will add a classic and aesthetic look to your house. You can use dried animal dung as a cost-effective alternative fuel to using firewood in the winter. It is worth noting that using it in your fireplace won/t make your house smell of cow dung. It burns just like coal.
Does a Carpet/Rug make a room warmer?
Just a thick rug or carpet cannot warm a room on its own but it can act as an insulating layer to make your room warmer. A carpet is like a “coat” or “jacket” to a room. The bare floor of the room is a lot colder than a carpeted floor is. So a carpet helps make your bare feet feel warmer when you walk around. It does, however, depend on the type of material the carpet is made of. An 80% wool carpet and one made using polyester are perfect for keeping a room warmer.
Carpets are also great as the act not just as a thermal insulating barrier but also a great sound absorber. They work because they can potentially add a 20 mm gap between your feet and the bare concrete floor, this helps stem the body heat lost when you walk around your house and keeps you warm for longer.
Can the candles make the room warmer?
Yes! The candles can make a room warmer in the cold winter but most times lighting a single candle is not enough. This is one of the cheaper methods available but it remains a short term solution.
The simplest way to explain it is that when you burn something it produces heat. In other words, we can say that every flame produces an amount of heat. So, in the case of the candles, the same rule is applied.
Admittedly, using candles to make a room warm in the winter is not as effective as other measures mentioned on this list, it still makes a slight difference if you don’t have any other option available. This slow-burning candle is a great choice and you would need to consider lighting a minimum of two around your room. Using candles will not only warm up the room but it will also serve as a light source in the room.
You should consider alternative options if you have young children or pets around the house. Lighting up candles with an inquisitive toddler walking around is the recipe for disaster.
There are candle-flowerpot heater setups available in the market that helps keep your candles out of arms reach. These can also be made at your home as well. To make a candle-flowerpot, you need to follow the below steps:
- Take a few candles and light them up.
- Invert a ceramic pot.
- Put something between the base and the opening of the flowerpot.
- This space will suck the cold air and provide oxygen to burn to maintain the flames of the candles.
- Leave the hole on the bottom of the flowerpot open.
Can Dehumidifiers make a room warmer?
A dehumidifier is an electric appliance that is used to remove the moisture from the air in a home. I bought this dehumidifier (Click the picture below to see larger image and more reviews) and it works amazingly well.
Its main purpose is to remove moisture from the air but at the same time, reduce the chances of any odour and mildew from growing on walls in the winter. Its compressor exerts some heat which can cause a little bit rise in temperature and the room can warmer.
The dehumidifier takes cool or moist air from the room space and removes the humidity from it by its compressor, due to the difference of the temperature between these two breaths of air, the output air may be warmer from 10-15 degrees than the input.
So, this is also a dual-functional way to get two benefits. On the one hand, it removes the moisture from the air to provide you with the quality air space at home or prevent the growth of mould. On the other hand, it can raise the temperature of your room a little bit in cold winters. The main cause of the generation of heat is the hot air exerted by the compressor of dehumidifier like the compressor of a fridge produces heat.
Still cold? Consider using an Energy Saving Space Heater:
If you are still feeling cold and applying the above-mentioned methods do not help you generate enough heat to warm your home, then you should consider getting an energy-saving space heater. A space heater has become a popular choice for heating the homes, offices, classrooms or other single and enclosed areas.
There are a lot of brands and models of space heaters are available in the market and everyone claims to be the best. If the heating output is inadequate, then it will be a waste of energy and it will just blow hot air but still leave you with heating and energy bills but not enough heat.
Oil-filled electric radiator heaters are also a great heat source to have in your home. Oil-filled radiators are filled with thermal oil which retains the heat for a long time even after you shut off the heater. When you turn on the heater, oil quickly absorbs heat and slowly dissipates it into your room giving a steady outflow of warm air. That is one of the reasons why oil-filled radiators are known to be energy-efficient heaters.
The top 3 factors to consider when buying an energy-efficient heater, are the following –
- Decide on where it’ll be used often. When buying a heater for your home or workplace, measure the area or space that you want to heat. If you buy a cheap small heater and space which you want to warm up is equivalent to large open office space, it will be grossly inadequate. This will subsequently just result in the heater humming away in the background but serving very little purpose.
- Once you have made the correct calculations about the area or space you want to heat, only then should you look for the right energy efficient heater to help reduce those heating bills.
- And lastly, safety features. Many modern heaters come with tip over protection and a timer and thermostat installed. This helps cut out the heater when it gets too hot and help you avoid accidents happening if the heater gets knocked over.
With the high living costs today, it is becoming more and more essential to figure out ways to stay warm indoors without incurring the high heating bills that accompany it. The lists of options above show you the best ways to stay warm in your home without switching on your central heating system.
The same situation occurs in many developing countries where a lot of people cannot afford high heating bills. As research in the UK has found that more than 70% of household energy bills comprise of the heating bills. So, it is becoming more difficult to keep central heating systems on without an alternative plan.
This article has been organised to help people living in cold climates think outside the box and stay warm whenever indoors. Different cost-effective ways to keep the room warmer are shared including the natural options, simple home tactics like candle heating, using dehumidifiers, investing in warm clothing, and the ultimate solutions in the form of an energy-saving space heater.
What you choose will depend on the method most suitable to your needs because everyone has a different lifestyle, needs and priorities.
A more long term solution is to get an energy-efficient space heater as it delivers quick effective results that can easily be felt. This article on energy-efficient space heater will help guide you in choosing the right product for you!