Keeping warm this winter

Keeping warm this winter


A mixture of Brexit, the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and inflation have sent everyday costs soaring, especially energy bills. That’s why automotive charity Ben have put together their tips on insulating your home, keeping warm in the most cost-efficient way and where to find more support if you need it.

Insulate your home

Making sure your home is well insulated will help you stay cosy and warm while lowering your energy bills.

  • If you have your radiators on, make sure they’re working as efficiently as possible and the heat is being directly to where you want it to go – towards yourself and not lost to the walls or the windows! First, bleed your radiators, then put reflective foil behind them so the heat that would warm up the wall behind the radiator is reflected back into the room. Some people also like to put a shelf up above their radiator – especially if it is below a window- which helps the heat stay in the room.
  • Using a draught excluder is a simple but effective way of keeping warm air in a room and stopping cold air from entering the room.
  • Curtains insulate your home better than blinds, so consider having well-fitted, insulated curtains to reduce the amount of heat lost via the windows.
  • Adding rugs to your home brightens up the space and also limits heat loss from the floor which will be especially effective if you have bare floorboards.
  • If you’re a homeowner, you can get recommendations from the government on ways you can save energy in your home:

Keep yourself toasty

Focusing on warming yourself can be more effective than turning up the heat in your home. Keep yourself toasty from the inside out by using the following tips.

  • Hot water bottles or microwaveable ‘heat bags’ can be a game changer in cold weather and come in a few shapes and sizes. Cuddle up on the sofa with one in the evening, or if you work from home, place one on your lap for instant warmth while you work.
  • Whether your go-to is a strong tea, an indulgent hot chocolate or a black coffee, regular hot drinks and bowls of soups can make a big difference to how you’re feeling and keep away the cold, at least.
  • Boil only the amount of water you need for your drink rather than filling up the kettle. Or, make up a large flask in the morning to avoid boiling the kettle multiple times throughout the day.
  • Layer up from head to toe – think many thin layers of clothing, thick socks, slippers and even handwarmers. You might also want to invest in ultra warm clothing if you can – wear thermals under your outfit or take a look at wearable blankets. Although these aren’t everyone’s cup of tea (and probably aren’t going to win any fashion awards!), fleecy, sleeved blankets are becoming increasingly popular as they’re a good way of keeping snug this winter.

Get energy savvy

  • If you live alone or if you’re alone at home during the day, consider heating just one room instead of the whole house. Depending on your heating system, you could turn off radiators in unused rooms or lower the settings in rooms where you don’t need as much heat. Or, run a portable heater or an oil heater in one room and if you want to move room, just take your heater with you.
  • Use an electric blanket – or if you’re feeling fancy – an electric blanket and a hot water bottle to pre-warm your bed and feel cosy at night. Electric blankets are a really cost-effective way to heat up your bed but be sure to use them safely as they can be a fire risk if used incorrectly.
  • Try turning down the thermostat by one degree (and putting on an extra layer if you feel chilly), as this small change can add up over the year.

Look after your home and your health

While these tips are designed to help you reduce the amount of heating you use, please bear in mind that not heating your home can lead to damp, mould and frozen pipes, which can often be expensive to fix. Make sure your home is also well ventilated to avoid mould and if you or someone you live with is elderly or has a health condition, talk to a GP and make sure they are comfortable. These tips may not be suitable for everyone – please don’t damage your home or your health by completely turning off the heating.

If you’re struggling to pay bills:

How Ben can help you

Ben is the charity dedicated to supporting the people of the automotive industry, providing support for life for them and their family dependents. They work with people to improve their lives by enhancing their health and wellbeing through its free and confidential online self-help, helpline and support services.

If you’re struggling, Ben can help. Visit, chat with them online here or call their helpline on 08081 311 333.

Ben’s Health and Wellbeing survey is back for 2022

Ben has launched its 2022 Health and Wellbeing survey and is encouraging as many people as possible who work in the automotive industry to share their valuable feedback on the challenges they have experienced over the past 12 months.

The survey aims to take the emotional temperature of the industry and gain insight into the health and wellbeing issues and future concerns that are affecting members of the automotive community. The results of the survey are vital in ensuring that Ben is offering the right support about the most relevant health & wellbeing issues to people who work, or have worked, in the automotive industry.

The survey is confidential and takes just 10 minutes to complete. It consists of a series of simple questions relating to physical and mental health and the issues that people are facing in the workplace and the wider industry.

To take part in the 2022 Health and Wellbeing survey, click here.