Winter is coming… In fact, it’s here! And with it comes hot mugs of Milo, fleecy slippers, nights spent binge-watching MasterChef – and, if you’re not careful, a gargantuan heating bill. If that thought makes a chill run up  your spine, try a few of these clever ideas to keep the warmth in.

Cover your windows

Stop the heat from escaping by investing in lined curtains that will help insulate your windows, trapping heat inside. If you already have curtains, you can simply add your own lining to the inside. For maximum effectiveness, make sure your curtains reach the floor and consider a pelmet to cover the space between the window and the curtain. Blinds and shutters will also work, especially if they sit close to the windows.

Let the sun in

It’s tempting to keep your home shut up all day, but by opening your curtains, blinds or shutters during the day, you’ll allow sunlight to warm the rooms. Shut the curtains or blinds at night to keep the heat in.

Create smaller zones to heat

Shut the doors to rooms that aren’t being used. It’s obvious, but we often forget this idea, which allows the heating to work efficiently in the space that’s actually in use.

Maintain your heater

Clean any filters regularly, and get your heater professionally serviced at least once every two years. This will ensure your heater is working efficiently and safely.

Double glaze it

Yes, it’s an expensive option, but usually well worth it in the long run. Double-glazing your windows improves heat retention, helps keep your house cool during summer and can block out street noise. It’s possible to apply double glazed panels using magnets, if you’re renting or not up for a complete change.

Rug up

Floors can account for up to 10 per cent of heat loss – so if yours are bare, invest in some warm rugs to keep the heat in.

Block your wall vents

Sometimes you need wall vents – in spaces that are often hot or steamy (bathrooms, kitchens and laundries) and in rooms that have open fires or unflued gas heaters. But apart from that? They’re just letting in cold air. Check out this handy video on blocking them safely and effectively.

Use your fans

Do your fans have a “winter setting”? This setting allows the fan to be reversed, so that it moves clockwise (rather than anti-clockwise). Heat rises, so a clockwise-spinning fan pushes the heat back down into your room. Try it on a low speed at first.

Flip your thinking

Many of us try to heat large spaces, which is inefficient and expensive. Try heating the person, not the house. If everyone in the house is warm, the house itself doesn’t need to be. Invest in warm slippers, robes and pyjamas. Get an oversize fleece for nights on the couch. Spend a little more for a bedspread that retains warmth. These little luxuries will keep you considerably warmer for less.

Brr! Are you feeling the chill? Curl up in front of these toasty fireplaces: