A SAVVY saver has revealed how he saves hundreds of pounds a year by never turning the heating on – but still stays warm.
Harry Snell, 38, last fired up the boiler in his two-bed flat in Ladywood, Birmingham, in 2015.
Every winter, he instead turns to some simple energy-saving tricks that mean he won't feel the cold.
He told the Sun: “I’m really conscious of rising bills, and the impact this is having on my finances.
"I used to pay around £29 a month for gas and electricity by being really savvy, and taking steps to keep my usage down.
"But things have got a lot harder now, especially with high standing charges.
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"Around eight years ago, I decided to ditch my heating completely.
"I currently pay around £60 a month – which is still extremely low compared to most.”
He reckons he's saved at least £500 by avoiding heating during the winter.
According to figures from Uswitch, based on typical consumption, the average household with gas central heating spends around £400 for three months of heating.
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While this figure would probably be a little lower for Harry as the single occupant in a two-bed apartment, he still makes a huge saving by avoiding heating during the winter.
“When I looked at my usage, I realised that one of the worst energy guzzlers for me was my heating,” said Harry, who is a fitness instructor and diet coach at FoodFreedomBlueprint.
“It was costing me a fortune. So I decided to try and make some changes which would mean I could switch it off, while still being able to stay warm.”
How to stay warm without putting the heating on
According to Harry, in the first instance, living in a flat has been a big help.
“Choosing to live in an apartment, rather than in a house, means I have very few outward-facing walls, making it easier to keep heat in,” he said.
“I’m also very disciplined about keeping my doors shut, meaning less heat can escape.”
The energy-saving whizz has also installed draught proofing.
“I noticed there was cold air coming in through the gaps under my door, so I screwed draught blockers to the bottom of each one to keep my home as draught-free as possible.
"Each draught blocker costs around £10 from Amazon.”
Another simple step which Harry swears by is wearing lots more layers during the winter months.
“I’m strict about following the rule, ‘heat the person, not the place,’” he said.
“The key to this is wearing enough clothes around the house. When it gets especially cold, my hands, feet and head tend to feel it the most.
"I can sometimes end up wearing two pairs of socks, fingerless gloves and a hat while I’m inside.
"It might look a little strange, but it doesn’t bother me, as it’s helping me keep costs down.”
Fortunately, as Harry’s flat has few outer walls, it doesn’t usually get too cold.
“I’ve measured the temperature during the winter, and the lowest it has dropped to has been around 12 degrees celsius,” he said.
“This is much higher than a house would be during the colder months.”
The Energy Saving Trust recommends you set your heating to the "lowest comfortable temperature" and for the majority of us, this is between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius.
Most of us start turning the heating on when it reaches about 15.5 degrees Celsius outside, experts say.
Turning the heating off completely might not be to everyone's comfort.
But Harry's tips can also be used to keep the heating at a lower temperature and still save you cash.
Turning the thermostat just a single degree lower can save you around £100 a year.
For some who can't turn the heating off altogether, such as people with health conditions, there are grants available to help with heating bills – check them out in our guide.
Harry says he’s never needed to invest in a hot water bottle or heated blanket, which many others use to avoid turning the heating on.
“Another simple trick I use to stay warm is to keep active at home doing chores,” he said.
“This is better than sitting still on the sofa watching TV and getting cold.
"Moving around will often help eliminate feeling the need to put the heating on. I also make hot drinks if I feel a bit chilly.”
Other ways to avoid turning the heating on, or keep the temperature lower include closing your curtains in the evening.
When temperatures naturally drop, you should draw them to keep the heat in, and then open them in the morning when the sun comes out.
Switching off so-called "vampire devices", that drain energy when left on standby or used inefficiently, could save you on your bills as well.
Here's 30 ways to cut your energy bill now.
Never looked back
Extreme as it sounds, Harry has also switched off his hot water.
“I also made this change about eight years ago and I haven’t looked back,” he said.
“I’ve travelled a lot and learned from people who live in countries which don’t have hot water tanks.
"My shower is electric, so I can still get a warm start to the day. That said, I often have a cold shower.
"It may sound surprising, but you feel warmer afterwards as the blood rushes back to your skin.”
The savvy money-saver says he saw no point in having the hot water on just to wash his hands or the dishes.
“If I really need hot water, I boil the kettle,” he said.
“When I do, I’m careful to only boil the amount of water I need, so as not to waste energy.
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"And I don’t repeatedly press the switch. Once the water is boiled, it stays hot for quite a while.
"There’s no need to press the switch again just a few minutes later.”
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