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Brace Yourself Britain, Winter is Coming

Brace Yourself Britain, Winter is Coming
30 January 2019 James Brooke

Contura tips on keeping your home warm this winter.

With the Met Office issuing weather warnings of heavy snow and ice across the UK this week as cold, unsettled conditions bring the chance of disruption to many parts of the UK, it’s time to weather proof the home[1].

Living in one of the top 12 coldest cities in the UK, residents in Perth, Leeds, Bradford, Aberdeen, Dundee, Manchester, Ripon, Salford, York, Durham, Glasgow and Wakefield[2] should take particular care.

CityAverage Minimum Winter Temperature (◦C)


And, while temperatures this winter aren’t predicted to plummet to the bone chilling -27.7C – the lowest temperature ever recorded in the UK (in Braemar in 1982 and again in Altnaharra in 1995[3]) – it’s best to start preparing your home for when the glacial temperatures do hit.

Phil Wood, UK Country Manager for Europe’s leading wood burning stove brand Contura, says: “There’s no better feeling than the satisfying warmth of home on a freezing cold winter’s day. However, the cold snap is really starting to set in and with two thirds of Brits admitting to being caught out by severe weather[4], top of everyone’s to do list should be to ensure that they are both heating their home as efficiently as possible and taking steps to keep the heat in and the cold out.

“A home that isn’t heated efficiently is not just cold but expensive to boot!”

From bleeding the radiators to enjoying some baking, Contura has compiled its guide to ensuring a warmer home this winter.

  • Warmth on draught

A very simple, yet effective step is to use draught excluders. Filling in the gaps around your windows and doors will not only help you retain heat in the home but can also help you to save on your heating bills. Make sure to think beyond doors and windows – cat-flaps and letterboxes also let draughts in!

  • Boiler MOT

When was the last time you had your boiler serviced? A regular boiler service will give you peace of mind that your boiler is both safe and operating efficiently. And if your boiler is over 10 years old, you should consider replacing it for a newer, more efficient model. The last thing you need is your boiler breaking down in the middle of a cold snap!

  • Embrace DIY

If the top half of your radiator feels cool to touch, trapped air may be preventing the hot water rising and therefore heating correctly. Bleeding a radiator is actually very straight-forward. Firstly, ensure your heating is off and radiators are cool to touch. Open the radiator valve with a radiator bleed key, which can be bought for as little as £1 from any hardware shop; you’ll hear air hissing and as soon as you see a drip of water, close it up again. Simple!

  • Thermal feng shui

Call it what you will but perhaps it’s time to reconsider your living room layout… It can be tempting to position the sofa in front of the radiator so that you ‘feel the benefit of the heat’ but in reality, your sofa is just soaking up all the heat! By moving your sofa you’ll notice that the heat from the radiator is able to better radiate throughout the entire room.

  • Go ‘Blue Peter’ on your home

Get crafty with some card and tin-foil to ensure you’re heating your home and not your walls. A piece of thin card covered with foil and placed behind your radiator (foil facing the radiator) will reflect the heat back into the room, rather than heating the wall! If arts and crafts aren’t your thing, you can buy ready-made foil insulation for this purpose.

  • There’s an App for that

Consider using an App such as Hive, Nest or Honeywell which enables you to control your heating from your phone. An App will allow you to switch the heating on or increase/decrease the temperature during the commute home from work – perfect for those unexpectedly frosty evenings.

  • Follow Sweden’s lead

In Sweden winter temperatures can reach as low as -30C and wood burning stoves are one of the favored ways to help keep the home warm and welcoming. Wood burning stoves are growing in popularity across the UK but you may be surprised to hear just how much more efficient they are as a heat source than traditional open fireplaces – they offer around 60% more efficiency. Also, by investing in an Ecodesign ready stove, carbon emissions reduce by 90% compared to a traditional open fireplace.

  • Ready, steady, bake

Think about all of that lovely heat generated by the oven and, rather than letting it go to waste, once you’ve finished cooking leave the door ajar to allow the heat to drift into the room. Wonderfully cosy, plus, you will have delicious home-baked goods to enjoy.

  • And if you’re still feeling the cold?

Add layers and cuddle up on the sofa with blankets and your favourite ‘portable heater’ – we prefer the fluffy, canine kind who are easily appeased with biscuits, belly rubs and don’t question our taste in Friday night chat shows.

For more information on Contura, please visit


 Notes to editors:

  • Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood. The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.
  • Sources detailed in footnotes.

For further press information, please contact:
Elsa Findlay/Jo Kendall/Julie Aguilera
Rooster PR
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]

About Contura
Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.

Starting at £1,295, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.

Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. Currently, 75% of Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.

Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.

Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.

For more information please visit


[2] Based on met office data showing average minimum winter temperatures from 1981-2015