Your student room can be notoriously difficult to heat, especially in the UK, where a large proportion of our housing stock is old and uninsulated. With energy costs rising every year, keeping your house warm can be a serious drain on your student loan, and deciding when to switch on the heating can cause more than a few disagreements between housemates.

But, there are ways you can warm up your student digs without turning up the heating. Here, we’ve shared five simple ways you can keep your student room warm without increasing your utility bill. So, if you’re feeling the chill this year, then just read on to find out more.

Hang blankets on the walls to prevent heat loss

Older houses can lose a lot of heat through the external walls, especially if they aren’t properly insulated. You can help to trap heat in your bedroom by hanging a few blankets or throws on the wall. If you’ve got a bare wall or some cracked and peeling paint in your bedroom, then this is also a simple but effective way to brighten up your space.

Add a rug to help insulate the floor

A warm, shaggy rug can be a lifesaver, especially if you have draughty wooden floorboards in your student digs. Not only will it help keep the heat in your bedroom, but it will also keep your feet toasty on cold winter mornings. It’s also a great way to add a pop of colour to a plain or bare room.

Look for a rug with a thick, textured pile: not only will this do a better job of insulating your room, but it’ll be a treat for your feet, too. This high-pile shaggy rug from Rugs Direct will help stop the heat escaping through the floor, and is available in a range of colours and sizes, so you can find one to suit the style of your bedroom.

Use a draught excluder – or make your own

Cold air can creep in under your bedroom door, especially in older houses with ill-fitting doors. You can help keep the heat in your room by placing a draught excluder across the bottom of the doorway, which will stop chilly draughts getting in and help prevent heat from escaping.

If you’re really looking to save money, you could even try making one yourself: this guide from the Guardian details how to make your own heat-trapping draught excluder using an old pair of tights. If your budget won’t stretch to new fabrics for the covering, then you could even recycle material from old clothes, and use the leftover scraps and old newspapers as stuffing.

Get your radiators working efficiently

You can make the heat from your radiator go further by ensuring that it’s working at maximum efficiency. Try to avoid placing any furniture in front of your radiator if possible, as this will prevent the warm air from circulating throughout the room properly. If possible, consider putting up a shelf above your radiator: this will help direct warm air back into the room, instead of just rising to the ceiling.

If your bedroom walls aren’t insulated, then you could also be losing a lot of heat through the wall behind your radiator. Putting a layer of reflective aluminium foil between the radiator and the wall can help to reflect warmth back into your bedroom. Specialist insulative foil can usually be bought for just a few pounds, but it can make a dramatic difference to the effectiveness of your radiator.

Light a few candles

Pillar candles and tealights can generate a surprising amount of heat. Scented varieties can also be a great way to mask any unpleasant or damp smells, which is ideal if you need to dry your clothes in your bedroom. Plus, they’ll add a warm, cosy atmosphere to your bedroom, too. Just make sure that you use candles safely: never let them unattended, and always place them on a fireproof surface, away from flammable objects like curtains and upholstery.

This year, don’t let winter cost you and your housemates a fortune. Just follow these handy tips, and you’ll soon be saving money with a warmer, more energy efficient bedroom.