Winter is fast approaching, and whilst for some this is a joyous time of hot chocolates, Christmas markets and firework displays, for others it’s that dreaded time of year when the energy bills go up. As the days and nights get colder, it’s inevitable that we’ll all be spending more on our warm air heating.
There’s nothing better than arriving home to a warm, toasty house after a chilly walk home from the office. But with money tight, and the ever-looming pressure of remaining environmentally conscious at the forefront of our minds, steps need to be taken to save on energy. With that in mind, here are some tips to help keep your energy bills down this winter:
First you should establish if your home is well insulated, and if any rooms are suffering from nasty draughts. Gaps in doors, windows and floors can let cold air in and warm air out. Install some draught-excluders on doors and windows where you can feel there’s a draught. DIY excluders can be fashioned from rolled up blankets for the bottom gap of doors.
Double glazed windows are obviously the best solutions to lost warmth, but if this is not possible for your home, then make sure you keep blinds and curtains closed once the sun goes down to prevent heat loss – but keep them open during the day so the sun can help to warm rooms.
Close Those Doors
This seems like an obvious tip but it’s worth mentioning. If doors are being left open, then heat will constantly be escaping. For rooms that aren’t going to be used very much, keeping the doors closed will prevent the cold air from those unoccupied rooms circulating into occupied spaces.
Here’s another obvious but crucial tip. Wrapping up warm in winter is essential, and if you want to cut down on those energy bills, then you should refrain from removing your jumper the second you step through the front door. Keep wrapped up in the house so you can keep the heating low and save on energy. Snuggling under blankets on the sofa is another option; curling up in bed with a hot water bottle is another great way to beat the chills.
Don’t Cover Radiators
It may be tempting to throw your damp clothes onto a radiator to dry them quicker, but this could actually be contributing to the coldness of your home. Covering the top of a radiator blocks the heat from being able to circulate around a room. Make sure you keep the tops of radiators clear, and that other nearby obstructions are moved away so the radiator can heat up a room more efficiently.
Programme Your Heating
If your boiler allows, you should programme your heater to come on and switch off at certain times of the day. There’s no need for your house to be heated whilst you’re at work and there’s no one there using the heat. Customise your heater’s programmer to stay off during times when it’s not needed, like when no one’s in the house or late at night when everyone is asleep.
Wash Clothes at 30°C
An awful lot of energy can be saved by dropping the temperature you wash your clothes at. During winter you may find you end up doing more loads of washing, due to the contents being much bulkier with all the jumpers and winter clothes. So, cut down on your energy usage by washing at 30°C. Most laundry detergents nowadays are designed to work effectively at this temperature, so there really isn’t any need to waste energy by having your washes any hotter.
Service Your Heater
Making sure your heater is running effectively will prevent the risk of there being any problems. A qualified engineer should take a look to ensure its running efficiently. Alternatively, you could replace your heater with a more efficient one to save money in the long run.