Winter is coming, and that means woolly jumpers, hot chocolates and putting the heaters and radiators on full blast. As much we all like to be as warm as a toasted marshmallow on the fire, the increase on your home’s energy bills can be a cause for concern, especially with all the holiday food, presents and travel costs to take care of. We therefore wanted to offer you some energy saving tips for your home, that will not only save you money, but will ensure you can all stay warm this winter.
The Cooking Continues.
We’d argue that the best thing about the holidays is all the lovely food we get to consume. From turkey and stuffing to Jamaican jerk chicken, spicy catfish, brisket and latkes, both Christmas, Kwanza and Chanukah ensure we are all well feed. After cooking, we recommend leaving the oven door open to let the remaining heat warm your kitchen. This means you can turn your heater down, making this a much more efficient use of the oven’s stored heat.
When it comes to storing food, make things easier for your fridge and freezer by keeping them as full as possible. This means they don’t have to work as hard to cool your ingredients, using less energy.
Unplug It All.
Most of us already switch off all of our appliances when not in use, but did you know that leaving appliances and chargers plugged in or on standby still uses electricity? Though small appliances like toasters and radios only consume about 1-2 watts, others such as computers, laptops, TVs and heaters consume a lot more and this really adds up over the year.
According to the Money Advice Service the average annual electricity bill is:
- £403 for a 1 or 2-bedroom flat.
- £590 for a 3 or 4-bedroom house.
- £864 for a 5-bedroom house.
Unplugging your appliances may be a hassle, but it’s said to save you £30 – £80 a year.
The Proof Is In The Draught.
Especially on those windy winter days, a cold draught can really sweep through a house, particularly older and larger ones, making it tempting to turn the heating up. Instead, placing draught excluders in key places can make all the difference. Further, sealing cracks in floors and skirting boards, as well as blocking off unused chimneys with an inflatable pillow can reduce your heating bill by up to £25 a year.
Draught-Proofing Strips Are Also Useful:
- For windows, use draught-proofing strips around the frame.
- For doors, use draught-proofing strips for gaps around the edges.
- For loft hatches, use draught-proofing foam strips to stop hot air escaping.
Light Up The Night.
HomeOwners Alliance claim:
‘’Replacing just one old light bulb with an energy saving one can cut lighting costs by up to £50 over the lifetime of the bulb. Plus, they last up to 12 times longer than the ordinary light bulbs.’’
According to Which? LED light bulbs are best, costing as little as £1.71 a year to run and uses 90% less energy than traditional incandescents.
Think how much you’ll save if you change all of them.
Turn Down. Wrap Up.
Did you know that decreasing a room’s temperature by 1ºC can reduce your heating bill by up to £75 a year? So before you turn up your heating this winter, wrap up in layers, thick socks and slippers and then determine if you need to.
As Which? states, ‘If you don’t already have a room thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves, installing them – and using them well – could save you double.’ This is because they let you set different temperatures in each room, heating only the rooms that need it.
Other things You Could Do To Stay Warm This Winter:
- Insulate the roof.
- Invest in double-glazing.
- Place a sheet of radiator foil between your radiator and wall, which reflects heat back into the room, rather than going out through the walls.
- With south-facing windows, keep the curtains open all day to let light and heat in. At night, ensure they’re drawn to keep that heat in, or better yet, hang up a pair of thermal curtains for optimum heat.
What do you think of our tips? Have any to share yourself? Let us know in the comment section below to help us all keep warm this winter.