With a drop in temperature comes a rise in the winter energy bills. No matter what the state of your finances, the cost of heating your home through the winter months is enough to make anyone rethink their habits when it comes to using energy. There are plenty of changes you can make day-to-day that will help save pennies, and those pennies will all add up to some serious pounds. As always, make sure you compare gas and electricity tariffs to make sure you’ve gotten the cheapest energy deal.
Insulate your home
Insulating your home can make a real dent in your target to bring down the cost of your energy bills. Experts advise that about 25% of the money spent on heating your home goes right out of your roof if it is not insulated properly. There are grants available at gov.uk for the cost of insulating your home, so be sure to check if you’re eligible. Insulate your roof, walls, floorboards, and even your hot water tank and pipes if possible.
Draught-proof your house
If you’re already spending a small fortune on heating your house you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck. Gaps around your house will let warm air escape as well as allowing cold air to come in – not ideal when you’re trying to keep your house warm and toasty. Installing draught excluders on all your doors and windows can help, as well as sealing any other gaps which could be potential areas of weakness. This includes filling any gaps and cracks in your floor, utilizing rolled up blankets or old newspapers if need be.
Control your heating
You could see savings of up to £75 a year if you install a thermostat, timer and thermostatic radiator valves and use them wisely. Valves on your radiators will allow you to control which rooms you heat in your house and the temperatures they heat up to. Programming your timer so that the heating comes on just before you wake up or get home will also make sure you only spend money heating your house when you really need to.
Turn your thermostat down
Just a 1°C reduction in the temperature of your house could cut your bills for heating by up to 10%. NHS guidelines stipulate that healthy and active individuals under the age of 65 can safely have their homes cooler than 18°C if they so wish, but it’s best to keep temperatures at around 18°C for those over 65 or with health conditions. Turning the thermostat down on your hot water to 60°C will also save you money.
Service your boiler
Servicing your boiler every year to make sure it is running efficiently can help save money in the long run. Old boilers are sometimes better off being replaced with a more efficient one and although boilers can be very expensive, but people on benefits are eligible for a free boiler from certain energy providers, so be sure to check whether you’re eligible for one.
Do your washing at 30°C
Most laundry detergents now work at low temperatures so there’s no real reason for you to do your regular washing at a higher temperature. Wringing your clothes out as much as possible before putting them in the dryer can also help save on costs, as well as the use of ‘dryer balls’ which can reduce drying times by up to 25%.
Use energy-saving LED bulbs
LED bulbs use far less electricity than other kinds of bulb and are rated to last more than 11 years even with usage of around 12 hours per day. The Energy Saving Trust estimates a cost of around £100 for the average household to have all it’s bulbs replaced by the LED variants, but it would save around £35 per year on bills – so imagine how much of a saving you’d make over those 11 years. Needless to say, you should be turning off lights when you aren’t in the room.
Don’t leave gadgets on standby
Despite what many people may think, electronics that are plugged in are still drawing current even if they are not in use or on standby. This includes TVs and mobile phone chargers (yes, even if your phone isn’t plugged into it). As a general rule, if it isn’t in use, then turn off the socket and unplug your devices. Turning off appliances this way can save you up to £30 a year.