Wednesday, 17 November 2021

5 Ways To Help Reduce Your Energy Costs This Winter

Now that the weather is turning colder, I'm sure I can't be the only one who has noticed quite a dramatic increase in our electricity costs already!

As we live in a rented property, our home has an electricity metre installed which means that I notice the change in usage probably more than those on quarterly billing - we've gone from spending £10 every 3 or 4 days, to spending almost £10 a DAY on electricity - and the only thing that's changed is that we've needed to put our heating on.

Now obviously this sort of price increase is a bit alarming, it's going to eat through our monthly income pretty quickly and so I decided to do some research into ways to lower our heating costs - and today I'm going to share some of the tips I've found.

1)One key area to focus on first is heat loss - where and how is your home losing heat, and what can you do about this? As well as losing heat from within the home, cracks and poorly insulated areas can allow cold air to get into the house too - which can obviously make a big difference.

 Some of the areas in your house that are most likely to experience heat loss include:

  • Windows - Invest in some draught-proof strips to help with this.
  • Doors - use draught excluders and keep doors closed to trap heat. 
  • Fireplaces - If you don't use your fireplace, consider blocking it to help eliminate draughts.
  • Roof
  • Walls
  • Power outlets

Check that there are no cracks or openings, and check the insulation - if there are repairs needed it's worth investing in, as it could save you a small fortune in the long run.

2) Service your heating system - whether it's a case of checking that everything is working as it should or a case of needing new boiler installation, it's worth making sure that things are running as efficiently as possible as this will help to keep your running costs down for many winters to come.  If your boiler is more than 10 years old, it may not be running as efficiently as it should and could be costing you money.

3) Depending on the size of your home and how many people live in it, you might have some extra rooms that go unused a lot. There is no need to heat the unused areas of your home and ensuring that you're not doing this can help to cut down costs. 

You might also want to close any vents in the rooms you do not use, so that warm air does not travel to them. To effectively seal off those rooms, tuck a towel or draft blocker at the base of the door and keep the door closed. 

It could also be worth reducing your use of rooms in your home if you can, for example we have two downstairs sitting rooms but rather than heating both through the winter - I prefer to close one off and encourage us all to use just one in the colder months.

4) Cooking or baking at home can really help to keep the house warmer, too - as well as saving money on takeaways and restaurants! It will also help to lower your heating bill. The heat from the stove or oven will help to warm up your kitchen and when you are finished baking, switch off the oven and leave the door open slightly, so that the warm air can escape and heat the room...if you leave the kitchen door open too, the heat will also travel to other areas of the house. 

5)  There are lots of appliances and technology that drain electricity when they’re not being used. Anything that sits on standby is likely using energy that you don’t need to use – chargers, laptops, televisions, games consoles - even the kettle is something we're all guilty of keeping plugged in when we don't need to!

Unplugging them or switching the plugs off at the wall could save you a considerable amount of money, as it will stop you using energy that you might not even have known you were paying for.

Of course it's also worth making simple, free lifestyle changes to help lower the costs of heating too - such as encouraging your family to layer up their clothing and wear slippers around the house, and indulging in warming drinks. We also have a basket full of snuggly blankets in the living room which is a much cosier way of staying warm than whacking up the heating!

I hope these tips and tricks have been helpful for you, I will certainly be implementing a few of them in the hopes of reducing our electricity costs. Hurry up Summer!

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