If you’re struggling to keep your everyday bank account coloured in that healthy black shade, then hearing that the big energy companies will increase the price of energy bills this year – some by more than 10% – probably didn’t come as welcome news. It doesn’t matter whether you have money problems or are simply trying to control your spending and build some wealth these simple steps will help you keep both your bills down and your family warm this winter.
Use the curtains
It may sound silly but making sure that you shut your curtains at night could make a huge difference to your energy bills. Windows aren’t as good as walls as insulating your home, so to keep the heat in, remember to draw those curtains after you settle down to watch the TV at the end of the day. However, if you feel that your curtains just aren’t keeping quite enough heat in, why not decide to buy some thermal curtains. They can reduce the amount of heat lost by up to 25%. Saying this however, it’s a good idea to keep the curtains open during the day. If your windows are south-facing, the sun will pour in and help to warm up the room without even turning the heating on.
Block those drafts
Again where it may sound obvious, making sure you block any drafts in your home could mean that you can stay warm for less this winter. Many experts believe that a draft can account for anything from 5% to 30% of home energy consumption, so stopping them can help you shave a significant amount off your energy bill. Don’t fear however, as you don’t even need to go all out to stop that cold winter air from getting in. You can buy door draft stoppers and with a huge range out there, you can find one that fits right into your home whilst looking stylish. You could even pick up a keyhole cover that will stop that cold winter air from whistling in through the keyhole.
Make the most of the heat from your radiators
‘Foil’ Jack Frost’s plans to keep you cold this winter by stuffing ordinary kitchen foil behind your radiators. This may sound a little strange but by doing this you can make your heating much more efficient. Rather than escaping through the wall the radiator is placed on, heat will be reflected back into the room. You’ll be surprised at what a difference this makes. As a result, you’ll be able to turn down the heating a few degrees, thereby saving you money on your energy bills. You may even choose to turn down the thermostat. According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning it down by just one degree could help save you a whopping £65 in just a year. To save even more money, you might consider turning off the heating completely in rooms that are used rarely and for those rooms you do use, remember to set the timer on your boiler so that it only comes on at times that you’re actually in the house and feeling the benefit.
Block that chimney
If you have an open fireplace in your home, you could be losing a lot of heat up the chimney as well as hundreds of pounds. If you never make use of it, perhaps consider stuffing the chimney with paper or cardboard to stop any heat from escaping. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a little less make-shift a solution, perhaps consider buying a chimney balloon which will stop any heat escaping and will prevent any drafts from making their way in. Where it may make things a little harder for Santa Claus this Christmas, at least you’ll be keeping warm and saving money.
Be energy efficient
Being energy efficient could mean that you save money not only this winter but all year round. By using energy efficient light bulbs, and replacing all the existing inefficient light bulbs in your home, you could save yourself around £55 a year. They’re now available in a wide range of shapes and sizes and they last much longer than regular light bulbs so there’s no excuse not to make the switch.
If you’re looking ahead to saving money in the future, there are a lot of energy efficient products you can install that may be expensive in the short term but will see you saving money in the years ahead. For example, installing a modern condensing boiler may be expensive but, once installed, it could save you over £300 a year. Added insulation in the walls or your loft could be another way that you can keep your home warm for less but again this is something that will see you spending lots of pennies now and saving just as many further down the line.
And remember, turn off the lights when you leave a room, do your washing at 30°C and turn off all electrical appliances when they’re not being used. In the kitchen, remember to fill the dishwasher fully before using it and whilst making yourself a nice cup of tea to keep you warm, remember to only boil as much water in the kettle as you’re going to need. Remembering these little things could make a big difference to your energy bills.