Christmas and the winter period is an expensive time of year – and not just for all the gifts, extra food and drink you end up buying. The cold weather means that we all have our heating on for extended periods during the chilly days and nights, and the costs soon add up to substantial energy bills. Ultimately, the more you spend on heating your home, the less you have to enjoy on the festive period. So, here are a few things you can do to ensure you stay warm during the winter, but lower your costs by a significant amount. Let’s take a closer look.
Are you guilty of leaving all your electronic devices on standby? If so, you are wasting needless energy and spending too much on your electricity bills. Get into the habit of switching your TVs, stereos and other home gadgets at the mains, and you can save a significant amount of money. Chargers are another big culprit. Whether it’s a phone or tablet charger, we often leave them plugged in while not in use. The trouble is it is still using electricity and costing you money – so unplug whenever you aren’t charging your devices.
One of the biggest home heating myths around is that leaving your heating on at a low temperature all day costs less than turning it on whenever necessary. It’s just not right, and by far the most cost-efficient way of using your central heating is to use it as you need it. Be strict with your times, of course – you should never have your heat on overnight while you are wrapped up in warm blankets. But ultimately, the longer your boiler is switched on, the more it will cost you in energy bills.
Radiators are an integral part of the central heating system, but they can often lose efficiency over time. First of all, it’s important to bleed them at least once a year. This gets rid of any air bubbles that could be affecting their performance and ensures that they are working as efficiently as possible. Secondly, consider maximising the radiator’s output by putting tin foil behind them. A reflective surface is an excellent tool for preventing heat transfer into the walls rather than pumping out into the room. The result is a faster-heated room, and an opportunity to turn down the dial and save money.
If you haven’t insulated your loft yet, now is the time. Incredibly, houses can lose up to 25% of their heat through the roof when you don’t have insulation, so if you do anything to cut back on your heating bill, getting your loft sorted out is the best starting point.
How old is your thermostat? If you haven’t upgraded for a few years, you should consider getting one. The new thermostat models tend to be more accurate and give you more precise control over the temperature of your house – and will save you money!