Save Money and Keep Your House Warm this Winterfjpinvestment
The cold weather has officially hit and you will now be doing what you can to keep your house warm this winter. The UK is, however, also currently facing an energy crisis with the rising cost of gas, the collapse of energy companies, and more recently, anxiety over petrol shortages at the pump, ostensibly caused by a shortage of HGV drivers. Added to this, Russia has signalled that gas supplies to Europe may be squeezed in the coming months. And if that wasn’t enough, inflation is starting to bite as the price of everyday items is rising.
Heating our homes constitutes about 70% of the average household’s energy consumption. So, more than ever, people will be looking for useful tips on ways you can keep your house warm but also cut cost on your energy bills. With over two million people in the UK classed as being in “fuel poverty” – that is, over 11% of homes cannot afford to keep warm – low cost and basic steps can be taken to keep warm this winter.
Draw your curtains
When the sun goes down, it cannot enter through the windows and give you any benefit, so that’s the best time to close the curtains, no matter how early it seems. A good set of curtains acts as an extra layer of insulation against the cold outside and will help to keep your rooms warm. Also, check for any gaps in the doors or frames, as even a little cold air coming in will make a huge difference to the temperature.
Note that not all curtains are made equally, so try and use thick curtains like a set of blackout curtains. Another tip is to have internal curtains to separate rooms if you have no doors, like from the hallway to the living room. If you can’t afford to heat every room, keep those doors shut so the rest of the house can stay warm.
Timers on central heating
There’s no need to leave your heating on low all day as you will just be wasting money on heat you don’t need. You can programme your boiler to come on about 30 minutes before you get up but at a lower temperature. This works out cheaper than turning it on at a higher temperature as and when you need it. The reason for this is because, no matter what temperature you set them at, boilers will heat up at the same speed.
Arrange your furniture better
Try to maximise the circulation of warm air around the house as much as possible. Blocking the heat by placing things like sofas – as tempting as it is – or drying clothes too near the heaters will impede warm air circulation.
Insulate the best you can
Around a quarter of all lost heat is through the roof. This can be mitigated by installing insulation in the loft and about 25cm thickness of installation should be sufficient. Furthermore, about a third of heat can be lost through uninsulated walls, so it’s worth checking on your cavity wall insulation status as you could save up to £160 per year on heating bills. Check to see if there are any government or energy supplier schemes being offered that can help with cheap or even free installation.
Use the fireplace
An obvious option for many, but if you have a working log fireplace, use it to keep your house warm. Whilst it is easier to use the central heating, it is cheaper to use the fireplace. If you are likely to spend the majority of your time in the same room, a gas fireplace is also cheaper to run than central heating.
Water tank insulation
For those that have hot water tanks, check to see that it is properly insulated along with the pipes. This will help you save money by keeping the water stay hot for longer. Even if you already have a “jacket” of insulation around your tank and pipes, it may need upgrading.
Turn down the dial a notch
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) had previously recommended to heat your home to at least 21 degrees Celsius, Public Health England has stated that it should be more like 18 degrees Celsius. By turning down the thermostat dial by even just 1 degree Celsius you could save about 10% on your energy bill. This is a significant cost savings without letting your home get cold.
Look for draughts
If you feel any draughts make sure to block them off. This can range from using a draught excluder at the bottom of a door to self-adhesive rubber seals on doors and windows. Don’t leave this until the cold really starts to set in.
The boiler upgrade
Consider replacing your boiler if it’s over ten years old to a more efficient model. Savings of up to £350 can be made by switching to a new A-rated condensing boiler. These can produce the same amount of heat but use less energy.
Programming your heating to come on only when you need it, such as using thermostatic radiator values, can result in considerable savings, as high as 40%, according to at least one study from the University of Salford. Due to smart technology, you can now control many thermostats remotely using an app on your smart phone or tablet.