Winter can be a very expensive time of year to be a homeowner, with the weather getting colder the urge to leave the house is reduced but television and heating time gets increased. Paying your bills is inevitable and so is our need to keep warm during the winter. With that in mind, here are ten tips to saving money on gas and electric this winter.
Turn The Heating Down
The easiest solution for reducing your energy output this winter is to turn your heating down slightly and use other methods to help keep warm. Using blankets, thicker duvets and doing more to prevent the cold getting in will mean turning your heating down a few degrees will be barely noticeable.
If you have a meter installed you can easily check how much your heating is costing you and you can turn it down slightly and see the changes in savings compared and find a setting that suits both you and your wallet.
Another simple solution for keeping warm for less is preventing the cold from entering by stopping draughts from entering. You can do this by putting a draught excluder at the bottom of your doors and if you don't want to buy a draft excluder you can easily improvise one with spare cushions and blankets lay around the house.
This is likely the simplest solution to using less heating as it prevents the cold air from entering the room.
Restrict Usage of Electric Appliances
Although in modern times it is becoming harder to cut back on the use of electrical appliances we can all admit we probably use them more than we have to. Instead of gathering around to watch television, why not try playing board games with the family, the savings could be huge when you consider a family of four might be powering three tv’s, a game console and a computer at one time.
Also if you allow your washing, whether that be washing machine or dishwasher, to build up over time before you put them on to clean then will use less energy as you will still be doing the same number of washes but just washing more things. For example, if at the moment you use the dishwasher three times a week and instead cutting that down to two days a week you will save a third of the energy and money you currently spend on your dishwashing each week.
Get Insulation In Your Loft
Insulation may be available in your home and it’s more affordable than you might think. There are many great deals out there for loft insulation. This is basically filling your loft with a barrier of materials to block draughts and cold air from entering the house through the ceiling. It has been a major factor of keeping homes warm for a long time now and a lot of people are getting insulation installed.
You may qualify for free loft insulation, read here for more details on whether you qualify.
Check Your Radiators
Your main source of heat throughout the house is likely your radiators, so it is important to make sure they are creating optimal output. Radiators can get a build up of air which causes them to not heat up as much as they should.
To prevent this you may need to bleed your radiator, a simple task that get your radiator back to its optimal performance and heat your home up more with the same energy usage.
Get A Smart Meter Installed
A benefit of new technology is energy meters. These meters are available via your energy providers and can show you lots of information about your usage and spend, this makes it easier to track what heating your using and helps you find ways of cutting back on your usage.
Find out more about smart meters here
Check Your Boiler
It is essential that you make sure your boiler is working at its optimal performance in order to get the best use for your money. The ideal plan would be to get your boiler serviced just before the winter to make sure your boiler is working correctly and is safe.
If any problems do arise then it is important to try and get them fixed as soon as possible as the winter is the busiest time for boiler repairs so you may have to wait for a technician to come and fix your boiler.
A lot of homes now have double glazed windows, which help prevent cold getting ina and also heat getting out. If you don’t have double glazing windows it is worth finding out what the best deals available to you are as it can be a huge energy saver and even make your home more secure.
As well as your windows it is also worth making sure your front door is properly sealed and secured as this can give huge heat leakage and create huge draughts. To prevent this leakage from happening you could add a door sweep which should help block the air from entering through the gaps at the bottom.
If however your door is unable to have a door sweep added to the bottom and you are unable to block cold air from entering then you may have to invest in a new door. This can be somewhat costly but the long term benefits for both the houses security and warmth will hopefully pay back over time.
Use Candles in an evening
During the evening when you are relaxing, reading a book or watching some television you should consider lighting a few candles in your living room to create a more natural light, instead of using your lightbulbs.
There are many benefits to burning candles beyond the more relaxed atmosphere and the fragrant smells but most importantly they can help you reduce the energy used from your lightbulbs.
By implementing a few of these tips into your home this winter, you should be able to reduce your gas and electric bill somewhat considerably. Some of these tips are more important than others, for example it is important to have your boiler serviced as regularly as possible, but some of the tips are simple solutions to reduce the need for you to have your heating on higher settings.