Energy bills are rising and weather forecasters are predicting a very cold winter 2013/14 with lots of snow in January and February.
It makes sense to reduce the waste to which we’ve all (ourselves at Quick Move Now included) become accustomed to, and cut down our energy usage, saving us pounds and helping the planet too.
Here are Quick Move Now’s top practical tips on how to save on your energy bills this winter…
- Use lamps rather than ceiling lights – not only do they create a warm, cosy glow, but using low wattage lamps costs much less than higher-powered ceiling lights. Even better if you use low-energy bulbs.
- Turn off lights when leaving a room – make this a habit and you’ll soon see the savings showing on your electricity meter.
- Turn your thermostat down by a few degrees and wear an extra jumper – that old chestnut! Yes – we’ve all heard it before, but if you make it a habit to put an extra jumper on if you feel chilly, as opposed to automatically turning the heating up, your savings will be far more than the cost of a jumper per year! The rule of thumb is that you save 3% of your heating bill for every 1 degree you turn the heating down by.
- Only heat the rooms you use – dining rooms, studies, spare bedrooms and other rooms that are used infrequently should have radiators turned down and doors closed so you reduce the area that the heating system regularly needs to heat. You don’t want the rooms to get damp, so turn the heating up again during wet weather, and remember to leave a couple of days for the room to warm up again if it is going to be used.
- Increase humidity – dry rooms feel colder than humid rooms. Place a bowl of water by each radiator and it will feel as if it is a few degrees warmer.
- Make sure south-facing curtains are open during the day to allow any sun to heat those rooms. The colder a room is allowed to get, the more it costs to heat it up again so close all curtains before it gets dark to retain any residual heat.
- Seal gaps – if you add up all the cracks and gaps in a room and imagine them as one hole in a wall, you can see why they make such a difference to the temperature of a room. Methodically seal them using tape, sealers and caulk and you could reduce your bill by 10%. Remember it is not just the obvious gaps that leach heat – recessed light fittings, floor boards, electrical outlets and window and door frames can all be to blame.
- Window film – you can buy simple kits that allow you to add an extra layer to window surfaces (like makeshift double glazing). There are two main types – the cheapest just adds an extra layer and helps prevent heat loss, and the more expensive actively retains heat inside the room. You can fit these yourself and people say they notice the difference immediately.
- Insulating water tanks and pipes not only reduces the power needed to keep water hot, but also minimises the risk of pipes freezing.
- Loft and cavity wall insulation can save a small fortune and you may be able to get a grant to cover the cost of installing it. If you don’t want the hassle or expense of fully re-insulating your loft, you can just look for any dirty areas in existing insulating foam – this shows where air is getting through. Fill these areas and reduce the amount of heat that escapes from the room below.
These are the things we’ll be putting into practice this winter – it doesn’t take long to get into the habit and the savings soon start adding up!