There is no denying it; winter is definitely on its way.
The nights are drawing in, and in some parts of the world, such as up here in Aberdeen, it is already feeling very chilly indeed. As we move towards the festive period, families are being forced to heat their homes for longer, maybe even all day long if you are working from home, and that means increased costs. As Turn 2 Us explains, the general cost of living is rising, as is the cost of energy, and that places a huge strain on families across the UK.
Living on a budget is not easy and families are often left stretched as costs increase. I would like to help you through some of life’s challenges with handy tips, as I did in my article How to Update Your Living Room on a Budget, and as such have put together a collection of handy tips to help reduce your energy bills, whilst staying warm and cosy, this winter.
Using most of the heat provided for free by the sun is one key aspect of heating your home. If you can harness the sun’s heat, however little it might be, it might allow you to turn down the thermostat a little when you are at home. Make sure curtains are opened in a morning, especially if you are leaving for work and it is dark when you do so. Even on the dullest day, a chink of sunlight can provide heat through your windows and warm your home a little. Similarly, make sure they are pulled tightly across in the evening to keep the heat you are paying for in. The thicker your curtains, the better insulation they provide once they are drawn.
It might be worth considering moving furniture around to get the most from radiators. Certainly, in smaller homes, there is a tendency to place sofas in front of radiators for space. If this is the case in your home, try to move it away. It will be preventing heat from moving around your room, meaning you are either cold or paying more for warmer radiators than you need to. This goes for tables blocking radiators too; try to ensure they are free from obstruction to heat your home efficiently.
Finding extra money at a time when things might be tight seems counter-productive, but it is a great way to save money in the long term. Insurance can protect you against breakdowns, and provide other benefits, such as a boiler service. The gas and boiler protection listed on HomeServe explains how in the event of a breakdown an engineer will quickly be on hand to help get you back up and running, which means less expense for you trying to heat your home by other methods, such as electric heaters. Also, if your cover includes a boiler service, it is likely to run more efficiently as a result, meaning lower bills. A breakdown can be expensive, but good cover will bring peace of mind and a swift resolution to your problems.
Turn Down the Thermostat
This sounds ridiculous, but as revealed by The Conversation, room temperature can safely be kept at 18 degrees without adverse health benefits. Also, if you do turn your thermostats down by a single degree, will you notice the difference? Perhaps not in your room, but you might on your bills. It is believed you could save 3% on your energy bills by reducing the heat by a single degree, which is a significant saving for something you will not notice.
Reflect the Heat
One final way of getting more heat into your room is the use of reflective panels to the rear of your radiator. Granted, they may not do much for the overall aesthetic of your room, but they perform an important task. Instead of your walls absorbing some of the heat you pay for, the panels reflect it back into the room. Who knows, it might mean you can turn the thermostats down by two notches and save even more on your bills. Or, if you so desire, it might just mean you are that little bit warmer whilst at home. Either way, they are a great idea for the energy-conscious homeowner.
Article written by Mason Pearson