The 21st of December is officially the start of winter in the UK. The next few months are only going to get colder, energy bills will cost more… and sometimes putting on an extra jumper just doesn’t do the job.
According to the Bank of England, the average UK household spends 29% more money in December than they would in an average month. So here are some tips to save money on your energy bills this Christmas…
Heating the House
Using central heating tends to be the most cost-efficient way to heat the entire home. However, there are a few ways you can control which rooms you heat and when by using timers, radiator valves and thermostats.
These methods have some cost-saving benefits. For example, using thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) helps to reduce your energy consumption by not overheating the room. When that particular radiator reaches the desired temperature, the valve will close.
If you only need to heat one room, electric heaters could be the best option. When buying a portable heater, make sure to look into your options and find one with a timer and thermostat to avoid over-heating or using up unnecessary energy.
An obvious way to keep the home warm is to insulate, insulate… then insulate again. There are plenty of DIY ways to insulate your home on a low budget. Here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Make your own draft stoppers. Don’t let drafty doors be your downfall this winter, you can make your own draft stoppers and even get the family involved so you have one for every room.
- Insulate your loft. Lots of heat escapes through the the top of your house, use reflective foil insulation or foam insulation to stop this.
- Get cosy. Fluffy rugs and comfy blankets don’t just look nice, but they help to keep your home warm. Not only this, but heavier curtains will help to stop heat escaping in the evenings.
It may be worth looking into energy-saving appliances such as fridges and washing machines. These electronics are proven to use less energy and save money on your bills. However, these are not always the most immediately cost-friendly and could take some saving.
Some money-saving tactics you can do in the meantime include:
- Turning off your chargers at the plug when they’re not in use
- Switch of any devices on standby at the plug when not in use, e.g. TVs, laptops & gaming devices
- Turn your lights off whenever you leave a room
- This one might seem obvious, but air drying your laundry costs a lot less than using a tumble dryer
I’m sure everyone has their methods to keep warm in the winter. Whether it’s putting on three pairs of fluffy socks, cuddling up to a hot water bottle, or sipping hot drinks to keep your hands warm – we all have our ways. Some methods work, but some others are slightly more questionable.
One method that is said to help with insulating the house is putting clingfilm over your windows. If you aren’t able to get double glazing installed, try placing a layer of clingfilm over your window and see if it helps to keep in the heat.
A method that is slightly less credible is painting your radiators black. While some say this helps absorb heat and keep it in the room, others say the actual paint prevents the heat from escaping.
For more energy questions and hacks, take a look at MSE’s article on energy myth-busting.
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