Spend less in winter with these great tips
4 July, 2018 - 03:41 PM GMT

Spend less in winter with these great tips

In the thick of winter, it’s easy to forget just how much extra heat can impact our bills during the colder months of the year. These practical tips and tricks will help you avoid a power bill surge.

Monitor and reduce heating wherever possible
Did you know almost 40% of household energy use relates to heating during winter? Try to buy the most energy efficient heater you can afford (the more stars it has the better it will be) and only use it in the rooms that you are in.

Try to turn the heater off once the room has warmed up rather than keeping it running for the entire time that you’re at home. If you have central heating or a thermostat then aim to keep it at 18-20C rather than overheating as the cost rises around 10% for every extra degree past this. Most importantly, don’t forget to turn off your heating before you leave the house for safety and to save! 

Consider alternatives to heating
Electric blankets are a great way to keep warm but make sure to turn them off before you fall asleep. Go old school and use a hot water bottle to warm up your bed or couch. Also try putting warm layers and blankets on to keep warm without using any electricity. You could also use your oven for some extra heat once you’re done cooking by leaving the oven door open and letting the warm air circulate around the room.

Cut down shower time
It might be tempting to stay in the shower for longer in winter but hot water accounts for around a third of the average household’s energy use. The average person spends eight minutes in the shower so consider cutting this down by half. You could also install a water-efficient showerhead, which can reduce your hot water usage by up to 72%.

Only use what you need
Get into the habit of washing clothes in cold water and waiting until you have a full load before turning on the washing machine. Avoid using the dryer unless it is absolutely necessary and opt for an air dry. When filling up your kettle to get your coffee or tea fix, only fill it with as much water as you need each time rather than filling it all the way to the top. The more water you have to boil, the more energy is used and the higher the bill rises. Alternatively, use the left-over water for another purpose such as making jelly or making herbal tea to put it in the fridge to enjoy later as home-made iced tea.

Use natural sunlight and seal gaps
Maximise the sunlight that comes into your home each day. Open up curtains and blinds and let the sun in during the day, especially for north-facing windows. Make sure to seal up any holes in walls or foundations, keep doors and windows closed when the heater is on and stop drafts from coming in under the door by using a draft stopper.

Consider gas ducted heating
Gas ducted heating systems will improve your heating efficiency and is also cost effective. It’s cheaper to run when compared to reverse cycle heating and allows flexible zoning options. With low CO2 emissions, it’s also great for the environment.

Dust and de-clutter
Regularly dust and vacuum your radiators, vents and heaters to stop dust from accumulating. Why? Dust can keep heat from reaching rooms where you need it and reduce the effectiveness of your heater. Blocking heating vents and heaters can also prevent the heat from circulating around the room efficiently so see if there are any rugs or furniture that can be moved out of the way.

Get professional maintenance
Its easy to delay or forget about household maintenance but winter is a great time to address any issues. Do you have a leaky roof? Is your home well insulated? Identifying and solving these issues means less opportunity for heat to leave the house, which means you’ll stay warm and lower your energy waste.