Saving energy during the long winter months is typically viewed as an almost impossible task, but some mighty cost-effective solutions are closer than you may think.
After all, December and January represent particularly demanding months don’t they?
With Christmas and all its energy-consuming festivities to negotiate, not to mention combating polar conditions through to spring, it’s not uncommon to receive higher than usual energy bills - but that need not be the case.
First of all, it’s imperative to find out exactly how your house is consuming energy. This will naturally differ from home to home, but there are of course those notorious common drains that you should tackle.
After running your energy audit, it’s important to identify common heat-loss zones in your home. Ultimately, winter energy bills will scale out of control if you hurriedly reach for the thermostat every time it feels slightly chilly. If your home doesn’t heat quickly, you’re more than likely suffering from several draught spots or air leaks. These include, but aren’t limited to...
One of the most common techniques to determine whether you have an air leak is by lighting a candle and holding it beside a window pane or baseboard to see if the flame quivers. If it does, it’s time to take action.
There are many measures individuals can take to successfully prevent heat hastily escaping from the home. They range from inexpensive to rather pricey, but starting with more economical measures first is the best way to go.
You’ll soon find that combating heat loss isn’t as daunting as first imagined. Your local DIY superstore is teeming with many cost-effective heat retaining solutions to begin with. These include but aren’t limited to:
It’s all about stopping draughts at the point of source. That means applying door sweeps to garage doors, strips of sealant alongside window panes and re-layering your attic or basement in sheep wool insulation.
More expensive heat retention measures include:
The buck doesn’t stop with heat retention measures. You may need to replace inefficient appliances too.
Fact: behind central heating, fridge-freezers contribute the most towards your energy bills. So if yours are looking a little steep, you may want to think about upgrading your unit for a more modern, more efficient model.
When shopping around for new tumble dryers, washing machines and dishwashers, keep on the look-out for energy-efficient products which can help lower your bills. Additionally, you can shop around and review tariffs from all UK gas and electricity suppliers on Gocompare.com.
It’s also a common misconception that all thermostats are programmable. It’s time to get familiar with smart thermostats that allow individuals to regulate home temperatures based on the time of day, but crucially from remote locations too.
Being able to turn on your heating remotely before you set off home from work, instead of having to pre-program it to a set time, is the most efficient way to come home to a cosy house.
Smart thermostats are a fantastic tool for serious energy savers to reduce bills, also giving up-to-date energy consumption statistics in real time.
Check out these other energy-saving tips from Gocompare.com and see if you can take control of your energy consumption.
Low-flow shower heads – These regulate water flow with bubbled air reducing the amount of water used per shower. Using less hot water means having to heat less water, and will also have an impact on your water bills if you're on a meter.
Reverse ceiling fan direction – Most ceiling fans should be switched to rotate clockwise during winter months. This is designed to circulate warm air from the ceiling around the room.
Water tank blankets – Increase your water tank insulation by purchasing a purpose-built blanket. Easy to apply, these help prevent heat escaping to the surrounding air.
Pipe sleeves – They ensure that heat can’t escape easily from pipes that run through unheated sections of the home – like the basement.
Curtain magnets – Cheap to purchase and easy to affix, these will hold drawn curtains together to stop draughts from creeping between them.
LED spotlights – Boasting extremely long lifespans that trump energy-saving bulbs, these also come in a range of different sizes and shapes meaning they’re easy to slot into your existing fixtures.
Air dry – This won’t be suitable all year round but during the summer, air dry your clothes and temporarily abandon tumble dryer use.
Use cooking heat – After you finish cooking, open the oven door and let the heat escape into the room… maybe not if you’ve just cooked fish though.
There are many different ways to save energy. It could be worth shelling out a bit more to reap the rewards in the long term, but there are also plenty of low-cost solutions that can make a large impact, so try a few today!