Energy saving tips for winter
As the days grow colder and the nights get longer, are you ready for winter? Energy use in Britain shoots up over the colder months and it’s no surprise – our gas central heating systems are often the one thing that keep us warm in our aging, poorly insulated homes.
Many people are still working from home and the ongoing energy crisis means that costs are higher - so this winter, it makes sense to do what you can to reduce the amount of gas you’re using to heat your home. Every bit of energy you save helps both the climate and your bank balance.
Here are our top energy saving tips to cut your bills and stay warm this winter. Many of the big savers are quick and simple for you to do and are often free.
Fine tune your heating
You can save up to £80 a year by turning your heating down by just 1°C – and you probably won’t even notice the difference.
Make sure your heating is off when you’re not at home. Set your heating timer to turn off an hour before you leave in the morning – your home will stay warm until you leave and you’ll save an hour a day of heating.
Similarly, set it to turn off an hour before bedtime – that’s another hour saved every day, seven days a week for 30 weeks of the year that means you could save 350 hours worth of heating energy.
If you don’t already have them, consider installing modern heating controls to help you increase the efficiency of your heating.
Make sure your boiler is serviced regularly, so it’s operating efficiently and reliably.
If you’ve got an immersion heater for your water, check if it’s not heating the water to too high a temperature and that any timers are set appropriately for your needs.
Let’s talk about radiators
Turn off radiators in rooms you don’t use. Alternatively, use thermostatic valves to set specific radiators to switch off at lower temperatures than your main thermostat. For example, bedrooms can be set to a much cooler temperature than the living room.
Bleed your radiators to make sure you’re getting the full amount of heat possible. If a radiator is colder at the top than the bottom, there’s air trapped inside which needs bleeding – here’s how to do it.
Fit a shelf above a radiator to direct warm air into the room. Place foil behind radiators on exterior walls to reduce the heat loss to outside.
Keep your internal doors closed so your radiators are heating individual rooms, rather than your entire home.
Insulation, insulation, insulation
Start by insulating yourself – winter is a time for extra layers and there’s nothing like a warm jumper to help you stay cosy.
Insulate your walls – it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to save energy around the home.
Check that your loft is properly insulated. As heat rises, this is a must-have in your insulation toolbox.
Close your curtains just before it gets dark to reduce heat loss through the glass. The heavier and thicker the better, particularly if you don’t have double glazing.
Fit draught-proofing to your windows – even the cheap self-adhesive kind will help block out draughts and help keep you warm. For doors, think about an old-fashioned draught excluder (you could even make one). And don’t forget any bare floorboards and your chimney if you have them.
Got a hot water tank? Make sure it’s wearing an insulating jacket - the water will heat up quicker and stay hot for much longer.
In the kitchen
If you cook with gas, small changes can save you money. Boil water in a kettle first and use a lid to retain more heat. The gas can then be turned down to get the same effect.
Don’t open the oven too soon - you’ll let out hot air and waste energy. If you can, take a look through the oven door instead and see if your food looks ready.
A steamer will allow you to cook a tower of veg using just one ring whilst a slow cooker can save energy compared to using a conventional oven and means you come home to the smell of freshly cooked food.
Save money on energy and ingredients by batch cooking – preparing a few meals at the same time and freezing them means you’ll need to use the stove or the oven less, and you’ll save yourself time too!
Using a bowl when washing up instead of keeping the hot tap running could save you up to £25 a year.
Use a microwave to heat up small amounts of food instead of the oven or hob.
What to do if you're struggling
There are lots of ways we can help if you ever have trouble paying your energy bills. The best thing to do is to get in touch with us as early as you can – we’re always really happy to help. We’ll discuss your options, and we’ll do everything we can to make paying your bill as easy as possible for you.
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