Blog Post Thursday 01 August 2019
Winter is here and let’s face it - there’s no escaping it or the need to produce some extra warmth in the home. During the winter season, heating appliances, hot showers, electric blankets and entertainment units are more frequently used, and energy costs generally increase along with this. While it makes no sense to forgo the extra heat in order to save on power bills, there are ways that you can make energy-smart choices to reduce the effect the winter weather has on your wallet.
You don’t have to make sacrifices in order to save money this winter. Below are some helpful tips to help keep the costs down during winter while effectively heating your home.
1. Layer up
Longer periods of time indoors can mean the home’s heating appliances are used more often. One way to counteract having to crank the heating up is by simply putting on more layers of clothing. Start by putting on warm socks, a thermal sleeved top and pants followed by a jumper and warm track pants. Warming your core is the most important way to keep yourself warm. To bundle up more, put on a beanie to keep your head warm and cover yourself with a blanket while you’re indoors as you watch TV or read a book.
2. Shut curtains and blinds
Shutting the blinds and curtains as soon as the sun begins to set is a simple way to keep some of that warmth inside. During the day, make the most of any winter sunshine by leaving blinds open to warm up the home.
3. Seal windows and doors
Windows and gaps around doors can let up to 40% of your home's warmth out. Invest in door seals, draft-proofing strips and door snakes to stop heat from escaping through open drafts. Pay attention to windows and doors and consider using rolled up pieces of newspaper to act as a temporary seal if you’re on a tight budget. You can also use rolled-up towels along the bottom of doors and windows to prevent cool air from coming in.
4. Only heat the areas you need
Heating the whole house can be costly - and unnecessary. Keep the heat to areas that you are using, such as the family living room. If you really need the heat in other rooms such as the bedroom, try using a small portable heater. It will heat the room but cost far less than using your central heating system. As soon as you leave your room or space you’re occupying, be sure to switch off your heating appliance and close the doors of unused rooms to keep the heat centralized.
5. Utilize the kitchen oven
An easy and efficient heat-saving hack is to leave your oven door open after baking. Once you’ve removed your roast or batch of cookies, turn off your oven and keep the door open to let the heat escape and warm up the room. Since the oven is off, you won’t be using any energy and utilizing that heat means the furnace can run a little bit less.
6. Keep showers short
Hot water accounts for about a third of your energy bills. Keep the cost down by timing your showers to 5-10 minutes and try to refrain from cranking the hot water tap all the way up. Staying in the shower as you towel dry will keep you warm and means you can avoid turning on the heater.
7. Find alternative methods of heating
There are ways to keep warm which don’t involve high energy use. One of these methods seems traditional, but still holds its place in the modern era; hot water bottles. These classic winter warmers do an excellent job at heating up beds as an alternative to electric blankets. You can also use one while you’re just sitting at home relaxing or working. Other clever ways to heat up is by purchasing some hand warmers or even gloves to wear to keep your hands warm. Hot drinks such as a classic hot chocolate is also an excellent way to warm up the hands and your insides on a chilly night.
8. Program your central heating
You can save money this winter by programming your thermostat between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. Every degree that you can lower on your heating appliance can save you up to 10% on your energy use. Make sure that you set the timer to heat the home at only the hours you need it, and then turn off overnight and when you leave the home. If your central heating system doesn’t have a thermostat, you can use a room thermometer to keep your home at the perfect temperature range.
9. Invest in energy efficient appliances
It’s best to use energy-efficient appliances that use less energy and cost less money in the long-run. By choosing an energy efficient heater that’s right for the size of your room, it will help you to avoid paying for energy you don’t need. While heating during winter is an obvious energy void, lighting can also end up costing you more than you bargained for. Since the winter daylight hours are shorter, you may find you’re switching on lights earlier in the day than during the summer months. To avoid a hefty power bill, try switching all your lightbulbs to energy-saving LED bulbs. These bulbs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours and also uses much less electricity than other lightbulbs.
10. Switch off appliances at the wall
With the colder months bringing us into hibernation mode, our TVs and Playstations are bound to get a workout. But did you know that home entertainment systems and gadgets such as gaming consoles use up to 10% of power while on standby? You may not realise it, but standby mode still uses up a considerable amount of power and may give you a nasty surprise when you receive your power bill. The best way to save electricity this winter is by switching appliances off at the wall when you’re not using them.
Revisit your energy plan
The best way to save on your winter energy costs this year is by visiting your current energy plan. Have a look if you can aim to reduce your usage, and if your bill is still high even after making the above adjustments it may be time to shop around. Contact Click Energy to find a better energy plan and let our expert team find a way to keep those winter energy costs down!