How to reduce energy costs this winter
With temperatures plummeting, there’s one thing one everyone’s mind this winter – staying warm, without it costing the earth. We’ve put together our top tips to help you keep costs down this winter.
The Government offer some support with energy costs. Read our article to learn more about support available and check if you are eligible.
Adjust your thermostat, radiator, and boiler settings
A quick and easy adjustment you can make to save money is turning down the temperature on your thermostat. For each degree you cut the thermostat, expect to cut bills by around 4%.
The default flow temperature on combi boilers is often too high, so a simple temperature change will ensure you’re not heating your water to a higher temperature than you need to. The flow temperature is often set at a standard temperature of 75 degrees but can be lowered to between 50 and 60 degrees depending on how well insulated your home is and still be warm enough on a chilly day.
Changing the flow temperature on a combi boiler will not affect the temperature of the hot water from your taps and showers which should not be lower than 60-65 degrees as it must be hot enough to kill harmful bacteria like legionella, which can be deadly. There should be an option to change the flow temperature on the front of your combi boiler – usually indicated by a little tap icon. If you're not sure, check your boiler manual. For more information click here.
Use a ‘zonal’ heating technique, buy turning radiators off in rooms you’re not using the adjustable thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) on each radiator. Don’t forget to check and see of your radiators need bleeding to ensure your heating system works at optimum efficiency.
Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis has some extremely comprehensive guides on how to save energy in your home. Linked here.
Turn your devices off standby mode
According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save up to £55 a year, by turning off your electrical devices whilst they’re not in use.
Draught proof your home
Nobody likes a cold draught, but many don’t know that good draught-proofing can cut energy bills by up to 2%. There are lots of cheap and uncomplicated ways to do this:
- Check windows and doors for gaps and cracks in sealant, these small cracks can let in a lot of cold air. You can buy a cheap sealant for under £5 from any DIY shop.
- Cold air can find its way into your home through your chimney, invest in a chimney balloon to keep the cold at bay.
- Use a draught excluder under doors, especially in rooms you’ve heated. You can create a draught excluder from a towel, or a pair of tights stuffed with some old clothes.
Turn the lights off when you leave a room
Although it’s more convenient to leave your lights on as you move from room to room, it’s also costly. Turning lights off could save you around £20 a year.
Rethink how you wash your clothes
Wash your clothes at 30 degrees to save those pennies. Washing at 30 degrees does not kill all bacteria but is perfect for clothes which just need a freshen up. For towels, underwear, and sportswear, add a laundry sanitiser will ensure to kill germs whilst still keeping the cost down!
Avoid using the tumble drier
If you can, use clothes horses and position them near radiators whilst the heating it on to help dry clothes quickly. Reducing tumble drier usage can save you £55 a year.
The four-minute wash
Keep showers to four minutes and reduce the number of baths you have to save £65 a year. Swapping one bath a week for a four-minute shower could save you £14 a year.
Make sure to only fill the kettle with what you need and only run the dishwasher once it is completely full to save up to £20 a year.
Close doors to stop the heat escaping.
Keep all doors in your home closed, to stop heat escaping, especially in rooms you are heating and avoid going in and out of the room when you don’t need to, as this can cause heat to escape.
Use curtains to control the heat.
Keep your curtains open during the day to let heat in from the sun, but as soon as the sun starts to go down, close all curtains and blinds to stop the heat escaping through the windows. A glass front door can also let in the cold, you can put a thick thermal lined curtain up over your door to fend off the draught.
Please see a helpful list of resources below:
- Government website
- Citizens Advice Consumer Service
- Tel: 0808 223 1133
- Website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer
- NHS website
- Energy Saving Trust: An organisation providing online advice on saving energy.
- Age UK
- Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert