With one of the coldest winters predicted this year it's important to keep your energy costs down especially with how expensive electric and gas is these days. I have been looking at ways to reduce our electric and gas bills as I realised we were using a lot more than usual than our previous home so here are 12 ways to lower your energy bills this winter.
1. Switch energy suppliers
Just by switching energy suppliers earlier this year I managed to save an extra £20 a month. It's worth doing a little research and comparing prices from competitors online as you never know how much you may be able to save. Don't just go for the first supplier you find which is offering a cheaper deal, shop around until you find the perfect one.
2. Keep the heating on low
Instead of putting the heating on at different periods throughout the day resulting in taking longer to heat up keep it on low on colder days when you need it on and it will keep the whole house warmer for longer.
3. Close off any areas of the house that you don't use much
Close off any rooms that you don't use as often such as the utility room and conservatory as this means you won't have to keep those rooms warm when not in use. I also close all of the bedrooms doors upstairs as we have an open living room instead of a hallway leading upstairs so it can get quite cold downstairs if I don't close them. There's no point throwing away money to keep areas warm which you won't even be using.
4. Dress properly
Sounds pretty simple right, but more often than not people complain that they're cold but aren't dressed properly. Layer up and wear slippers to keep warm.
5. Insulate your windows, ceilings and roofs
If you haven't already, make sure you insulate your windows with good quality blinds or heavy curtains to keep the heat in and avoid heat loss through the windows. You could also put a thick plastic film around them to add an extra layer of insulation. Check your roofing and see whether it needs replacing or extra insulation added in. It's worth shopping around if you need any extra roofing supplies to get the best deals.
6. Use draught extractors
You can find many cheap ones on eBay or your local homeware store and they are great for keeping any draught out. I use them in the living room, porch and by the back door.
7. If you have a fire use it!
You can heat up your main living space by lighting the fire and not having to put the heating on at all although it may be rather chilly upstairs but if you don't use these rooms during the day then it's the perfect source of heating for you.
8. Use energy efficient appliances
If you don't already have energy efficient appliances such as fridges, washers or dryers if you're in need of new ones I'd highly suggest buy energy efficient ones instead. It is best to look for the product which has the best energy rating and also matches the size you require. Typically A++, A+ and A are mostly recommended if you're looking to save on your electricity.
9. Do your laundry at night
Check to see if your power company sells energy for lower rates at off-peak hours such as at night. If so then try doing your laundry at night to save a bit of money.
10. Replace light bulbs with low energy ones
If you don't already use low energy bulbs start using them!
11. Make use of blankets and throws
A nice warm blanket allows you to set the thermostat a couple of degrees lower at night. During the daytime instead of whipping up the heating as soon as it gets cold snuggle up on the sofa with a couple of throws and watch some films.
12. Unplug cables from the socket when they aren't in use
For example when your phone isn't charging unplug the cable, turn off the kettle and toaster as well as your laptop charger. I always unplug everything when I'm away for a few days or even when I'm at home and not using them.
13. Keep your oven open after cooking or baking in it
I don't do this when Amelia is in the kitchen but a quick way to heat up a room is to leave the oven door open after you've used it and let some of the heat into the house. You paid to heat up the oven you may as well use it!
14. Stick to 5 minute showers
Us mums are lucky to even get a 5 minute shower between changing bums and cleaning the mess but same goes for the rest of the house. If your partner or kids like having longer ones reduce them to 5 minutes to not only save money on water but heating water is expensive too! If yourself or a family member uses the gym or leisure centre regularly shower there to save money on hot water!
15. Use a small heater
A small space heater can warm the room you're in so there's no need to heat the whole house. They heat up really quickly and you can move it around the house. When I lived on my own I used this instead of turning the heating on to heat up my apartment and just left it in the room I was in. Even though they are electric, they are much more efficient at heating a single room than the whole house. Just be careful if you have young children.
Do you have any tips on how to reduce your energy bills this winter?
* This post is in collaboration with Ashbrook Roofing. For details on how I work with brands take a look at my work with me page.
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