Posted on 14 06 2021
8 Tips for Reducing Your Energy Bills This Winter
As the winter cold bites and grey rainy days become a regular occurrence, we spend more time indoors and find ourselves hitting the ‘on’ switches for heating, lighting, and drying appliances to help keep life cosy and comfortable.
Power usage is bound to go up during the cooler months, but by ensuring your home is optimised to be as warm and dry as possible, and with a few extra energy-saving hacks, it is possible to prevent a complete winter budget blowout.
- Smart heating
The cost of heating is a big one in winter, especially if your approach is to turn everything on all the time! While there are many heating options for your home, heat pumps are one of the safest and most cost-effective options available.
Regardless of whether you choose to use heat pumps or other types of heaters, there are a few tips that can help save you money:
- Only heat rooms you are using, and if you ‘pre-heat’ them, 10-15 minutes is plenty of time.
- Use timers and pre-set temperatures to achieve an optimal temperature – 18-21 degrees is a good guide, but this will vary depending on personal preference and location/climate.
- Avoid using ‘Auto’ settings which use lots of power, keeping heat pumps running to maintain a constant temperature.
- Close doors to help contain heat to the space you are trying to fill with warm air, especially when using smaller heaters.
- Ensure all heating appliances are well maintained – especially heat pumps – cleaning filters and other parts to ensure they operate efficiently.
If heat can easily escape a space, it will require more time and energy to heat, costing you more money, so effective insulation is crucial. Check obvious, low-cost insulation measures such as ensuring that window latches, gaps and door hinges are tight, unused chimneys are closed off, and gaps under doors are blocked.
When it comes to permanent insulation solutions, there are three key areas you should consider:
- Ceiling insulation - heat can travel up and escape through the roof cavity, so ceiling insulation acts as a barrier, preventing heat from escaping. It can also help protect your home from water build-up or damage caused by rain.
- Underfloor insulation - if your home has an underfloor sub-cavity, heat can move in and out and also cause damp within your home. Cracks in your floorboards allow heat to escape, and although thick rugs or carpet might seem like a fix, they won’t stand a chance against moisture issues and could even become a source of mould.
- Wall insulation - to prevent the most significant amount of heat loss, wall insulation should be installed around the exterior walls of your home, wrapping it like a blanket.
- Keep your home dry
Dry homes are faster and cheaper to heat, therefore it is important to reduce the amount of moisture created in your home, so you have a nice, dry space to warm, putting less demand on your appliances.
A dehumidifier is a good way of getting rid of damp and moisture in badly affected rooms, however, there are several low-cost ways to keep moisture down in the first place:
- Open your curtains during the day to let in warmth and light, open doors and windows to air out your home, and wipe away any condensation on windows or walls
- Avoid drying clothes indoors as this releases more dampness into the air
- Use extractor fans in kitchens and bathroom or open windows to release moisture created when cooking or showering
- Be smart with appliances
A super simple way to reduce power consumption is to make sure unused appliances are turned off at the wall, as many don’t switch off completely when you turn them off, using small amounts of energy even in standby mode.
- Energy-efficient lighting
With less daylight hours in winter, lights are kept on for longer in the morning and turned on earlier in the evening, using more electricity. Although LED bulbs are more expensive than standard incandescent ones, they are known to be up to 85% more energy-efficient, plus they work better to illuminate the rooms in your home.
The costs savings of changing a single lightbulb may seem insignificant at first, but when you add all the commonly-used lights in your home, the cost-savings start to stack up – with each bulb lasting longer and using less electricity.
- Actively Manage Your Power
To fully understand your energy spend and potential savings, it is essential to monitor your usage so you can see how applying the tips and tricks above will benefit your budget.
Some companies offer cheaper rates at night, or special times where rates are more affordable, so make sure you understand your plan and take advantage of any benefits, running power-hungry appliances at optimal times.
Get familiar with what is typical for your home and family, and look for any usage or spend outside of the normal, so you can refine your energy habits, make improvements to your home, and keep a cap on winter power costs for your family.
Greenside has a team of experts who can advise heat pumps, insulation, ventilation, and lighting, so get in touch with us today to see how we can help keep your home warm, dry, and energy efficient over winter.