How to save on your heating bill during lockdown 3.0
Posted by Tia Patel | 30-Dec-2020
The average household spends around £1,254 a year on heating and power, according to Ofgem, the industry regulator. That makes energy one of the biggest annual costs for UK families!
With us all staying at home this winter to protect against the spread of coronavirus, we’ve got 8 tips to save energy and reduce your bills so you can stay warm whilst saving money for post lockdown life:
1. Draught proofing - If there’s a more simple way to save energy, its draught proofing! Close your doors, close your windows, and plug up the gaps. There are a lot of ways to eliminate draughts, ranging from beautifully hand crafted draught excluders to the old stick-a-bunch-of-newspaper-in-the-gap method. A tip for finding draughts around windows and doors is to use a candle, if it flickers then there’s a draught coming through. Warm air escaping through gaps under doors and through floorboards can be easily prevented and will save you a lot of money.
2. Service your boiler - A yearly service is all about making sure everything is working properly, and picking up on any minor problems are picked up before they become big expensive issues.
3. Check your windows - Windows are one of the biggest offenders for losing the heat in a building, but for a lot of people they are a huge pain to do anything about.We all know the double or triple glazing is much better at keeping the heat in, but some people don’t have the option to upgrade to this. Either the cost is prohibitive or building regulations prevent it – this is particularly a problem for listed properties. Thick curtains with a thick lining are one of the main ways to protect your house from losing heat through the windows. It's important to open these throughout the day to allow sunlight to come into the house and naturally heat up the room.
4. Insulation - If you have unfilled cavity walls, an uninsulated loft, or a solid wall without any form of external/internal insulation, then you’re throwing money down the drain. No matter how much heat you’re pumping into the building through radiators or convection, if your home isn’t insulated then all it’s doing is escaping right through the walls. Loft insulation is the cheapest and easiest to install. It’s time to get out the ladder, pop up into the loft, and see what’s going on; even good insulation can always be topped up.
5. Close doors - We’ve all got memories of our parents yelling ‘Shut the door behind you! Keep the heat in!’ at every opportunity. Whilst we used to think our parents just wanted an opportunity to shout at us, its true closing the doors does prevent hot air escaping a room. Thus keeping us warming and saving a few pounds along the way.
6. Blankets and hot water bottles - There’s nothing more satisfying than settling down on a cold winter evening with a hot water bottle, glass of wine or cup of tea, blanket, and watching a netflix series or Christmas movie (that’s allowed now right?) When you turn the heating on, you’re paying to warm the entire building, heating up cubic metre upon cubic metre of cold air. That’s a lot of energy wasted! A hot water bottle, on the other hand, uses only the energy it takes to boil the kettle, and it focuses the heat on the most important thing – you! Use your hot water bottle to heat your bed before going to sleep or simply snuggle up to whilst on your sofa.
7. Radiators - With temperatures getting colder it’s a good time to do a bit of a health check on your radiators. Next time you have your heating on, check your radiators for cold spots and slow-to-heat units. When you bleed a radiator, all you’re doing is releasing trapped air but this allows for hot air to travel more effectively around the radiator.
You can also use tin foil to prevent unnecessary heat loss from radiators, particularly on those attached to external walls. Use heat reflective aluminium foil behind the radiator to prevent heat disappearing through the wall by reflecting it back into the room.
8. Open fireplaces and chimneys - Stop heat being lost up the chimney. It's now fairly common to have fireplaces that are merely decorative. If you're not using yours then you should consider a chimney balloon, made from a special laminate. It works by being placed inside the chimney hole, just out of sight. It's then inflated until it completely shuts out any incoming cold air or escaping heat. Just be sure not to start a fire without removing it.
With coronavirus lockdown 3.0 well underway, we hope you can use our money saving tips and tricks throughout the rest of winter and beyond - after all every penny counts!