Even if you have a fair income, getting new energy bills can make a severe dent in your finances. However, the good news is there are ways to take the stress out of your energy bills by saving energy around your house.
Having gaps in your windows, doors and floors could mean that it is letting warm air out and cold air in. So try installing draught excluders on your windows and doors. Floors have any cracks and gaps, are also capable of heat loss, so check your floors thoroughly and consider having any breaks sealed with a silicone-based sealant. Watch out for other areas that can let in cold air too, such as letterboxes, keyholes cat flaps. Meantime, if your windows aren’t double glazed it’s a good idea to stop air coming by closing your blinds, curtains or shutters as soon as it starts to get dark – but keep them open during the day, as the sun can help your room stay warm.
Try not to leave electrical devices such as mobile phone chargers, TVs, DVD players, set boxes and other appliances on standby. If they’re on standby, they are still on – which means they’re spending money and losing energy. Alternatively, switch them off entirely or even unplug them. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save around £30 a year just by avoiding using your devices’ standby mode.
You can see significant changes in your energy savings if your home is well insulated. Experts believe homes that don’t have the proper insulation can lose around a quarter of the heat straight through a roof. You can lower your energy bills as well as keeping a warm home environment by having insulation on your cavity walls, your solid walls, your roof and also under your floorboards. You also want to think about the type of hot water system you have at home as you might also want to insulate your hot water tank and pipes, as this could help keep your water warmer for longer. A lagging jacket for your hot water tank/boiler should pay for itself within a year, plus you can get some fairly inexpensive foam tubes that cover the pipes between your tank and your boiler.
You could save around £75 a year by installing a room thermostat, timer and thermostatic radiator valves and using them efficiently. You can schedule the timer to turn your heating on before you come home or before you get up, which saves more energy compared with turning your thermostat on to warm your house up quickly. Individual thermostat valves on your radiators can also give you control over which rooms you want to heat and what temperature you want to heat them to. Smart heating controls are also worth considering. Such as mobile apps which can help you control your heating remotely, so you can turn your heating on or off even when you’re not at home.
Decreasing your room temperature by just 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10%. You may also want to consider turning the thermostat on your hot water tank down to around 60ºC as it could save on water and electricity. You won’t need too much cold water to make the temperature of your shower or bath nice and warm.
Another quick and easy money saving tip is to replace your current light bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs instead. They may be an investment however, energy-saving bulbs can last much longer than non-energy-saving ones. Most of them have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours which means if you used them for roughly 12 hours a day, they would last more than 11 years. LED bulbs also use much less electricity than other bulbs. Another tip would be to try and turn off your lights when you’re not using them.
Good quality laundry detergents tend to work effectively at 30ºC or even lower. Using a tumble dryer may be a requirement during the winter months as airing your clothes outdoors isn’t always possible. Try to save on drying time by straining your clothes out before putting them into the dryer. You may also want to consider using dryer balls, which work by lifting and separating your clothes when it’s drying, decreasing drying time by up to 25%. By ensuring your washing machine is fully loaded each time you use it can also help save both electricity and water. You can also apply the same methods to your tumble dryer and dishwasher. Likewise, only fill your kettle with as much water as you need.
We suggest you have your boiler serviced every year by a qualified engineer to make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible. If you have an old boiler, it may be worth replacing it with a more up to date energy efficient boiler that could save you money in the long run and keep your home warmer. You may also be able to save money by switching to a new energy supplier. You can compare rates from utility companies and switch to a cheaper option all within the Youtility app.