As I write this, the heating is cranked up and the blistering snow is hitting against the windows. If you’re in a similar situation, you’re probably getting a bit antsy about next month’s heating bill. Well, I’m here to help settle your worries. I’ve picked out a collection of useful tips and tricks to help you spend less on energy each day.
The money you spend on heating your house is easily the most expensive part of your energy bill, especially during the colder months. Thankfully, you can still save money on heating whilst staying warm and toasty.
The first option is to rethink how you heat your house. The reason we have many radiators in our homes is because it’s easier to heat rooms separately than it is to heat the house all at once. So, in this case, it makes sense to switch off the heating in rooms you aren’t using, or at least turn the heating down slightly in these rooms.
Once you’ve done that, make sure that you keep the doors and windows closed in the rooms that are currently occupied. This makes it more difficult for the heat to escape. Also, if you are lucky enough to have a working fireplace, take advantage of it to save even more money.
Already warm and toasty? Great! But why not consider turning down the heat a notch. A drop by 1 degrees may hardly be noticed but, it could save you considerably. Here’s a study that suggests the average savings in this case would be £75.
Finally, make sure you’ve got the most optimal insulation setup for your home. It can often be a big investment, but it can save you lots of money in the long term.
Cheaper energy in the kitchen and bathroom
If food is the way to a person’s heart, then the kitchen is the heart of the house. And, just like a real heart, it’s a hotspot for heat and energy. Let’s take a look at some methods you can use everyday to spend less on energy in the kitchen.
Whether you’re boiling water, washing plates, or using the kettle, try to only use the water you need. If you are heating up water that you’re not using, it’s energy that’s being wasted and over time the costs for this can add up.
Defrost your fridge and freezer. It may be surprising, but all that ice buildup in your freezer doesn’t help with energy costs. In fact, that ice makes it harder for the freezer to do its job properly, which results in more energy being consumed. Defrosting your freezer regularly won’t make a massive difference to your energy costs each day, but it’s a small change that will bring savings that add up over time. In this same vein, consider defrosting any frozen food in the fridge instead of the microwave - it’ll use less energy.
Plan your meals together. In an age where everybody is in and out of the house, busy with work or school, it can be difficult to get everybody sitting at the table together. This may mean that people are eating at different times or they may have their own plans for their meals. Try to communicate with your family to make a plan on when food gets cooked. It can help to save a lot of energy if the oven is used less often.
Finally, when you are in the bathroom, you can save by using the shower instead of a bath, and limiting the time you’re actually in the shower. You may have noticed a common trend - the most expensive energy cost involves heating, so if you can limit the usage of hot water everywhere in the house, you’ll spend considerably less.
Cheaper energy in the living room
Try to use less lighting when you are able. Use less powerful lights or buy a dimmer switch to limit the energy a light bulb uses. Keep in mind, you’ll save more by going for a lower watt LED bulb than you will by using a dimmer switch on a traditional incandescent bulb.
Switch off electronics at the plug. Try to keep on top of when electronics are being used and switch off their chargers or power at the wall when they aren’t being used. When an idle PC, laptop, or phone is plugged into the wall, it won’t draw that much energy, but if you have multiple electronics plugged in through the house your energy usage will consistently trickle upwards. If you struggle to keep on top of things like this, you could consider purchasing smart plugs - these will let you monitor and manage your energy usage via a handy smartphone app.