In the winter, most households need to use more energy. Read these 10 household hacks and start saving money on your bills today.
From heating your home and drying damp clothes, to cranking up the electric blanket and cooking warming wintry meals, the cost of battling the winter freeze can soon add up. To help you cut these rising costs, we’re highlighting 10 household hacks that will help reduce your bills during the colder months.
Embrace zone heating
How many areas in the house do you and your family actually use when it’s cold? We’re guessing you probably flock to one area at a time in a bid to stay warm and cosy. As a concept, zone heating means you only heat the areas of the house where you spend the most time, while unoccupied rooms are kept unheated and sealed off from the rest of the house.
Use a programmable thermostat
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, this winter might be the time to install one. The Energy Saving Trust insist that heating accounts for around 60% of your total annual energy bill. This means having the ability to heat your house to a comfortable level for just the hours you’re at home can help save a fortune. Today, smart thermostats managed from your smartphone offer even greater control.
Pack your fridge and freezer tightly
An empty fridge or freezer costs more to run. This is because a packed fridge or freezer releases less cold air when the door opens, which means it doesn’t have to work as hard re-cooling the interior when you close the door again. If you haven’t got the money to spend on filling your fridge or freezer with food, bottles of water or bags of ice offer a cost-effective alternative.
Beware of vampire devices
Vampire devices get their name because they draw considerable amounts of electrical current from the mains even though they are in standby mode. And, there’s probably a lot more of them than you think. For example, a set-top box might be switched off, but still draws power when downloading shows, while printers suck up a lot of energy just waiting to be used. The only way to be sure of killing these device’s power stealing ways is to unplug them completely from the mains.
When faced with a constant barrage of grey and dreary days it can be tempting to keep your curtains or blinds constantly drawn. However, if you’re lucky enough to have south facing windows, pulling back the curtains and exposing your interior to direct sunlight can help heat a room. For the best results, open your curtains at the time of day your windows are in direct contact with sunlight, then close them straight after to retain the heat.
Find and fight draughts
The Energy Saving Trust estimate that draught-proofing your windows and doors can save up to £35 per year. To protect your home from winter chills, look for all the gaps that let cold air in and warm air out, then plug them up. To be extra thorough, you can even draught-proof your chimney by installing a specially designed flue blocker.
Keep your oven door open
You’ve just baked a casserole. After taking it out of the oven, what do you usually do next? If you close the door, you’re trapping a lot of potential heat that could be put to better use. By leaving the oven door slightly ajar after you’ve finished cooking, you’ll allow the accumulated hot air to escape and disperse, increasing the temperature in the surrounding room by a welcome degree or two.
Air dry your clothes
During the winter, when it’s too wet to hang your clothes outside, you’ve probably been tempted to dry them on your radiators. Unfortunately, this causes the boiler to work harder than it needs to, costing you more money. The good news is that air drying is possible, even in winter, by simply putting your clothes on a drying rack and placing it under a slightly opened window. As a bonus, hanging clothes on a rack means fewer wrinkles and less ironing.
Free your radiator
42% of UK homes have furniture blocking at least one radiator, according to The Energy Saving Trust. If you’ve got a bed or sofa propped against a radiator, it will conduct most of the heat, which means it will take a lot longer to warm up the room. If a space is at a premium in your house, even moving furniture just a few inches from the radiator can make a massive difference.
Maintaining your appliances
In a recent blog, we explored the reasons why faulty appliances can lead to sky-high energy bills. In short, faulty wiring, broken sensors, clogged exhausts, broken seals and defective thermostats are just a handful of white good-related problems that can cause your energy bills to soar. For this reason, keeping your appliances maintained and in good working order can help save you a considerable amount of money in the long-term.
If you’re based in London, Middlesex or the Home Counties, Capital Repairs can help keep your household appliance in good working order. From small one-off jobs to regular call-outs, we’re a family-run business with over 35 years of experience and a wealth of expertise. To benefit from our fixed-price repairs, call us on 0208 226 5377 today.