Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Don't let your heating bills get you down
Once winter has set in the seemingly unstoppable rise of our heating bill becomes a harsh reality. Of course we do what we can, we put on another jumper and wear thermal underwear, but British winters can bite hard, and often such small measures are mere drops in an icy ocean. But we mustn't allow heating bills to get us down, let's do what we can to drive down costs whilst keeping nice and warm.
Cheap, easy fixes
There are plenty of simple, easy measures we can take that will make a positive difference to our bills. Start off by turning down the heating thermostat at home. It is estimated that savings of up to three per cent can be achieved with each degree it is lowered. Small adjustments to the ambient temperature will be unnoticeable, so this is a great way to start off the savings. If the house is empty during the day whilst residents are at work, turn down the heating, and by doing the same at night when everyone is asleep, cost savings can really build.
Other easy, cost free tips to try include minimising the use of kitchen and bathroom extractor fans. Not only do they eat power, they rapidly push warm air out of the house. If there are rooms that don't get used, switch off the heating in there to save money. Old, unused fireplaces can look attractive but they are terrible for sucking out warm air and sending it up the chimney. Install a chimney balloon to insulate the chimney and keep precious heat in the room.
Doors and windows
These are one of the problem areas for heat loss and the more that can be done to insulate and minimise draughts, the lower the heating bill will be. Of course, doors and windows need to be opened, but when they are closed, they should be airtight. Invest in insulating solutions like expanding foam and draught excluder strips to keep out the cold air. Older houses can be hard to insulate and really benefit from shutters to give an extra thick layer of protection. Not only do wooden shutters help keep the temperature up, they give extra privacy and security whilst looking stylish. Fitting made to measure solid shutters on awkward shaped, draughty windows can really change cold spots in the house to places of warmth and comfort.
Other bill bashing tips
Be proactive about finding the best energy supplier. There are better deals out there but it is not in the energy company's interests for them to be easy to find or understand. Gone are the days when we used to stick with one energy supplier forever, now we can shop around, negotiate and play suppliers off against each other. Sometimes it's possible to find deals which lock in to a competitive tariff for a couple of years – this type of offer can be very attractive as it gives protection from imminent price hikes.