With the world going through unprecedented times, everyone could use a little extra money. One of the easiest ways to save money is to ensure your home is as energy efficient as it can be through the coldest months of the year. Below we look into a few things you can do to achieve this.
Our 8 easy tips to help you reduce your energy bills this winter
With winter just around the corner, it might be a good idea to start thinking about how to lower your energy bills with the promise of higher energy bills becoming more imminent. Whether for your home or business reducing your energy costs will save you money and there is no better time to make a difference than the winter season. All it takes is a few good habits and a little foresight that will help you minimize the amount of energy you use. While other changes can be daunting some are very simple and effective, below are tips that will help you cut down your energy costs this winter.
Choose energy efficient appliances
Perhaps the most important change you can make is to switch to energy efficient appliances. When buying new appliances you should consider buying the ones with energy-efficient versions though they are a bit costly. The extra cost will translate into a great deal of you saving on energy over the years.
A new way of heating the home is emerging around the UK in the form of air source heat pumps, these super efficient heaters are up to 4x more efficient than a standard gas boiler, they also run on renewable energy. They can be used to provide hot water, underfloor heating among many other uses. Although they are quite costly, these costs can quickly be offset with the help of Government grants and funding via the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).
Other appliances you should consider especially in winter as it gets darker earlier are energy efficient LED light bulbs. The savings here will add up and surely make a difference to your energy bills every month.
Install a smart programmable thermostat
To help you reduce your energy bill in the winter is a smart programmable thermostat that allows you to set temperatures for certain times of the day. This device automatically adjusts itself thus regulating the heat around your house, it lets you customize your heating schedule and it offers you more energy-saving options. Also, it allows you to control your heating system from anywhere with your smartphone thus very convenient and safe to use even if you are not home. This device will help you achieve lower energy bills and is efficient as well as an easy way to cut down your energy bills.
Draught proof your home
Holes, cracks and gaps result in a reasonable amount of heat loss. To start your energy-saving mission you should start by filling your doors, corners, walls and windows. Any cold current coming in through any of these gaps means that you are losing heat which is equivalent to money. Draught proofing should be done before any other energy saving measure as this will only increase the effectiveness of anything else you do. You can install storm windows either on the inside or the outside of the window, seal tightly the window frames either by using heavy-duty plastic sheets. To allow sufficient heat flow do not block the air vents as they allow warm air to circulate inside your house.
Don't leave appliances on standby
During winter you will spend more time indoors, more so during the COVID19 lockdowns, and this means that you will be using multiple electrical devices such as the laptop, phone charger, television and even gaming consoles. These electronics still use power even if they do appear turned off and when not using them it is better to turn them off. Appliances leech power even when not turned on and for the ones that are rarely used it is a good idea to unplug them from the power socket. We are sometimes forgetful and we can forget to turn them off thus the need to use smart power strips. These are energy-saving devices that automatically cut down the use of electricity when they are not being used.
Lower your water heating costs
During autumn and winter the temperatures outside cool down and this tempts people to take long hot showers to warm up their bodies. You can still spend all the time in the hot shower while saving energy by only lowering your water heating temperature. This can help reduce the heat lost through the water heater. Air source heat pumps can also benefit you here as they heat water much more efficiently than a standard gas boiler.
Make your fireplace more efficient
Fireplaces are still used to warm houses and to start saving on energy it is important to find the best location to set it up. There are various ways through which you can make your fireplace more efficient and allow the heat to circulate to the entire house such as a blower assembly. Draught proofing would also help here to retain more heat within your home.
Reverse your fan
Most people do not know this but ceiling fans can help you to save energy during winter only if you set them the right way. Ceiling fans are mostly used to cool houses in the summer but they can also be used to keep the same houses warm. What is required of you is to change the direction of airflow to clockwise and make it run on the lowest mode. The warm air will be forced down and this will make the room feel more comfortable and you can lower your thermostat to use less energy.
Maximise on natural light
During the day, open the curtains and blinds to allow sunlight into your home which will help raise the temperature inside your house. At night or when it starts getting darker close the blinds and curtains earlier to help retain the heat that had been absorbed during the day. This tip is free and easy that can be done by anybody, when combined with other energy-saving tips it will save you a great deal of money. By maximizing renewable energy it means that we will use energy while being environmentally conscious, also you can install solar panels and use them to help lower the carbon print.
The above are only a small fraction of the numerous tips that you can use to help you lower energy bills. The good thing is that you can combine and use them all together and thus it will benefit you as well as help keep the planet greener. Our main recommendation is to move towards air source heat pumps, the UK Government has already made steps to ensure that new built homes will have them installed replacing gas boilers as a standard heating measure due to their high levels of efficiency. There really is no better time to switch to ASHP than right now with the amount of funding currently available, which may not be around forever.