You may have noticed the temperature dropping off down to the mid-teens (cue the fluffy socks, hot chocolates, cosy jumpers and Netflix marathons).
While the Autumn & Winter months bring us the little pleasures, like changing leaf colours, pumpkin spice lattes, scented candles and Saturday nights in watching X Factor, it can often mean us thinking about turning on the heating. While your energy spend may not benefit from this, we have some hints and tips to ensure you keep your spend down, and the ‘Cosy Feels’ up.
1. With the evenings getting darker, you’ll be having your lights on way more regularly. An energy saving light bulb uses 75% less energy than a traditional light bulb and it can last up to four years.
2. Dark long nights call for nights cuddled up on the sofa watching TV. You can save around £30 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances, such as your TV & game consoles off completely instead of putting them on standby mode.
3. Do you find yourself on your phone more throughout the colder months? A whopping 95% of the energy used by mobile phone chargers is wasted once the phone is fully charged and left plugged in. Remember to unplug once fully charged!
4. Chilly mornings call for lovely warm showers, however remember the longer your shower, the higher your energy bill will be. Spending one minute less in the shower each day will save around £10 on your energy bills each year, per person.
5. Throughout the colder months, you’ll want to get the most out of your heating for what you’re spending on it. Setting your thermostat to work around you will save you money and be more convenient. You can program it to come on before you wake up and back on again when you get back home in the evening, so you’re not spending a small fortune having it on all day, every day.
6. 18 is the magic number. With the thermostat at 18˚C the average person should be warm enough in a jumper. If that feels too cold, try bringing it down in stages, starting at a comfortable temperature and going down by one degree each week to give yourself time to adjust. Putting the heating on a higher temperature won’t heat your home up any faster and will end up making it too warm. The ‘Energy Saving Trust’ states that even turning down your thermostat by one degree can save between £85 & £90 a year! Also be sure to turn off radiators in the rooms you aren’t using!
7. To get the most out of your radiators, put foil or a Radiator Reflector behind them, it will help prevent the heat from being lost by reflecting the heat back into the room. This will save you on your heating costs as well as making your heating more efficient.
8. Be sure to keep your gutters clear, fallen leaves and moss will make your drainpipes prone to blockages. This can lead to water overflowing and running down your walls causing damp inside your home. This is especially hard to treat in the colder weather.
10. The average household uses their TV nearly double the amount over the colder months. Plasma TV’s guzzle 658 kWh per year, compared to LED TVs, which are more energy efficient. These cost the average household £98 per year in energy costs. If you have a plasma TV, follow these helpful tips to keep the running costs down:
- Turn it off by the wall rather than leaving it on stand-by, it’ll save you £35 per year
- Make sure the brightness of the screen isn’t set too high, they are typically set brighter than necessary as standard
- Try to avoid listening to the radio through your TV – it uses far more energy than a radio.
- If your TV offers an energy saving mode, be sure to take advantage
11. Hot drinks during the colder months are great for keeping warm and cosy! However, did you know electric kettles are one of the biggest energy suckers, especially as they get used so often. The average UK household flips the switch on their kettle 1,500 times a year! Boiling an average 3kWh kettle for 10 minutes per day will cost around £27 per year. If you only boil as much water as you need, you will significantly reduce these costs.
12. Tumble dryers are relied on heavily over winter. They need a lot of energy to run and can cost between £70 - £100 a year depending on the size of your household. Ensure you clean the lint filter regularly. A blocked filter will prevent the hot air from circulating freely, so your clothes will take longer to dry.
To avoid using it in the winter, simply hang your washing on a clothes horse and pop it near a radiator to make the most of your central heating. Be sure to leave the doors open to avoid causing damp and condensation.
13. Have you taken a look at your windows and doors lately. You may notice tiny gaps and cracks allowing cold air to get into your home. This isn’t ideal in the colder months, especially when your heating is on, as the hot air will leak out. Getting window & door draught excluder tape will make a surprising difference, and remember it won’t ne permanent fixture!
After completing these to-do’s, sit back relax and enjoy hibernating season!
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