How can I cut my winter energy bills for free?
Saving money on your energy bills doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, there are various changes you can make that it's possible to achieve without spending a cent!
Most people find their gas and electricity prices increase when the winter months come around, which is why it's so important to think ahead and decide what changes you need to implement.
Here are some top tips to help reduce your bills without breaking the bank this winter.
If you're wearing the same clothes around the house as you would in the summer, it's time to take another look at your wardrobe.
Adding another layer can make a world of difference when winter comes. The air trapped between your layers of clothing will help keep you warm when you need it most.
Make sure you wear socks as well - it's often the case that once your feet get cold the rest of your body will feel it too!
Keep draughts at bay
Draughts become all the more noticeable when winter arrives, so do whatever is necessary to stop them.
If you have a draught excluder then use that, otherwise you can improvise using blankets and cushions until you can afford to put something more permanent in place.
Make the most of the sunshine
The winter sun can be a valuable resource when it comes to helping you feel warmer in winter.
There are various ways to do this but the cheapest and most effective is to let as much sunlight into your home as possible.
This means making savvy choices with your window coverings - blinds are a great option as they help with insulation as well as letting the sunlight in. Voiles are also a great idea if you want privacy but still the warming feel from the sun.
Shut doors and windows
Most people have one room in their house that doesn't get used as much as the others, so why not stop it forcing up your electricity and gas prices?
Simply shutting the door and windows can make a real difference, as it means you can switch the heating off in the room without it cooling down the rest of your property. You should see the positive effect on your bills in no time at all.
Swap baths for showers
Although baths can be especially welcome at this time of year, they use considerably more water and energy than taking a shower.
With the price of gas rising, it's worth making the swap if you want to cut your bills. Make sure you limit your shower to three minutes as well, otherwise the impact might not be quite as big as you'd hoped!
Only use heaters when necessary
While heaters can be an effective means of taking the chill of the air, they can prove a significant drain on your bills if used too often.
Once a room reaches the required temperature then switch off the heater. You can always turn it back on again later when the area becomes unbearably cold.
Make sure you have all the doors and windows shut to keep the warmth in, otherwise your heater will prove redundant. It's also essential you remember to turn it off when you leave the room or the property, otherwise you run the risk of it catching fire.
Grab a blanket
One problem of sitting in front of the TV during the winter is you tend to notice how cold it is. Inactivity can make it seem cooler than it actually is in your home.
Having a few blankets to hand will help warm you up without having to go anywhere near your thermostat or heater.
Avoid using the tumble dryer
While a tumble dryer might seem like a godsend when winter arrives, the truth is it's one of the biggest consumers of energy in your home.
As a result, it's worth keeping an eye on the weather forecast to see when you're likely to be able to dry your laundry on the line. This will eliminate the need for you to use your dryer, which will not only benefit your bills but also the environment.
Be aware of your fireplace
If you have a fireplace in your home, the chances are it'll get used a lot when winter comes around.
You should treat it in the same way as doors and windows - make sure the damper is closed whenever it's not in use. It will otherwise have a similar effect to living a window open and let cold air into your property when you're trying to keep it warm.
Should you never use your fireplace for whatever reason, it might be a good idea to get it sealed off completely.
Posted by Tim Wolfenden