Summer’s a distant memory and the leaves are falling… this can only mean it’s almost autumn and soon it’ll be time to think about turning the heating on (if you haven’t already!).
As the weather grows colder and the typical UK chill settles in, you might be wondering, ‘how can I keep my energy and heating costs down this winter?’
Fear not – we’ve put together a handy checklist to help prepare you for winter:
1. Careful curtain culture…
In our summer checklist, we stressed the importance of keeping your curtains open as long as possible to make the most of the natural light and warmth. Despite the colder temperatures, this still rings true in winter. Keeping them open during the day, especially on the side where you get the most direct sunlight, helps maximise the natural warming rays entering your home. However, be sure to close them at night (although this is a pretty obvious one!) They act as barriers and help reduce any drafts, making heating your home that little bit more efficient.
2. Things are heating up in the kitchen…
Winter is perfect for using fresh seasonal veg to make warming soups, stews and casseroles. We hate to be an energy-scrooge, but all this extra cooking can make your energy costs rise. But fear not, it’s easy to make small changes which result in big energy savings. When you’re cooking up a storm, covering the pan with a lid when heating food will reduce cooking time AND the amount of energy required to heat your food through. Slow cookers are a great addition to any kitchen, since they are more efficient than ovens when it comes to cooking. An added bonus, you can throw all your ingredients in, leave for work and voila! You come home to a hearty, nourishing dish ready to tuck into. Keep calm and curry on!
3. “It’s like the Blackpool Illuminations in here!”
You’ll have to search long and far to find someone that hasn’t heard this nagging from someone in the family! Even if you’re just popping out to the shop for snacks (an essential accompaniment to that Netflix binge!), your lighting will still be chomping away at your energy. Turning them off is a quick win that’ll reduce energy waste and save you money on your bill.
4. Shut. That. Door!
Block those pesky draughts. Gaps allow the cosy, warm air to escape through doors, windows and walls whilst letting cold air in from outdoors. Nobody likes to be that chilled out… but luckily this is an easy problem to fix. Whether it’s a draught-excluder, sealant, Polyfilla or simply closing the door behind you, there are loads of ways to prevent unwanted wintery blasts rudely interrupting your chill time.
5. Turn down for what?!
Turn your heating down. Yes, it seems simple, even a tad confusing… but even the slightest adjustment to your boiler can save money without making much of difference to the temperature level of your rooms. Our friends at the Energy Saving Trust have done the research on this, and dropping your temperature by just 1 degree can shave 10% from your annual bill. It really does pay to turn it down!
6. Smells like clean spirit!
Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing better than popping on a jumper, fresh and toasty out of the tumble dryer, and we’d never want to deny you one of life’s little luxuries! However, do you really need to use it every time you do a washing? Take advantage of having your heating on and hang your clothes up to dry indoors. You’ll be surprised at how quickly clothes will dry in a warm room. BUT – be careful not to dry clothes directly on radiators. This causes your boiler to work extra hard, which consumes more energy (and more of your cash!)
7. Timing it right
Heating your home when no one is around is like blinging your lunch Tupperware with Swarovski crystals – pointless and expensive. Set the timer for your heating to come on 15 minutes before your morning alarm, and 15 minutes before you arrive home. You won’t notice a difference, but you’ll definitely notice the money you’re saving!
8. Layers are SO en vogue!
It’s a pretty obvious one. It’s important for the planet, and to your pocket, to make use of blankets, jumpers and cosy socks before ramping up the heating. Did you know that a warm jumper can add around 3 degrees of warmth? (See point 5 about small changes in the thermostat resulting in big savings annually!) So, what’s stopping you? Grab that onesie!
So, there you have it. Our 8 top tips to preparing you for winter are a sure-fire way to help you save energy and money, whilst still keeping cosy and warm. Now, if you excuse me, we’re off to make a hot chocolate!
For more energy-saving tips, check out our website here: https://sparkenergy.co.uk/tips/