Surely it is not that time of year already? But the kids are back at school, the days are getting shorter and October is almost upon us, which is when most households start to switch on the central heating.
Heating our homes accounts for almost three quarters of domestic energy consumption, so even the smallest measures to cut costs could have a significant impact on the bill by the end of winter. Here are five things every household can do to keep warm without breaking the bank.
image via glitterinc.com
1) Smart use of curtains
Curtains are not just there to stop the neighbors peering in at you. They can also be very handy for free domestic heating. Open them up first thing in the morning to let all that glorious sunlight into your home, then shut them later in the day to keep the heat in. Doing this will help to reduce condensation, too.
2) Top up with fuel now
Over the next few weeks, people will start to switch on their heating, and the oil suppliers will be getting ready for a deluge of calls from customers who are running low. Prices inevitably rise during the colder months, so even if your tank isn’t empty, get a top up now. It is easy to check the prices and place an order online through a site like emo.ie. Not only will you get a better price, you will also have the reassurance of knowing that is one expense out of the way that you don’t have to worry about for a while.
3) Check the insulation
You probably feel you have been having this drilled into you since you were in nappies, but that’s only because it’s true – houses lose around 25 percent of the heat generated straight through the roof. An additional 25cm of insulation can make an enormous difference and will soon pay for itself. It’s not difficult to install, but make sure you or your willing volunteer wears the right safety equipment, as it can irritate the skin and eyes. Long sleeves, gloves and a dusk mask are essential.
4) Turn down the heating
Sounds obvious, right? Turn down the heating and your fuel bills will be lower. But that is not to say that the entire family needs to be sitting in the living room wrapped up in coats and hats. Research has found that turning down the thermostat by one degree can cut your heating bill by 10 percent. Public health England says 18C is just fine for a living room – what temperature is your thermostat on now?
5) Keep out draughts
Remember those sausage dog draught excluders? Well here’s a secret worth sharing, you can still get them, and they could knock another £20 or so off your annual heating bill! Draughts also come in around poorly fitting windows and doors, so it is well worth investing a few pounds in a tube of sealant and doing a thorough inspection before winter sets in.