Hot tips for staying warm while saving energy

Follow this guide to find out how you can make your home warmer as we head into winter.

When winter comes, we dig out our heaters, have longer showers, and snuggle up with our hot water bottles. These household habits cause a steep increase in our energy bills and our environmental impact. Here are finder.com/uk’s tips for saving energy over winter.

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Heating your house

1. Sunlight

Utilise sunlight to heat your house – it’s a great natural alternative.

2. Curtains

You want lighter curtains to let sunlight in and free temperature exchange between indoors and out; heavy curtains maintain internal temperature and block incoming sunlight.

3. Doors

Opening the doors over summer is a great way to let in fresh air to cool the skin. In winter, however, open doors are an efficient way to lose heat and waste money. Make sure to upkeep entryways with solid doors with minimal gaps. If that means those silly door snakes, then so be it.

4. Windows

Even a window slightly ajar can drastically reduce warmth.

5. Close doors of spare rooms

Similarly, close the doors to unoccupied rooms. Heating these is a waste of energy.

6. Layer up your clothes

This one almost goes without saying, but chuck on an extra jumper instead of chucking on an extra heater interval.

7. Layer up your bedding

Add an extra blanket or keep your socks on when you go to bed. It sure beats the cost (and associated emissions) of an electric blanket.

8. Close up the fireplace

The fireplace is a wind tunnel of sorts. And when it is not in use, it is allowing cold external air into your home.

9. Insulation

A well insulated floor, walls, and ceiling all contribute a lot to heating and cooling — why not consider some insulation plans.

10. Heaters

Move them away from windows where their heat is easily dispersed. Also, use a small fan or space heater if you’re only heating one room, the room you’re in.

Water

1. Shower heads

Ensure the various taps and shower heads in your house are as efficient as they could be.

2. Hot water system

Make sure your system is correctly sized to suit you and your family. There are many sizes of hot water systems and yours may be ill-fitted. Alternatively you can visit our page on solar hot water units.

3. Turn it off if you’re away

If you’re going away from the house for some time, a few weeks, switch off your hot water system.

4. Turn down the temperature

Did you know you could adjust the temperature of your hot water system? Why not set the heat to between 60℃—65℃. This will avoid burns to small children and reduce your overall power consumption.

5. Water pipes

Rubber tubing can be applied around copper hot and cold water pipes to maintain their temperatures.

Appliances

1. General appliances

Turn them off at the power points. Even when they’re not ‘doing anything’, they’re using energy, especially toasters and kettles.

2. Kitchen appliances

Dishwasher: Use your ‘ecomode’, fill up completely (it can handle it); Microwave: Use for reheating foods only, thawing can be done with foresight; Fridge: Don’t put it next to your oven… And speaking of your oven, opening the door costs a drop in precious degrees (up to 15℃), use that tiny window, y’all.

3. Washing machine

Use a front loader, use cold water, wash with a full load, chuck your jeans in the freezer to kill microbes, they scarcely need cleaning.

Other tips

  • Turn down heating overnight — If you’re layered up in bed (clothes and blankets) and the house is already warm, you should be able to keep that momentum going through the night, so you can turn off the heaters.
  • Turn off the heat when you’re not home — Similarly, the heat will not dissipate in your absence. The house can be kept toasty till your return. Having heaters on while you are gone is a fire hazard to boot.
  • Turn off heat during the day — Let the Sun do the work. And since you’re a mammal, you’re likely to be more active during the day and generating your own internal heat.
  • Seal all exits — Seal shoddy seals. That includes window panes, fridge doors, gaps under doors, you name it — make a crack-based investigation around the home.
  • Snuggle — Water bottles, wheat bags, and hubbies (or just one, if you’re that way inclined). Yes, there are many ways to stay warm throughout the night.

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