With Christmas coming up, this time of year can feel hard on the pocket. The cold weather doesn’t help! With sky high energy prices, and falling temperatures, paying to keep warm is a priority. But are there ways to help to keep the costs down? Award winning money-saving blogger and “Skint Dad” Ricky Willis shared his top tips for staying warm for less this winter, and we are passing them on to you.
1. Switch your energy supplier
If you’ve been with your energy provider for a long period, there is a good chance you are not getting the most bang for your buck. Shop around and check out other energy providers. Use a comparison site such as uSwitch or Comparethemarket.com to find the best deal possible – but be careful the right boxes are ticked when you do it. Then give your supplier a call and see if they can better the price. You could easily save over £300 per year
2. Reposition the sofa
If your sofa or any furniture is positioned in front of a radiator, you are most certainly wasting money heating something that doesn’t need heating. As the days and weeks become colder, rearrange your furniture away from radiators so when the heating comes on you feel the full effect
3. Leave the doors open
Now I’m not talking about the front door! But there are certain doors that if left open actually increase the heat. The next time you put the shower on or run a bath, leave the door open and let the heat and steam travel into adjoining rooms. This also works in the kitchen. Leave the oven door open after cooking (obviously be careful if you have small children) and use the heat to warm the house. This might sound bizarre, but trust me it works.
4. Be sociable
If you’re not at home you don’t need to heat the house; obvious right? Why not try to get a weekly invite to the grandparent’s house so they can see the kids, or get everyone taking part in a hobby so you can be out of the house for longer. Do this a couple of days a week over the winter period and you’ll save a fortune on heating cost
5. Exclude the drafts
Draft-proofing is a sure-fire way to save money on energy costs and keep you warm for less. The worst culprits are gaps under doors and windows that don’t shut properly. For the doors you can either buy draft excluder strips from your local DIY store or make your own with a pillowcase stuffed with old tights, socks or even the filling of an old teddy. For the windows, get some cheap self-adhesive foam strips to stop the drafts. Plus, don’t forget drafts from the keyhole and letterbox.
6. Make a rice sock
A rice sock I hear you say? What’s one of them? Well you can buy teddies filled with rice and lavender that you heat in the microwave for a minute or so as a hot water bottle alternative. It’s a pretty efficient way of getting heat into something – certainly more energy efficient than boiling a kettle full of water. But instead of spending £20 on a shop bought one, fill a sock with rice and lavender, tie the end and you have your own hand warmer. You could even pop it under the duvet before you go to bed to warm the sheets
7. Spare the spare room
If you’re not using a room for everyday living, then shut the radiator off and close the door. In fact, you could even plan sleepovers with the children and get them to share a room for the night – they think they’re getting a special treat and you save money by only heating one room
8. Be reflective
As a child I remember going around my Nan’s house and wondering why she placed tin foil type sheets behind the radiators. I realise now it’s a way to reflect more heat back into the room.
It’s really straightforward to fit radiator reflectors and the costs are minimal.
9. Seal the chimney
If you have an open fireplace which is unused you are losing a huge amount of heat and literally burning money in heating costs. You could have your chimney capped but this could easily set you back a couple of hundred pounds. Another option is to install a chimney balloon. You can pick these up for less than £30 and the saving on heating costs could be substantial!
10. Shut those curtains
One of the most important things in the home to prevent heat loss is shutting the curtains. With this in mind, consider investing in thermal curtains for the rooms you use the most. They are not that expensive and if you don’t want to replace your current curtains you can just buy the thermal lining and attach it to your existing drapes. This alone can reduce heat loss by up to 25%.
However you chose to keep warm this winter, don’t forget Maid In Essex can help you with all your cleaning needs over the festive period and into the New Year. Call us on 01277 812220 or click here to contact us by email.