Autumn is upon us and it's almost time to get the winter woollies ready and dig out your cosy slippers. At this time of year it can be all too easy to crank up the boiler without thinking about the effect it can have on your heating costs. So, as the winter chill starts to creep in, here are some top tips on how to prevent your energy bills from rising.
Cutting back on unnecessary energy use is a simple way to keep your money in your pocket. Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, switch off kitchen and bath-ventilating fans after they've done their job and shorten showers. Reducing time in the shower by just a few minutes can save hundreds of gallons of hot water per month for a family of four - and showers account for up to two thirds of your water heating costs. Cutting your showers in half could reduce your water heating costs by 33 percent.
Similarly, use your appliances efficiently - only do full loads when using your dishwasher and washing machine. Use the cold water setting where possible as this reduces energy use.
If you have a fireplace that you don’t use, consider stuffing it with paper or cardboard or if you have an open fire, a chimney balloon will exclude draughts when the fire is not in use.
Using energy-saving light bulbs can save around £60 a year if used throughout your home and they tend to last longer than traditional light bulbs.
On sunny days, throw back the curtains and let as much sunshine in as possible. It sounds obvious but let the sun heat your home for free!
Another trick is to put tin foil behind your radiators to reflect heat back into the room, rather than letting it escape through the walls. DIY retailers sell special radiator foil, but good quality kitchen foil will work well and for less. Also ensure radiators are not blocked by curtains or furniture. You can then turn the radiators down in your house or reduce the thermostat by a degree or two.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, reducing it by one degree can save roughly £65 a year, while this figure could be increased by turning off radiators in rarely used rooms.
It also pays to compare energy providers to find the best deal for you. Shopping around can unearth special offers for new customers. Online price comparison websites such as Moneysavingexpert are a good starting point.
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My name is Victoria Hunter and I'm a true Hertford person - I went to school in Hertford and grew up here. I understand the importance of bringing trusted businesses and the community together, and believe...