There’s something magical about wintertime in England – especially if you’ve just moved into a new property. With fireworks night and Christmas on the horizon, now is the perfect time for you and your family to start new traditions, create wonderful memories and make your house truly feel like home.
For all the excitement, this time of year is also undoubtedly expensive. There’s a lot to do and celebrate: gifts to buy, food to purchase, parties to attend…
Chances are, you want to do what you can to keep costs down. And one brilliant way to achieve this is by becoming more energy efficient at home.
With that in mind, here are ten thrifty energy-saving tips you can use to have a toasty, wonderful winter!
Bask your home in natural sunlight
If you’ve ever had a family cat or dog, you might have noticed that they absolutely love taking naps in patches of sunlight. There’s a reason for this. No matter the time of year, sunbeams are a fantastic source of natural warmth.
While you might not catch a tan in British winter, you can certainly use sun rays to heat your home. So, take advantage of the sun’s glorious, heat-radiating energy by keeping your curtains open during the day. This will naturally boost the temperature in your home for free!
Remember, though, that it’s time to close the curtains as soon as the sun goes down. As well as making your home feel cosy in the evening, drawing the curtains reduces heat loss by up to 25%. The thicker your curtains, the more heat your home will retain.
Heat high-traffic areas
Most houses have one or two rooms that only get used on special occasions: the guest bedroom, dining room, spare bathroom!
If you have spaces in your home that you rarely go in, you can save a lot of money by cutting off heat to those areas. It’s easy to do this too. Simply close the vents and doors in these rooms.
Light up your rooms with LED
LED lights are a de-light-ful way to reduce your energy bills. They’re the most energy-efficient type of lighting out there, using roughly three-quarters less energy than incandescent bulbs while also lasting 25 times as long! Immediately and in the long term, you’ll benefit from huge savings by switching to LED bulbs.
Plus, these lights come in a range of styles. From simple bulbs to ornate fittings, LED bulbs are a great way to light up your home. With Christmas around the corner, you could even consider purchasing LED twinkly lighting for your tree!
Side note! When you’re not using lights in a room, don’t forget to turn them off. This could save you £25 per year, per room, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
WFH with a space heater
Many of us will work from home at least some of the time this winter. While it’s a luxury to not have to go out into the cold and de-ice the car in the morning, it can still get pretty chilly inside during the colder months of the year.
If you find yourself at home during a cold day, consider opting for a space heater instead of turning on the central heating. These lightweight, portable devices are an easy way to make rooms toasty and inviting at a much lower price than warming up the whole house.
Say goodbye to standby
Did you know that your computer, TV and other electrical items all use electricity even in standby mode? In fact, leaving your desktop computer on standby can cost almost £100 a year!
An easy way to save energy this winter – and all year round – is to unplug electrical devices when you aren’t using them. We recommend plugging related appliances together via an extension lead where possible. That way, you only need to switch off one plug to save a sizeable amount of energy.
Switch up your laundry and dish washing routines
There’s a host of novel ways you can use your dishwasher and washing machine to save energy. Firstly, try to only use these machines when you have full loads. This is much more water efficient than multiple half-loads.
Secondly, opt for the eco cycle on your dishwasher and the 30°C cycle on your washing machine. Not only are these options better for the environment; you’ll also achieve cost savings of around 30%!
When it comes to drying your clothes, the old-fashioned method is undoubtedly the most cost-effective. Ditch the tumble dryer in favour of drying your clothes on a washing line or clothes airer. While it may take a little longer for your clothes to dry, you could save up to £300 a year.
Banish those draughts
Pesky draughts are a heat zapper during winter. Luckily, it’s simple and inexpensive to keep the cold out. Why not use stylish draught excluders to block warm air from escaping? These handy accessories come in all shapes and sizes. At PLS, we’re big fans of the adorable ones that look like sausage dogs!
If you’re feeling particularly savvy, you could also use bubble wrap! Yes, you read that right. This fun material isn’t just for popping or wrapping delicate gifts in. It’s also a superb insulator.
Try sticking it against your windows in the evening for an extra layer of warmth. Don’t worry about using sellotape. Simply spray water on the glass and then press the bubble wrap on it to stick.
Use these crafty kettle tricks
The humble kettle is a cornerstone of British culture. Who doesn’t love a cup of tea and a biscuit? But our beloved kettles can also be a huge energy drain. The good news is that it’s easy to make these appliances more energy efficient.
One route to take is to only boil the kettle with as much water as you need. Don’t overfill it! Alternatively, at the beginning of the day, boil the kettle to the brim. Then, take what you need to make your morning coffee or tea, and put the rest of the water in a thermos for your next few cuppas.
Bring your winter fashion indoors
There’s a lot to love about winter fashion. Cosy jumpers, fluffy earmuffs, woolly scarfs…These gorgeous garments shouldn’t just be reserved for when you’re out and about. You can also show off your winter best around the house and save money in the process!
For every degree you lower your thermostat, you could reduce your heating bills by up to 10%. So, slip on some cosy socks and bundle up in your warmest winter attire. You’ll feel snug and toasty in no time!
Improve your knowledge with a smart metre
All energy suppliers now supply free smart meters to help you keep track of what you’re spending. These nifty tools show you the cost and amount of energy you are using per hour, so It’s easy for you to keep track of your utilities in real time.
While a smart metre doesn’t lower your energy bills, monitoring your usage helps you become more conscious of your consumption.
That’s a wrap!
And there you have it! Our top 10 tips for an energy-efficient winter.
If you’d like help and expert advice about buying or selling a property, contact us today.