Recently we have all noticed the rise in prices of basically everything- energy bills, fuel, mobile, broadband, insurance, and food and other essentials. With the continuous lockdowns and having Covid-19 here to stay, millions around the world are still working from home, which has an impact on energy and heating bills, and even carbon footprint. The winter months are a great time to focus on energy efficiency at home. Energy costs rise as the colder months approach, and last winter saw a spike in electric bill usage due to extreme weather conditions. Luckily, there are some simple strategies that you can employ to save money on bills and help keep your bills under control.
Do you want to save money on bills, but not sure how exactly? There are numerous ways that can have a significant impact on your consumption. Here are 7 energy-saving tips to get you started to save money on bills:
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Maximise heat efficiency and lower energy costs with the right thermostat setting and position to save money on bills
You are misusing your thermostat if you turn it up gradually in pursuit to heat a chilly room for less time. Half of us make this frequent error, and it’s energy torture.
It doesn’t even turn your property hotter!
Turning your thermostat with a small pitch is reasonable, as the primary function of this device is to maintain consistent temperature, whatever the weather. So, you can banish the cold and save on utility bills when you don’t accelerate your thermostat’s work.
Much better will be if you install a thermostat programmer to take control of your heating during the day or overnight. Another golden rule is to install the thermostat in the room you use most frequently.
For greater accuracy, check if the thermostat is installed 1.5 m above the floor and in a room with a radiator. If not, call a heating engineer to relocate it.
Be wary not to mount the thermostat in a room with other heating sources. Direct sunlight can also lead to inaccurate temperature sensing. Last but not least, remember to remove any bulky furniture, radiator cover, or curtain that prevent heat from circulating freely.
Keep the steady temperature at home with proper insulation and air tightening measures
Bet on proper home insulation to keep the constant and mild temperature at fewer costs. It’s never too late to check your house siding for cracks and reduce heat loss. Renew weather stripping around doors and windows, if it gets worn over time. Caulking, like everything in life, is also subject to wear and tear. So, check if you need to re-caulk your windows or doors.
The more draft reducing measures you take, the less will be the energy waste. So, don’t hesitate to block the air leaks with door sweeps, tapes, or seals around the window frames.
Even if it’s bound with little investment, loft insulation pays back down the road. It is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to save on energy bills in the long run. Eventually, your heating appliances will work less to reach the same temperature comfort. Have in mind that only 10 cm of loft insulation can reduce air leaks by up to 75%.
Allow all radiators to work efficiently to save money
Even if you may find it’s a good idea, turning off one or more radiators will not result in real savings. Turning down or off only one element of the radiator system will only result in an unbalanced work, meaning that the other radiators need to work harder to distribute the heat throughout your home. So, to get the maximum benefit of your radiator work, turn on all your radiators.
Upgrade your boiler
Living with an outdated heating system brings nothing but cost-inefficiency. You have to dig deep to find a well-performing boiler at an affordable price, but the purchase will be worth the money as the high-class energy-efficient boilers amount to 50+ per cent of your annual energy costs.
So it makes a lot of financial sense to upgrade your boiler or ensure the existing one is at its peak performance. But never spend all your money without first looking at the energy-efficient class.
You may wonder between the tons of boiler options on the market. When you are in a dilemma: regular vs. combi boiler, mind that the regular boiler heats your home all the time, adding up constantly to your utility bills, while the combi boiler stands out with the production of hot water exactly when you need it.
Also, to make your boiler run on less energy and spend fewer costs for utility bills during the winter, focus on the right positioning, professional installation, and insulation.
Clean your thermostat (this one will make a big difference)
To maintain your thermostat accuracy and assure your heating system works efficiently, clean the mechanical contacts at least once this month. Even if it sounds like a tedious task, this five-minute chore will help the heating system operate at its maximum capacity.
Cleaning process is simple, like a children’s play. You just need to remove the thermostat cover and dust off the mechanicals parts with a soft, dry, and lint-free cloth. It’s just that easy!
Remember to check for signs of corrosion. If this is the case, go to the nearest DIY shop and get an electrical contact cleaner.
Fit radiator reflector panels
The idea is straight-forward. The reflective foil installed behind your radiator doesn’t allow the heat to be lost in the walls, but lets it bounce back in the room. The benefits are obvious – less energy waste, better heat circulation, and fewer money spendings for energy bills.
The effect is more tangible if you install the cut-to-size, special reflective foil on an uninsulated wall. In the end, savings will be no more than £20 a year, but it will make you feel all warm inside.
Mount a radiator shelf
The all-important factor to make a room feel warmer is the direction of the heat flow. If it’s going up towards the ceiling or a cold wall, all your efforts to heat your home will be in vain.
The heat should move forward from the radiators.
To prevent heating from going up towards the ceiling, mount a shelf above the radiator. This is such a simple job that makes such a big difference. You maximise winter comfort without the need to turn the thermostat up.
Shelves fitted over a radiator and close to a window are most effective as they don’t allow the air to be trapped between the cold wall, window, and your curtains.
Do These Tips Really Work?
Yes! Every little change you make with your electricity usage can make a huge difference. If you don’t have an energy-efficient thermostat, install one. Energy.gov estimates that by turning the temperature down on your thermostat by just 7 degrees, you can save up to 10% on your electricity costs every year!
Lowering your electricity bill doesn’t require a complete renovation of your house or business. There are several easy ways to make the most of the electricity you already have while still enjoying the comfort and convenience it affords you.
Easy fixes like installing energy-efficient light bulbs, unplugging appliances when they’re not in use, and washing clothes in cold water can make a big difference in your electricity bill.