As summer turns into autumn and the air gets a little colder, it will soon be time to turn the heating back on. Thinking ahead and making a few small changes before the really cold weather sets in can make your home as energy efficient as possible. Energy prices are higher than ever, so read on to find out how to save on your heating bills.
Switch to a cheaper provider
Perhaps the most obvious way to cut the cost of your bills is to switch to a cheaper provider. Having a look at any of the main comparison sites will give you a clear idea of any providers that are offering a better deal that your current one. According to Ofgem, the energy market regulator, around 60% of UK households are on standard variable rate (SVR) tariffs, which are the most expensive on the market. The average cost of an SVR is around £1,063 a year, while the cheapest fixed rate, fixed term deals are well below £800, so there are big savings to be made. Of course, if you decide to switch provider, be aware that you may have to pay a termination fee, or settle anything you owe to your current provider.
Put tin foil behind your radiators
Attaching some tin foil to the walls behind your radiators will help them heat the house more efficiently, meaning you don’t need to have them turned up as high. Just attach the foil to the wall with some sticky tape, making sure that the shiny side is facing the radiator. This reflects heat back into the room rather than letting it escape through the walls. Specially- designed radiator foil is available in most DIY stores for around £15, but if you’re on a budget, good- quality kitchen foil will work almost as well.
Line your curtains with thermal fabric
Thermal curtain lining can reduce heat loss by as much as 25%, and a quick Amazon search shows that prices start from about £3 a metre. If you’re not a sewing whizz or don’t have a machine, just pick up some fabric glue for a couple of pounds and fix the fabric to your curtains that way.
Check for draughts around your house and seal them
Loads of cold air comes into your home through the letter box, window cracks, cat flaps and floorboards. To find out where you have a draught, light a candle and place it next to your windows and doors. If the candle flame starts to dance around, then you know that you have a draught! To fix this, use a draught excluder seal to eliminate chilly air around your house. They’re available relatively cheaply from most DIY stores, are easy to install and make a surprisingly big difference.
Turn your heating off
If you know your house is going to be empty most of the day, set your heating to come on an hour to half an hour before you’re due to arrive home. Don’t forget to set it to go off again before you go to bed- heating your house while you’re tucked up asleep is not energy efficient at all.
Keep your doors closed
Close the doors of the room you’re in to trap the heat, and close the doors of any rooms you won’t be in so you’re not heating places that you won’t spend any time in. Also, keep your curtains open during daylight to let the sun warm your rooms, but close them when it gets dark.
Turn your thermostat down
Turning your thermostat down by just one degree can cut your energy consumption, and bills, by 10%. If you follow all the other tips in this article, then turning it down a degree or two should barely be noticeable, saving you mopey and making your home far more energy efficient.