The cost-of-living crisis continues to have a number of effects on the daily lives of brits. Simply put, almost everything is becoming more expensive. However, it is the climbing energy bills that most people are struggling to keep up with. Unfortunately, it is mostly a case of simply waiting it out. Eventually, the energy bills will stabilise, but what are you meant to do until then? Luckily, there are a few things that you can do help to reduce the cost of your energy bills. However, they do often require a bit of an investment too, which is something to bear in mind. Keep reading to learn more.
Insulation & Windows
The first thing to think about is how well your home is insulated. If it isn’t insulated properly, then you are likely to be wasting money on your energy bills because your home cannot keep the heat in, which means that your boiler needs to work harder, and therefore your bills are more expensive. Most newer builds tend to be sufficiently insulated, but older homes are often not as well insulated. Firstly, you will need to check whether your walls and your loft or attic space are well insulated. You will also need to look at your windows. Do you have single, double or triple glazing? Are the windows well-built and well-maintained? How do the frames look? The same can be said for the door too.
If you find that any of these areas are lacking, then they will obviously need addressing. The next thing to consider is your DIY knowledge and skill level. If you had the know-how and wanted to save money on labour costs, then you could choose to carry out this work yourself; however, this might not always be realistic. There are several approaches that you could take when it comes to insulating your home, although cavity wall insulation is probably the easiest. Replacing your windows is likely to be a bigger job, and you will probably need to hire a professional. The Federation of Master Builders has a list of the best double-glazing companies, which makes it easier for you to find the right company for you. Obviously, replacing your windows or choosing to reinsulate your home is going to be expensive, but you are likely to make your money back in energy bill savings over the years.
Wrap Up in Warm Clothing
One of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bills is simply to negate the need to turn the heating on at all. You need to look for ways to reduce your dependence on your heating or for opportunities to turn it down or have it on a lower setting. Wearing warmer clothing in the home is a great way to ensure that you are comfortable regardless of the temperature of your home without needing to turn the heating on. Multiple layers help you to conserve your body heat as well as being portable. Blankets, throws and duvets can also help to keep you warm. Obviously, when it is really cold, it might not be enough, but it can definitely be helpful.
Energy Efficient Appliances
The appliances within your home could have a hand in driving up the cost of your energy bills. This is because some bills are not as energy efficient as others which simply means that they cost more to run. Unfortunately, unless you have moved into a house where you have chosen all of the appliances – even the inbuilt appliances- you will not necessarily benefit from having the most energy-efficient appliances. Older appliances tend to require more power to run, and therefore, they are more expensive. However, newer appliances benefit from the latest, cutting-edge technology, and therefore they are often cheaper to run.
Obviously, replacing all of your appliances is unlikely to be a cheap endeavour which does mean that it might be inaccessible to some people, but you don’t have to do it all in one go. Instead, when you do find that you have an appliance that needs replacing, why not do your research to find out which one of the options in your budget is the most energy efficient? Slowly over time, you can then ensure that you have all of the best energy-efficient appliances that your budget will allow. You should particularly focus on your boiler and central heating system.
Use Your Heating Smartly and Sparingly
Lastly, when it comes to saving money on your energy bills this winter, there are a number of things that you can do. Most people tend to be out of the house during the day, even if it is only for a few hours. This is why you might want to explore your central heating settings. It is likely to have timers or presets, which you can take advantage of. You can programme your heating to come on just before you wake up or when you are due home from work.
You can set the heating to come on and go off whenever you want to. It really comes down to your personal preference and when you are going to benefit the most. With some clever planning, you can ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit from only using your heating for a couple of hours a day. You could also choose to set the temperature to be a little lower, which may mean – depending on the boiler – that it doesn’t have to work too hard to get the home up to the right temperature, which can help to reduce your bills too.
Finally, it may also be worth thinking about the different radiators and the rooms that they are located in within your home. If all of your radiators are on, then this means that the heating is working in every single room every single time you turn it on. However, this might not be the most effective method. To heat every radiator, your boiler will need to work far harder than it would to only heat a couple. Depending on the size of your family, it is unlikely that there will be someone in every room anyway.
Instead, it might be worth turning down or even turning some of them off. You could turn off the radiators in the hallways, turn down the radiators in the bathroom and kitchen and only have the bedroom and the lounge radiators on full. Think about where your family is likely to spend the most time. Remember to keep the doors shut; this will keep the heat in for the specific rooms that you have chosen to heat. This, coupled with wearing warmer clothes and having a properly insulated house, will ensure that you are comfortable and warm.
Obviously, your and your family’s comfort should be your priority, but this doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank. Unfortunately, due to the cost-of-living crisis, the above tips are necessary to ensure that you can afford your energy bills. A lot of people are going to struggle this winter when it comes to heating their homes and keeping their families warm, fed and healthy. Hopefully, the tips above will help you to come up with a plan. A few of the tips may not be accessible for everyone because some of them do require an initial investment which might be beyond what you can afford right now.