NINE TIPS TO TAME THAT HEATING BILL
In the depths of winter, there’s one thing that can send a bigger chill through the bones than even the cold weather can.
And that’s the thought of receiving a huge, great big heating bill.
Fortunately, there are a number of things we can do to control our heating costs, and here’s where we find out what they are.
WRAP UP WARM
It seems obvious but the warmer the clothing the lower you can have the temperature. Multiple layers of thin clothing are better than one layer of thick clothing. This is because the gap between the layers traps warm air, insulating you from the worst effects of the cold. And remember, there’s no law against wearing a hat or gloves indoors. A pair of good, fluffy slippers will also work wonders. As a rule, if your hands and feet feel warm, so does the rest of you.
If you have the option, using gas to heat your home is far less expensive than using electricity. Believe it or not, it can potentially be as cheap to warm three or four rooms with gas as it is to heat just one with electricity. You might think you’re saving money by using that one bar heater in your bedroom, instead of the radiator but the chances are that you’re not.
TURN DOWN THE THERMOSTAT
Don’t underestimate the amount of money you can save by reducing the temperature by just a couple of degrees.
Cold air loves to get into rooms by sneaking in under doors. Therefore, make sure to use draught excluders. You don’t even have to buy them. An old towel may not look classy but it will do the job perfectly well.
Tape reflective foil to the wall directly behind each radiator. It will reflect heat back into the room, preventing it being absorbed by the wall. You can use domestic cooking foil or, for better results, you can buy foil specially designed for the job, at a DIY store.
Heat rises but if you put a shelf directly above your radiator, it will guide the heat towards the centre of the room, making you feel warmer.
If it’s sunny in the winter, take advantage of this by opening all the curtains or blinds as wide as you can, on the side of your home that’s facing the sun. Conversely, on the other side of the property, close all the curtains, in order to keep the warmth in.
EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR HEATING
Some people find that they use less energy if they leave the central heating on at a low temperature all day and all night, so that their home never gets cold and never needs to be reheated from scratch. Others find that it’s best to only heat the property when they need to. Which method works best depends on a number of factors. Therefore, try both. Make a note of your meter reading before trying each approach and see which uses the least gas.
In the end, the best and easiest way to reduce energy bills is to switch energy supplier. Providers love nothing better than to punish loyal customers by ramping up their charges. That’s why, as soon as your contract is up, you should get onto a price comparison site and make the switch to a new supplier. If you’re lucky, you won’t even have to go through with the switch. Often, disconcerted by the prospect of losing a customer, your current provider will contact you and offer to beat the new provider’s offer. In which case, you can cancel the switch and stay with your current supplier, at a new, lower price.