The heaters are roaring, the electric blanket is set on high and the hot water system is working overtime. It looks like the cooler weather has caught up to us, which means you can expect to see expensive energy bills not too far behind
You don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket to stay warm though. Here are a few ways to keep your home warm and inviting this winter without blowing the budget.
In the midst of freezing weather, it might be tempting to turn the heat dial right up until your house is as toasty as an oven, but it’s actually counterproductive. Not only will your heater have to work harder to heat things up, it will use more energy to keep it up.
Research shows that turning down the temperature by even 1°C can reduce your energy bill by 10 per cent. Try turning the heating on earlier and putting it on a lower temperature (about 18-21°C). It will be easier for your heater to begin warming up your home when it’s not too cold outside, and doing this uses far less energy to maintain the temperature inside.
You might be looking forward to your long, hot shower until you find out that hot water consumption on average accounts for 25 per cent of energy use in a household. By switching your hot water system to an off-peak setting, you’ll save money on your energy bill.
Look into what type of hot water system you own and see if there is an option for you to choose an off-peak setting, which will heat the tank when electricity prices are lower.
Curtains bring a sense of elegance into your home, but they’re good for more than just decorating. Curtains serve a functional purpose, so when its sunny out, open your curtains, let the sun seep in through your windows and radiate warmth into your home.
Around one-third of heat generated will escape through windows, so at night or on chilly, overcast days, close your curtains to trap the heat in your home, and stop the flow of cool air from outside. The thicker the curtains the better, as it acts as another layer of insulation. Just be sure to close up any gaps where the hot air can escape.
Although you might dread the thought of covering up your fabulous timber floorboards, floor tiles or polished concrete feature floor, adding a plush rug to your living room will insulate the space and protect your tootsies from the harsh cold floors.
Not only will a stylish wool rug keep you warmer, its visual appeal will add texture and a sense of luxury to your space.
You might think the best place to get cosy at home is the spot closest to your heat source but resist the urge to position your sofa directly in front of your heater. Placing furniture in front of a heater will block the flow of hot air into the rest of the space, can overheat your appliance and also wear out your furniture a lot quicker.
Instead, reposition your furniture to allow the heat to circulate throughout your living spaces, and close all your doors to keep the heat you’ve generated contained in the rooms that are being used.
Choosing the right quilt will make all the difference when it comes to keeping you warm and snug on those chilly winter nights. Wool quilts have a range of warmth ratings and are great for year-round use. The wool fibre is breathable and helps to regulate body temperature, which will provide you with a comfortable and good night’s sleep.
If you’re a really cold sleeper, then a feather and down quilt is the way to go. The down in the quilt insulates and retains the heat, to give you lasting warmth throughout the cold night. The higher percentage of down, the warmer the quilt.
A down quilt might seem expensive, but there are loads of affordable varieties on the market, and it’s definitely an investment worth making as they’re durable and last through many winters.
Homes that are not properly insulated can lose a lot of heat through walls, floors, windows and ceilings. Around 35 per cent of heat loss experienced in a home goes through the roof, but this can easily be reduced by installing thick insulation above your ceiling and in your walls.
A well-insulated home can potentially reduce heating and energy costs by 45 per cent, so it’s well worth the investment in the long run.
Sealing any gaps, cracks and anywhere a draught can sneak in will make a huge difference in maintaining the right temperature in your home. It only takes a crack in a window or the small gap underneath a door to let all the heat escape, so using tools like door snakes, weather seal tape, and brush door seals will keep out the cold. A silicone sealant can be used around the outside of a window or door frame to properly seal any gaps.
It shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg to provide a warm home for your family. It might sound simple, but following these few steps can help slash the cost of your energy bill and save you money long-term, so that so that you can enjoy a cosy winter without the bill shock.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of State Custodians.
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