Some winter savings tips

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

BubbleWraponWindow-temporary-douple-glazingAs the temperature drops across the country, thermostats everywhere are being turned up a few notches, costing homeowners and tenants more money and doing more damage to the environment.

But there are some easy ways to reduce bills while keeping warm and cozy in winter. Here are a a coups of tips on keeping energy bills and usage to minimum while still staying cozy and warm in the home:

Turn it down: Most new build properties are now well insulated so having the heating on full blast 24/7 is unnecessary. Just by turning down the thermostat to 18 degrees Celsius can equal great savings. But, when it comes to the UK many buildings are not well insulated and, unless you own the property, you can do little about glazing and other drafts.

Snuggle up: It’s important to dress for the season. Expecting to feel comfortable even indoors in winter while wearing shorts and a t-shirt is unrealistic. While it is clearly impractical to wear a snowsuit in the house, dressing appropriately helps to keep those heating bills in check.

I have been known to wear a light wooly hat indoors when the temperatures get low and it does not want to get warm in the house. Our ancestors wore housecoats and caps in the house because of this too, and also the large armchairs with the “ears”

Weather-proof for winter: Investing in double glazing is an absolute must. However, especially for renters, this might not be an immediate option. An effective short term fix is to purchase brush door seals and easy to fit self-adhesive weather strips to add to all door and window frames. These are available at most DIY stores. Secondary double-glazing by means of plastic sheeting is also a possibility to winter-proofing windows. The good old draft excluder home-made too by the front door, and other doors, is certainly a good idea.

The homeowner, certainly, if the funds are available, has much greater options to weather and winter proofing his home than does the renter. Even many housing associations and local authorities have not, so far, in the UK, weather and winter proofed the properties well enough to help tenants reduce heating bills while, at the same time, help the fight against climate change.

Keep water warm: Insulating your hot water tank will give it greater efficiency and will save on the bills. Make sure the tank ‘jacket’ that is at least 75mm thick and, as far as the UK is concerned, adheres to British standards.

Heating with wood: When I speak here of heating with wood I would like to specifically exclude wood pellets and other s-called biomass but of those stick things that come directly from trees. However, while the homeowner can install such stoves without a second thought, almost, the renter rarely has that option, and in the same was as with regards to winterizing his or her home the tenant of a rented property loses out (again).

© 2016