How to save money on your energy bills
Keeping warm and comfortable at home is an important part of staying fit and healthy. However, with fuel costs rising across the UK, heating your home can prove costly if you're living on a pension or restricted income. Nevertheless, there's still plenty of easy changes you can make right away to reduce your fuel bills and help the environment.
Make sure your living room (or the room you use the most) is kept at 21°C or 70°F and the rest of your house at 18°C or 64°F.
Close your curtains
Use thermal curtains, or linings, and keep them closed from dusk to insulate the room and prevent heat from escaping.
Get a draught excluder
Draught excluders help to minimise heat loss from under doors. Choose one in a colour or pattern that matches your décor for a stylish touch.
Keep radiators clear
Make sure your radiators aren't blocked by large pieces of furniture like sofas and beds as they will absorb heat. Rearrange your furniture to feel the full effect when the heating comes on.
Use your central heating timer
Instead of changing the temperature on the thermostat, use your central heating timer to turn heating on and off.
Place specialist reflectors behind your radiators to reflect wasted heat energy from behind the radiator back into the room.
Keep your fridge's temperature at around 3°C to 5°C for optimum performance.
In the kitchen
Boil just enough water
If you're making a hot drink, only boil the amount of water you need rather than filling the kettle up to the top. When cooking on the hob, use just enough water to cover your food.
Reduce your flame size
Your gas flame only needs to be big enough to heat the base of the pan, turn down the heat intensity on your hob where you can.
Keep the lid on
Make sure you put the lids on your pans when you're cooking as this will help to reduce heat loss. Using the right sized pan for your food will also speed up cooking times.
Close the fridge door
When you're filling up the fridge with food, try to do it as quickly as possible and don't open the fridge door for longer than necessary.
Use ecoballs in the tumble dryer. They spread out your washing so your clothes dry quicker.
Use energy saving light bulbs
They cost more than normal light bulbs but can save you up to £9 on your annual electricity bill. Energy saving bulbs also last around 10 - 15 times longer than regular light bulbs.
Switch off at the plug
Some home appliances use energy even when they're not on, so make sure you turn sockets off when you're not using them.
Wait for a full load
When you're washing clothes, wait until you have enough for a full load before you put a wash on. Use a spin cycle to reduce the tumble drying time.
Turn off lights
Switching off lights when you leave a room will help to reduce your electricity bill. It's important to keep stairwells and other areas well lit to prevent falls.
Top tips to staying warm
- Wear lots of thin layers instead of a few thicker layers as this will help to trap heat. Clothing made out of wool or fleecy fibres are especially good at insulating.
- Use an electric blanket to heat your bed but check whether this can be left on all night or whether it should only be used to warm the bed before you get in. Don't use a hot water bottle and electric blanket together at the same time.
- Hot water bottles, heated throws, and wheat-filled accessories are a good way to take the chill away, particularly if you're sat down for longer periods.
- Eat regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day to keep your energy levels up.
Age UK say...
The best way to fend off cold-related illness, including heart attacks, strokes and breathing problems, is to keep warm. As we get older, we can't always detect how cold we are, so get a room thermometer and keep your living room at a minimum of 70°F (21°C), and your bedroom at 64°F (18°C). Also, by shutting your bedroom window at night, you can protect your health.