9 Brilliant Tips To Save Energy In The Winter

When those winter months come, it can feel great to blast on the heating. That feeling of being cozy in your home while it’s freezing outside is something many people love about winter. That’s until you see your energy bill and realize all of that energy has come at a steep cost.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here we look at 9 brilliant tips that are going to allow you to stay warm in your house while saving energy in winter months. This will be much better for the environment and also much better for your pocket.

1) Cozy clothing

We’re not suggesting that you have a coat, scarf, and gloves in your home. Rather you can wear jumpers, thicker pajamas and winter socks. This will allow you to be comfortable in your clothing while also giving you the ability to turn down your heating by a couple of degrees.

Also getting thicker duvets for bedtime and nice throws for snuggling up in front of the TV can help keep you warm without your boiler doing all the hard work. You always want to be comfortable in your home but sometimes that can be done without adjusting the heating.

2) A 21st century Christmas

The holiday is a wonderful time of the year and many people love putting up a vast array of Christmas lights. You don’t have to be a humbug and take them down; instead, you can do it all a little more efficiently.

In these modern times, you should be using LED bulbs for those lights. Many people are still using their old bulbs which are much less efficient, and also more unreliable. Also, put your lights on a timer so that they only come on when it gets dark and go off at bedtime.

3) Use a space heater

Do you only stay in one room during the day or evening? Heating just one room instead of them all could save you a huge amount on your energy bills.

To make the most of this you can turn off the heating in your home and switch on your space heater. This will prevent a huge amount of waste. This shouldn’t be confused with using a space heater on top of your heating as this would be more inefficient.

4) Maintain your humidifier and HVAC systems

Over time your air conditioning, heating, humidifier and energy systems will become less efficient. It’s always a great idea to service your systems such as a furnace humidifier, see if any parts need to be replaced and then enjoy their greater output.

According to the Mass Save program, a lot of energy can be lost by devices that are either outdated or in need of a service, with your boiler being a great example. It’s usually easy to check this yourself or call out a professional to do it for a small fee.

5) Seal any leaks

If there is a draft coming through your home, then you need to block it. One common area of concern is basements and sealing leaks will prevent the warm air of your home escaping outside.

Other areas such as doors could benefit from a draught excluder and if you have inefficient windows, using quilted curtains can prevent drafts. If you’re not sure where drafts are coming from, using an infrared thermometer can be a huge help.

6) Keep a stable temperature

Some people can fall into the trap of switching their heating on, getting too hot, switching it off and opening a window, then switching their heating back on when it gets cold. If you repeat this process, not only can you get uncomfortable, but it’s a huge waste.

The best solution is to get a thermostat that you can time. You need to know your ideal temperature and use this for when you’re at home. You will also be able to turn your heating off when you’re out of the house and down when you’re sleeping.

7) Use solar energy

There are many misconceptions about solar energy, with one of the biggest being that it only works in warm climates. The reality is that all they need is sunlight, even if it’s freezing outside. They also don’t need direct sunlight to be powered up.

If you live in a spot where you have the space and budget, then it doesn’t matter what the temperature is. While a solar panel won’t be as effective if there are fewer daylight hours, they can still provide a huge boost of clean energy in those cold winter months.

8) Avoid your tumble dryer

You can’t put your clothes outside to dry and therefore you put them in your tumble dryer, it makes sense. This they are brilliant for getting the job done quickly but use up a huge amount of energy in the process.

If your radiators are on, then you might as well use them. If you don’t need clothes to be immediately dried then they are only going to take a few hours in front of a radiator and you’ll save a lot of money.

9) Don’t block radiators

Okay, this is a direct contradiction to the point before but with clothing it is different. If you have a bed or other piece of furniture in front of a radiator, it will have a hugely negative impact on its ability to heat your room.

You need to allow the radiator to heat the air around it and then give enough space for that air to circulate. In terms of circulation, if you have a ceiling fan then it’s a good idea to put it on reverse and in its lowest setting. Hot air rises and a ceiling fan, when used like this, can push the hot air back down into the room.

10 Tips For Going Green On A Budget

With modern life being so hectic and demanding, it’s easy to forget that there’s an alternative. Going green can relieve a lot of the pressure on you in terms of environmental concerns, but it can also be a more relaxing and rewarding way to live. Many people think that in order to make the transition to a more green lifestyle, you need to spend more, but that just doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re savvy with your spending, you can go green without breaking the bank. Here are 10 tips for going green on a budget.

green-economy-coronavirus-pandemic

1. Make use of any cash available to you

First and foremost, you need to make sure that whatever sources of income are available to you are in use. That means any income you’re getting, any cheques or back payments you’re owed, and any debts you can call in should all be present and accounted for in your bank balance. External financial aid can also be a good way to shore up some money; even £500 loans can help with the costs associated with going green if you’re struggling for a little cash.

2. Cut down on your meat

Meat can be incredibly expensive, especially if you buy the high-quality stuff (which you should if you’re conscious of your health). You can swap meat and animal protein for plant-based alternatives, which will save you a significant amount of money both in the short- and long-term. Beans, chickpeas, and other pulses can all be readily used in place of animal proteins, and they’re often better for you as well, especially if you find that you consume a lot of red meat.

3. Ditch your car

There’s a growing school of thought that says you should ditch your car and cycle as much as you can instead. Of course, if you have a lengthy commute, this may not be possible, but you could always cycle to the train station and hop on a train with your bike (assuming this is allowed, of course). By taking public transport or walking to your destination wherever possible, you’ll be saving on costs, looking after the environment, and improving your physical health, too.

green travel

4. Cook more meals at home

By swapping your takeaway meal for a home-cooked alternative, you’ll be saving more money than you might think. Buying the ingredients and spices to make your favourite meals is almost invariably cheaper than buying the meals pre-made, whether that’s as a takeaway meal or as a ready meal from a supermarket. Cooking has also been proven to boost mental health, so start planning some plant-based meals today. You won’t believe how cheap they can be!

5. Stop buying water bottles

Bottled water is one of the biggest contributors to plastic pollution in the world. You don’t need to continuously buy bottled water; instead, try buying a single plastic bottle and re-using it, or better yet, buy yourself a reusable bottle specifically made for the purpose. The environment will thank you, and so will your wallet; bottled water can actually be pretty expensive, especially if you plump for the big brands. Fill up on tapwater instead; you won’t regret it!

6. Go paperless

This one shouldn’t cost you a penny; many companies will, in fact, incentivise you for doing this (or disincentivise you for not doing it). Ditch paper wherever possible in your life. Go paperless with your bank statements and any other bills you receive on a regular basis. Don’t ask for a receipt unless you absolutely need one, and if you do, ask for it to be emailed to you rather than sent on paper. There are plenty of places you can ditch paper in your life, and it won’t cost anything.

a paper free office

7. Drop the tumble dryer and the AC

Many electronic devices in your home could be taking up monstrous amounts of electricity, thus using power you don’t really need. Instead of a tumble dryer, try drying your clothes on a drying rack. While this is common behaviour in the UK, there are still many people who prefer to dry with a tumble dryer, so try it without. Similarly, unless you’re absolutely baking hot in the warm weather, try living without your AC for a while; you’ll save money on electricity this way!

8. Buy as much as you can second-hand

A lot of the goods we buy can be bought second-hand, reducing the cost massively. Doing this is also kinder to the environment, as you’re reusing something that someone else has already recycled. Cars, musical equipment, entertainment (like video games), and clothes are all great examples of things you can buy second-hand, and we’re sure that there are plenty of other specific examples in your life. The next time you’re out shopping, ask yourself if you really need to buy what you’re buying new.

skip bins

 

9. Sell things you don’t need

When you go green, you’ll probably find that there are appliances or other items that you used to rely on but no longer need. You can and should sell these things, because you’ll make a little extra cash and also send the item to someone who actually needs it. Don’t just leave it lying around your home accumulating dust, and don’t throw it away; instead, sell it, and if you absolutely can’t sell it, make sure you responsibly recycle it. You’ll almost always find someone who has a use for your old stuff, though!

10. Add timers to your heating and hot water

Think about the times during the day when you’re most in need of your heating or hot water. There are going to be moments when you don’t really need these things to be on, but they’ll be on anyway, draining resources unnecessarily. If you can, install a thermostat that can be programmed, so you can tell your system when to switch on the hot water and the heating.