With the cold weather on our doorstep, it’s only a matter of time before the heater goes on and the arrival of your electricity bill brings a sense of dread to your day. But you don’t have to remain completely helpless, here are some tips to winter proof your home, stay cosy & warm and keep some of your precious hard earned dollars right where they should be- in your bank account.
This might be a simple one but for those that use a reverse cycle air conditioner to keep warm should know, a clean filter can help reduce running costs and keep the air in your home just that little bit cleaner.
Run fans in reverse
Although we usually only think to turn on our fans when the weather is hot, running your ceiling fans in reverse can help circulate the warm air that has pooled near the ceiling back into the room, cutting your heating costs as much as 10 per cent!
Checking that the setting on your water heater is not set to max can help save money. Of course this is no suggestion to take cold showers in the middle of winter- no thanks! Turning down the setting even a little can help cut electricity costs in the long run, especially if your household doesn’t need scalding hot water all day long. It might also be time to look at installing a water efficient shower head if you can’t bear to shorten your shower times in winter.
Block dodgy drafts
This is a simple one for sure but who hasn’t been sitting in front of a warm fireplace and felt that cold breeze brushing at your back before. Those old draft snakes may make you think of Grandma’s house but maybe in this case Grandma knows best. If you can’t bear the thought of the old draft snake making an appearance in your house, try rolling up some decorative fabric or towels to block the draft. Another culprit of the dodgy drafts is your window seals. Installing rubber weather strips on your windows and doors may make a huge difference, especially when used with heavy curtains to stop heat escaping.
Although a house that is completely warm no matter where you go is a dream for most of us in winter, heating only the rooms that are being used is the smart way to go when you are trying to keep electricity costs down. Keep the doors closed to rooms that are not being used to help even more. Remember that every degree over 20C on your thermostat could add another 10 percent to your power bill- ouch!
I’m sure what sprang to mind is your flatmate or kids who are notorious for leaving the light on in every room they have been in that night, and although taming this habit will go a little ways in reducing your electricity bill, there are a few more tips which may help.
Think about items that might be wasting electricity in your house- the old fridge in the garage with the poor seal may be a prime example. Think about running the dishwasher and washing machine overnight during off peak energy times. Try to minimise using your dryer and use a clothes rack in front of the heater to dry your clothes- it’s on anyway right?