8 Simple Tricks for Staying Warm and Saving Energy This Winter
Winter is upon us, and usually, this means an increased power bill for your home. The costs of heating the home to stave off the cold are responsible for energy bill shock for a lot of people, and indeed, there are many that simply can’t afford that kind of increase in expense.
There are quite a few things that you can do to decrease your reliance on power for keeping the house warm, also saving you money and helping the environment, without compromising your comfort. Here are some tips for saving money on your energy bills this winter.
1. Properly seal doors
During the warmer hours of the day, you’ll want to leave your doors open to allow fresh air to circulate around the house. However when the temperature drops, it’s important that you’re able to close the door so that the gaps leading outside (those that allow warm air out and cold air in) are minimised. Checking to make sure the weatherstripping around doors and windows is not worn away is critical here. Additionally, making sure your door is built to fit snugly into the doorway – as SP Screens doors are – is important in locking the warm into your home. You can also make draught blockers yourself (such as the sausage dogs made out of old socks) cheaply, and this can also help keep that precious warm air in the home.
2. Use thick curtains
Thick curtains provide an excellent barrier between the home and the outside. During the day they will absorb the warmth from the sun filtering into the home, which they’ll gradually release into the home at night, while also providing a buffer to the cold that will seep into the home through the glass windows. There’s no way to stop glass from getting cold, nor can you go without windows, so curtains are definitely the best solution.
3. Close up rooms that are not in use
This is a big one; each room adds to the overall cost of heating, and if no one is actually using a room, then heating it is a wasted extravagance. Try to restrict heating to those rooms which people are going to spend the most time, and close doors to rooms not in use, so that the heat is not spreading to them.
4. Aim to be comfortable, not warm
Every extra degree you turn the thermostat up is an increase to the power bill; a surprisingly large one if you use it every day. Many people turn their thermostats to well above 20 degrees in order to feel warm, but if you turn it right down – say 17 or 18 degrees, and then get everyone to stay warm by wearing thick clothes, socks, and so on, you’ll have the same effect. This means that everyone in the house will be comfortable, but you’re only relying on the thermostat to take the edge off the cold.
5. Check your insulation
So much of the heat in a home is lost to poor insulation in the roof and walls. Each year, check that the ceiling and walls are adequately insulated, and top it up where that insulation is running thin. You can easily save hundreds of dollars in power bills every year by doing this.
6. If there are any gaps to the outside, then seal them properly
Anywhere where you have power external power outlets, or pipes running into home, there’s opportunity for the cold to get inside your home. It’s a simple DIY job to fill these gaps with caulk or sealing foam, so give yourself a little Sunday project ahead of winter, and check for gaps leading into your home.
7. Make use of a small electric heater instead
A portable heater is still going to add to the power bill, but at a (far) lower rate than central heating will. If your whole family will be concentrated in a room in the evenings (for example, the lounge room to watch TV), then it’s a good idea to resist turning the central heating on at all, and instead make use of a small portable heaters.
8. Keep the areas around the heat source free
Regardless of whether you’re getting your heat from a radiator, a portable electric heater, or otherwise, it’s a good idea to move sofas, drying clothes, and so on, away from the source of heat. Yes, it’s comfortable to be sitting on the sofa right next to the radiator, and yes it will dry those wet clothes more quickly, but at the same time, the proximity of these objects to the heater means they absorb a lot of the heat. This means that the rest of the room’s ambient temperature will feel cooler – and that might tempt you to turn the thermostat back up.
Tips for staying warm
All of these simple tricks neither require a lot of time, nor a significant expense, but done together, they can lead to a greatly reduced power bill this year, without compromising the comfort of your family.
Have a look into the impact that the doors and entranceways have on your home’s efficiency with heat. That’s often a big issue that people are simply not aware of. Have a chat with the team at SP Screens for more information on selecting the right doors for the winter.