Prep your home for winter and save

Don’t be left out in the cold this winter – preparing your home for the chilly months will not only save you money, it may also help safeguard your health and wellbeing.

Consider these energy-saving tips.

1. Check windows and doors for gaps by placing a lit, incense stick or candle nearby – if the smoke moves, you will know where the drafts are. Caulk window and door frames and place draught excluders at the bottom of doors.

2. Using your slow cooker is not only a good way to save energy, but also a great way to turn tougher, cheaper cuts of meat into delicious stews and casseroles. Prepare your freezer by buying meat and vegetables when on special and plan your winter menu.

3. Windows that can’t be seen can still cause drafts and a loss of heat. Bubble wrap makes a simple and effective insulator – all you have to do is wet the inside of the window and apply the bubble wrap with the bubbles facing the window. It should last all winter.

4. Saving money for bills is the obvious way to help with heating bills, but it’s not always easy to find the extra dollars to put aside. Just a dollar or two put away each week can provide a buffer should a bill be more expensive than expected.

5. Spice up your food by adding cayenne, hot peppers, chilli and ginger to your food where appropriate. The temporary increase in body temperature means you can turn down the heat for a little while at least.

6. If you have an open fire or stove that heats your home, ensure you’re burning the correct wood. Although they are cheaper type of composite blocks available, they do burn quicker.  Hard woods burn more slowly than soft woods so, although more expensive, they may be cheaper in the long run. Also, if you’re having wood delivered, you’ll be keen to keep delivery costs to a minimum and longer-burning wood means less deliveries.

7. Consider if you have the right type of heating for your home. If you need to heat a large open plan area, a heater with a fan is more effective; whereas one that simply radiates heat is fine for a small space. If you can, opt for one with a timer, just in case you accidently fall asleep or leave it on if you move to another room.

8. Electric blankets are a popular way of saving on heating in the bedroom, but heated mattress pads use less energy and keep the heat captured around your body from the mattress underneath, as opposed to electric blankets, which radiate half their heat skyward toward the bedroom ceiling.

Do you have any clever tips for reducing winter heating bills that you’re happy to share?

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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