Winter isn’t just coming, it’s here to stay for the next few months. This is traditionally the season when electricity bills skyrocket. Why not read these simple tips to reduce your heating bill this winter?
Prune your plants
How can gardening help your heating bill? No, this isn’t a way to warm you up over winter (although this is an added bonus). Pruning the shady plants which overshadow north, east and west-facing windows of your home can go a long way to letting the sunlight in, which is a great way to warm up your house. Pruning on the south side won’t help the sun to warm your home the natural way, but it will let in extra light, making a huge difference in a gloomy room.
Open the blinds
Pruning your plants won’t have much effect if the curtains are drawn. Open up the curtains and blinds on the north, east and west sides of your house during the day – it’s surprising how efficient the sun is at heating an otherwise chilly room.
Close the blinds
Now that you’ve got your house all warmed up during the day, you don’t want to let the heat out at night. Single pane glass is a great conductor of heat – it will let all that warmth out at night if you leave windows uncovered. Try some thicker curtains with pelmets – these are great at stopping the heat from escaping over the top of the curtain. You can always swap the thick curtains for something lighter when summer comes around again.
Use your ceiling fan
Did you know that your ceiling fan has a winter setting? There’s usually a small switch on the side, just above the blades. By putting it on the winter setting and then turning it on low, the fan will push all the hot air sitting on the ceiling down into the rest of the room – just don’t forget to change it back in summer.
Ditch the draughts
The simple version of this tip is simply to seal up any draughts in your house. You can usually buy door and window seals at your local hardware store. A more extreme approach is to seal off the rooms you aren’t using. The smaller the space you have to heat, the lower your heating bill is going to be. By sealing up rooms which you don’t use – for example a guest bedroom or formal dining room – you can drastically reduce your heating bill. Just remember to turn the heaters off in these rooms if you are lucky enough to have central heating.
Keep the temperature low
Your heating bill increases by approximately 10 per cent with every degree you increase your thermostat. Try leaving it at 21 degrees, instead of 22, and remember that most people are more comfortable sleeping in a cooler house, so turn the heating down or off overnight.
Go back to basics
Firewood isn’t cheap in the city, but if you have easy access to firewood – perhaps you know a builder, or live in an area where it’s easier to come by – why not install a slow-combustion stove? You don’t have to pay to run it, and they give off the most delicious heat – if you’re clever you can heat your whole house using nothing but a few logs per day.
Do you have any good tips for keeping your heating bill down? Share your thoughts in the comments below to help your fellow YOURLifeChoices members beat their bills.
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