save money

Energy bills will soar for many households this winter as they crank up the heating to stay warm, especially for those still working from home. A few simple changes now can make all the difference to your winter energy bills this season.

On average, energy use increases up to 20% during the winter months, a financial burden that many homeowners might forget to factor into their monthly or quarterly outgoings. Here, we share 6 easy ways to keep your winter bills down.

1. Lower your thermostat
Reducing the temperature on your heater thermostat can reduce the energy used by 10 per cent. In winter, set the heater thermostat to a maximum of 18-20°C. Enjoy savings in summer by setting your air conditioner to a minimum of 26°C. Remember to only heat or cool the rooms you are using and keep the heat or cool in by keeping doors and windows closed and using door snakes and other draught sealers where possible.

2. Use your curtains wisely
Windows are a major source of heat loss, it’s like having a big hole in the wall for warm air to escape. During the day, open your curtains to let the sun in to help to warm your home naturally and close them at night to seal any draughts around windows or doors.

3. Clean your heater
Dust build-up can affect heater efficiency, so check the cleaning instructions for ducted heating systems, split systems, or gas heaters. Vacuum around heater vents regularly. The filters inside a split system need to be taken out and cleaned according to system instructions, often with a quick vacuum.

4. Let it vent
Make sure any heating vents are kept clear and that any rugs or furniture that are in the way are moved to ensure heat is circulated around the room as efficiently as possible.

5. Layer up first
Before you turn the heater on, pop on a cosy jumper or dressing gown first. When dressing in winter, it's best to wear several thin layers. This helps to insulate you and makes it easier to add or remove clothing depending on the temperature. It's also best to opt for materials that retain heat such as wool or fleece. Also, make sure that you keep your feet warm with socks or slippers to help your whole body retain heat.

6. Compare energy plans
Perhaps the quickest way to save money on energy is to take advantage of the energy market and shop around. The options available can vary by location, time of the day the energy is used and tariff type.