As many of us start putting on the radiators for the first time this year, you may notice a steep rise in the cost of your energy bill. Knowing how to keep costs down can be tricky.
However, courtesy of a recent blog post on the Money Saving Expert website, here are some hot tips and tricks to help you save some money this winter.
Heat your home only when you need it
It's a hotly debated topic as to whether homeowners should keep their heating on low all day to cut costs. However, according to experts at the Energy Saving Trust, this approach is a myth.
When thinking about saving money on your energy, you need to consider the total amount of energy required to heat your home. If you have good insulation it may not be worth letting some heat leak out throughout the day.
In the long run, it's better to heat your home only when you need it.
When to heat your water
If you have a gas, oil or LPG central heating system, according to Money Saving Expert, it will always be cheaper to set your system timer for the hot water to only come on when required.
However, anyone with an electrical immersion heater or an Economy 7 or 10 tariff, it's cheaper to heat your water during the night, and ensure your water tank is well insulated to prevent cooling through the day.
If you're unsure about what tariff you're on, check your latest energy bill or ask your energy firm.
Cling filming the windows
It’s an age old energy hack, but according to the Energy Saving Trust, putting clingfilm on your windows does actually work. The extra layer traps a small layer of air helping to stop heat escaping.
Using any material for a second layer of glazing will help keep heat in. However, if you already have double glazing you will not see as much of a benefit compared to those with single glazing.
Unplug your chargers
British Gas advises that, when your chargers are not in use, you should unplug them from the socket.
Although your phone or laptop may not be plugged in, there is a chance that the outlet is still draining power. If the charger is warm, it's using energy.
A lot of devices, such as games consoles, laptops and TVs, also draw power when plugged in and not in use. This is sometimes known as 'vampire power'. Using this standby power can be easily avoided by switching devices off at the wall.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a typical household wastes around £30 a year by leaving devices plugged in or on standby.
Gas is cheaper than electricity
The Energy Saving Trust says that the cheapest way of heating your home is by using an efficient gas central heating system, with a full set of thermostatic radiator valves, a room thermostat and a timer.
Get a smart meter
Although, smart meters won’t directly save you money, as they simply replace your current gas and electricity meters, measuring your usage can be a great way to save money on your bill.
Having a gadget which gives you real time information on your energy consumption can help identify where you can save money.
Keep your doors closed
It's a simple trick, but if you're looking to heat up a room more effectively to save money on your bills, close the doors of the room you want heated.
Radiators, electric panel heaters and convection heaters all work by creating a convection current in a room. As hot air rises, it circles around to the other side of the room, cools and sinks and travels back along the floor to the heater to be reheated again.
Closing doors makes sure this current remains within the designated space.