Autumn conjures up visions of crisp mornings, beautiful sunrises and glorious colours. It also heralds fewer daylight hours and a drop in temperature. So with that in mind now is the ideal time to ensure your home is warm and cosy and stays that way right the way through to spring. But with the cost of living crisis rumbling on for a second year, what can you do to help save yourself money on your energy bills whilst still keeping warm?
Boiler check up
If you only do one thing this autumn, give your boiler the once over. It’s a professional job and not cheap so ensure the plumber or technician is CORGI registered and preferably someone recommended. However, regular boiler maintenance is essential for the smooth running of the system and saves money long term.
Insulation is key to lowering energy costs and helping keep your home warmer in the cooler months. Windows, doors, lofts and even cracks in the floorboards can all allow cold air in, so go round now checking for any gaps and then plug them. Invest in draft excluders, or some heavy curtains to help keep the colder air at bay and consider adding rugs or carpets which can also help make the floors less chilly to walk on. Check the sealants on windows and doors to make sure no heat can escape and make sure your loft, plus any pipes and water tanks therein, is fully lagged.
Get smart with heating
If you have a smart phone consider using it to control when your heating comes on so it’s done as and when you may need it. Systems which operate on a ‘same time each day’ setting are more costly and less efficient. To be even more energy-conscious, only heat the rooms you use, such as bedrooms and sitting rooms.
To get the most out of your radiators, try not to put furniture against them, especially sofas, as your boiler will need to work extra hard to get the heat out. Bleed radiators regularly as trapped air can also stop them from working efficiently and effectively and put a sheet of foil behind each one – it helps to reflect wasted heat energy from behind the radiator back into the room.
In the dry
Talking of radiators, don’t put your washing on them to dry! Putting damp or wet clothes over the radiator will allow moisture to be carried into the room and this will lead to patches of mould which can cause damage. It will also mean your boiler will have to work extra hard as the clothes are blocking the radiator from heating the room, thus using more energy meaning more expense.
If you have a chimney but don’t use it, consider blocking it up with newspaper to help keep the cold air out. However, if you do use it make sure you get it swept regularly to make it more efficient.
Eco friendly extras
If you have a bit more cash to splash or are thinking long term, you may want to consider solar panels. Now more affordable, they also allow you to sell your electricity back to the grid. As more of us become environmentally conscious heat pumps are another eco friendly feature worth considering. Harnessing natural resources makes sense and will add value to your home in the long term.