It’s that time of year. The days are shorter, the nights are getting colder, and if you’re anything like us, you’re spending more time at home in the evening, keeping yourself warm and counting down the days until summer arrives!
Throughout the winter months it’s a well known fact that energy bills tend to rise, which on top of the ever-increasing cost of living, can be a struggle for some. So, we’ve put together some of our best money saving tips to help lower your energy bills, as well as more longer-term changes that, once implemented, will leave you with money in the bank for the good stuff!
Keep in the heat
A large proportion of your energy bills will be for heating, whether you have a heat pump, which is much more energy efficient, electric heaters or something else, these appliances will have to work much harder if you have a draughty home and insufficient insulation – which of course will add to the cost of your bills.
Draught-proofing your home to prevent heat escaping is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to save energy. It also saves to only heat up the key rooms you’re using, so make sure you close all the internal doors not in use, close up your cat or dog door, and use draught excluders to stop that heat escaping!
Keep it cosy
Did you know that having too many cold surfaces in your home can increase the chill factor too? To keep your house not only feeling more cosy, but to actually keep it warmer, consider decent quality heavy curtains over your windows – keep them open in the day and take advantage of any solar gains, and close when the sun goes down. If you’ve got big spaces with hard flooring, cover high-use areas with rugs and finally, where possible, shuffle around your furniture, so you’re not going to be sitting right under a breezy window – we also like to have a good collection of throws to hand to take off the chill when relaxing on the sofa.
Replace outdated halogen lights for LED’s
Halogens are becoming a thing of the past. Not only do they need to be kept away from ceiling insulation as a fire-safety precaution, they can cause unseen issues with allergies due to falling ceiling dust and aesthetically, they look a little outdated. The main issues with them though, is that during winter, they are a huge energy waster! Because they can’t be insulated over, they provide a quick and easy escape route for heat to escape.
The heat that halogens generate also create a chimney effect and suck warm air out of your home and into the ceiling space – leading to more draughts and less heat!
Swapping out old halogens for modern LED downlights are much more energy efficient, look modern and sleek, and won’t play havoc with allergies.
Get the most out of your heat pump
While heat pumps are the most efficient form of electric heating you can buy, certain models are much more energy-wasters than others. However there are some top tips to ensure that heat pump is functioning more efficiently to help keep the cost down.
Check the star rating
You’ll have noticed that when you purchase a new appliance they now come with an energy star rating which tells you how efficient they are and how much energy they will use. This generally ranges from one to six stars and the more starts the more efficient the appliance. Although the higher-star rated appliances tend to be on the pricier side, you’ll certainly make this back in running costs over time.
You could even be getting caught out with older appliances costing more than you think. To put it into perspective, a new, energy-efficient fridge can cost half as much to run as one that’s 15 to 20 years old – this equates to a saving of about $100-150 per year.
Touch base with your energy providers
Different energy providers will have different plans that you can select depending on you and your family’s schedule. Maybe you are working a late afternoon/evening where the more expensive peak hours don’t affect you much – yet your hot water cylinder is cranking when you can’t even use it! Or perhaps you have a large family who usually uses the most energy during peak times in the evening and you want to ensure your plan reflects this.
A quick phone call to your provider to discuss what plan works best for you could save you money in the long run.
The Get Amped Team is here to help, whether you have any other questions, or if you’re keen to tick off some of these items on the list. If you would like a free no obligation quote and to chat more about your objectives get in touch today on 04 298 6206.