With fuel prices at an all-time high and continuing to rise, many of us are looking at ways of using less fuel in the home and, as a consequence, saving money. There are several easy steps that could really make a difference to your household bills over the course of a year.
Whatever else you do, you should make sure that any unnecessary gaps are plugged, as a stream of cold air whistling in under a door or at the edge of a window frame is nothing but counterproductive. If the draught is coming under a door, then a simple draught excluder can be made using rolled up newspapers, pushed down the leg of an old pair of tights or tucked into an old pillow case and secured with a few elastic bands. Gaps around door and window frames or other holes can be filled with an expanding foam, which is readily available from DIY outlets.
As well as keeping draughts out, you should keep heat in. For example, a jacket on your immersion heater or lagging around your pipes will prevent heat loss which would force you to reheat the water. Furthermore, adequate loft insulation prevents a great deal of waste as heat can easily escape via your roof; if you are getting ready to redecorate, consider buying some insulating wallpaper, which will help to keep your rooms warm for longer.
Use other forms of fuel
Don’t necessarily resort to turning on the central heating. Often, a free-standing room-heater can provide a speedy and efficient method of heating a space and once you have the room as warm as you’d like, you can turn it down or even off. An oil heater, for example, can give you the advantage of being portable enough so that you can just heat the specific space you will be in as well as making it easier to keep track of the fuel you are using.
Keep yourself warm
Dress appropriately for the weather, remembering that several thin layers are more effective than one thick one. If you tend to sit still for a long time, you are likely to be colder than if you move around. Get up every now and then and take a little walk, do some household tasks or just get your circulation going with a few exercises. Have a warm drink to heat you up on the inside and you’ll find you need less heating from the outside.
Keep an eye on the weather
You can use your curtains to banish cold or trap heat if you watch what is happening outside. If the sun is shining on your window, open the curtains and let some of that warmth in; if the day is grey, cold or windy, close the curtains to stop your home’s precious heat from escaping.
Being sensible about how much fuel you use isn’t just a good idea, it’s absolutely vital. Not only will you keep your energy bills lower, but you will be helping to reduce your impact on the environment, and in the long term, we will all benefit from that.
Sarah writes for Claddagh Oil who supply home heating oil in Ireland.