Electricity, water and heating

10 home energy-saving tips for winter

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Not too hot, not too cold – the ideal room temperature lies between 18 and 22 degrees. Source: iStock / AndreyPopov

Whether heating, ventilation or lighting – slash the energy costs for your home by following these 10 tips.

As temperatures drop, energy use rises. Read on to find out how to save energy and still stay warm.

1. Check your windows and external doors

Even a small leak can quickly cool down your home. Check your windows and doors and seal any gaps as soon as you can.

2. Service your heating system and set it correctly

Before winter sets in, get your heating system serviced by a professional. The following tasks should be completed:

  • Clean the boiler
  • Adjust the burners correctly
  • Check the pump setting

3. Maintain the ideal room temperature

Heating your home improperly wastes energy. The ideal room temperature lies between 18 and 22 degrees. It shouldn't fall below this. Otherwise, if the rooms become too cold, the walls and furniture cool down too. Then the air temperature will only get warmer when the walls and furniture have warmed up again. This wastes energy and money. You can save around 6 per cent on your heating bill for each degree you lower your thermostat. 

4. Leave space around radiators

If there is furniture blocking the radiator, warm air is not able to circulate freely in the room. You should therefore never place furniture, particularly sofas, directly in front of a radiator.

5. Bleed radiators regularly

Gurgling radiators guzzle energy, since air in the pipes prevents the water – which is what carries the heat energy – from circulating properly. Bleeding radiators ensures that they warm up faster.

6. Ventilate rooms properly

Open windows wide for short periods to ensure rooms are well-ventilated. If you leave the window tilted open, you cool down the room without allowing an efficient exchange of air.

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7. Ventilate at least once per day

Ventilate regularly at least once per day – to prevent mould building up on ceilings and walls Stop draughts by using draught excluders or blankets at the base of doors between warm and cold rooms.

8. Optimize lighting

Not only is the heating working overtime, but the lights are on so much longer at this dark time of the year. Make sure lights and lamps are fitted with the correct bulbs. The most energy-efficient and cheapest are LED lights. Dimming lights can also save energy. If you are unsure, seek advice from a specialist light retailer.

9. Switch off lights

Sounds obvious, but is seldom put into practice: turn off the light when leaving a room. Use accent lighting: illuminate only those parts of a room where light is needed instead of flooding the entire room with light from the ceiling.  

10. Use a kettle to boil water

Boil water in the kettle for your hot cup of tea or for cooking spaghetti instead of heating water on the stove. It’s much faster and uses less electricity. 

 

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