Saving money is imperative during the cold weather because heat is expensive. It is important to keep the warm air inside of the home and the cold air out.
Doors and Windows
Pull the curtains closed at dusk – doing so will help to keep the heat in. Use curtains with a separate lining that are installed in close proximity to the window. The curtains themselves should be wide enough that they overlap the window frame and long enough that they reach to the floor. Using a pelmet is also beneficial.
Consider Insulating Your Own Windows – if you insulate your windows using a DIY kit, you can significantly cut down on how much heat is lost through the window. It can also be done at a much lower price than double glazing.
Stop the draught – Your doors and windows should fit the frame snugly. Tape can be used around the doors and windows to stop the draught, use draught snakes and excluders on the bottom of the frame.
Be sure that the heaters are off when they are not in use. Don’t leave them on when you’re not at home, and be sure to do the same with your heat pump.
Your thermostat should be set between 18 and 20°C
Many heaters are only sufficient for a single room so pull the curtains and close the doors in the evening.
When you are trying to heat a room, use the heater in the room directly. Shut the door unless central heating is being used.
Heating and Cooling
Keep the home dry
Moisture and dampness should be removed from the home, especially when you are washing and cooking.
If you have any leaking or broken pipes they should be fixed immediately. When pipes or gutters are broken or leaking, it can lead to moisture in the home and the possibility for mold.
Use a Ground Vapor Barrier – this is a large plastic sheet that is on the dirt underneath the home. It helps to keep the moisture in the ground.
Clear the vents – The outside of the home should be checked periodically to ensure that underfloor vents are not blocked by plants or other obstructions. In doing so, air moves easier from under the house.
Inside the Home
Showering, cooking and washing – These are all factors that pull moisture into the home. If you want to remove the moisture, a vented extraction fan is the best choice. If you don’t have one available, windows can be opened after showering, cooking or cleaning.
Use an outside Clothes Dryer – When drying clothes, be cautious not to introduce moisture into the home. The clothes Dryer should be outside or should be vented to the outside. You should also be cautious about air drying your clothing on racks in the home.
Air Exchange – every day, the windows and doors in the home should be opened periodically to let moisture escape. Be sure to include the cupboard and wardrobe doors.
Bedroom Ventilation – if you open the window in the bedroom a crack at night, it helps keep moisture from building up.
Bedding – The bedding should be aired out throughout the year, including in the winter. Heavy pillows, comforters and other bedding absorb the moisture so airing them out when it is sunny outside can help.
Don’t Use Unvented Gas Heaters – These could be the source of toxic fumes. It is less expensive to run a portable electric heater.
Save money on lighting
The easiest way to save money around the home is to adjust your lighting.
Turn lights off when you aren’t using them
Use Energy-Efficient LEDs – replace your incandescent light bulbs and you could save up to $100 annually.
Save Money on Hot Water
It is expensive to heat hot water so using less will lower your energy bill.
Efficient Showerheads – The use of an efficient showerhead can still give you a good shower but uses less water. Measure the flow rate by filling a bucket. If you find that a 10 leader bucket is filling in less than a minute, you are using too much water. A flow rate of 9 L per minute or less is considered efficient.
Reduce Time in the Shower – if you cut your shower time by two thirds, you will save a significant amount of money. It could end up saving up to $20 weekly if a family of four take shorter showers. That really adds up at the end of the year.
Wash Clothes in Cold Water – Only extremely dirty loads should require anything but cold water. Most modern-day washing machines work quite well. You will use up to 10 times as much energy using hot water.
Saving Money on Appliances
Appliances use electricity, so using them less and more efficiently when you do works. Additionally, try use cheaper energy – here is a market leading energy site you can use.
Appliances that are running on standby can cost up to $100 a year or more. Home entertainment appliances, including stereos, TVs and game consoles are some of the worst offenders. They should be plugged into a multi-plugboard so a switch can be flipped to turn them all off.
Heated Towel Rails
You should only use your heated towel rail when it is necessary to do so. If you leave them on all of the time, they could cost $170 to run annually. Timers can help to reduce the use of towel rails and they come on automatically when needed.
If a second refrigerator is only used for keeping a few drinks cool, it could be an expensive option. Inefficient models may cost up to $200 annually to run. You should think about getting rid of it or at least turning it off.
Door Seals – If your refrigerator door seal is not working properly, you are losing a lot of energy. New seals should be replaced regularly as the refrigerator gets older.