Smart ways to save energy and stay warm this winter

As temperatures plummet at this time of year, it is vital that we all take the necessary action to protect ourselves from the elements by staying warm – but what does that mean for our energy bills?

It has been a particularly hot topic recently, with a number of leading energy suppliers coming in for sustained criticism at their decision to raise tariffs which ultimately mean consumers paying out more than ever. The Energy Bill Revolution alliance, which McCarthy & Stone were delighted to join back in March of this year, aims to deliver lower energy bills alongside warm homes in the UK.

The alliance has asked the government to look at the possibility of using the £2bn which is acquires from carbon taxes make sure UK homes are as energy-efficient as possible.

Following on from this, McCarthy & Stone have launched an online Fuel Savings Calculator, available as a Facebook application, where users can see their current annual bills and get an estimate of how much they could potentially save.

However, the need to stay warm is something that everyone is aware of so what is the solution?

In order to help, here are a few smart tips to follow:

Layer up

Set the thermostat a couple of degrees lower by wearing several thin layers of clothing to help retain warmth and comfort. This is more effective than simply wearing one thick layer and lowering your heating thermostat to 10°C-15°C for 8 hours a day can save 10-15% on your annual heating bill. That’s a saving of 1% per degree.

Use thick furnishings

Reduce heat loss in your home by making a concentrated effort to block any draughts. Draught excluders at doors are an obvious option but drawing curtains as soon as you get home and swapping light summer fabrics for thick winter curtains can help keep your home warm and toasty.

You can also add thermal linings to the back of curtains or fit keyhole covers to help.

Set timers on your heating

Instead of heating your house constantly, set a timer on your controls. This will ensure your radiators only come on at set times and can reduce the amount of energy you use. First thing in the morning is an obvious time to have the heating warmed up but you may be able to switch it off entirely overnight.

Change your duvet

It’s amazing how much difference the right duvet can make to your comfort levels at winter so check the tog rating of yours and ensure it is suitable for winter use. Having a summer duvet on your bed at winter will not help you to stay warm.

Isolate your heating

If there are rooms in your house which you don’t use then don’t waste money heating them over winter. Isolate the heating in your home by adjusting the thermostat on each radiator so that disused rooms are not heated.

Keep doors and windows shut in these rooms to stop cold draughts spreading throughout the rest of your home.

Eat warm meals

Our bodies draw heat from the energy released by our food. Give it a helping hand by ensuring you take care of yourself and eat hot, healthy meals throughout the winter.

These should be packed full of nutrients and slow-release energy foods such as pasta and potatoes.

Clear the clutter

Keep radiators and heaters clear and uncovered. This is not only a top safety tip which can prevent accidents but it will also allow the heat they emit to circulate properly and warm your home more efficiently.

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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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