I MAY EARN MONEY OR PRODUCTS FROM THE COMPANIES MENTIONED IN THIS POST.
So my flat’s heating system broke down nearly a month ago, and we try to keep ourselves warm with electric heaters the building management let us borrow. While this is not an ideal Christmas setting, it made me think: what can you do to save money/reduce costs during winter?
1) Limit the time you leave the heaters on
So obviously, given my recent experience, my first tip is don’t leave the heaters on 24/7… In my former flat for instance, we would heat the flat for a couple of hours before going to sleep and then turn it off for the night: our duvets were warm enough to have a good night sleep. Mornings were cold, but at least you wake up faster! So in general, don’t leave the heaters on all the time if the room is already warm (especially if you don’t have a smart thermostat), or if you are not even in the room (we usually only have 2 heatings on at the same time in the house, and it’s never been a problem). Of course, if can be hard if you leave in a space that is difficult to heat, but every improvement you can make will lighten you heating bill every month.
2) Invest in a smart thermostat
These things are really great and I would say they are worth the investment. Yes, they are expensive but they reduce your overall bills so, in the end, you win. We have been using one for a couple of years now and it’s great: you can monitor it remotely from your phone, program schedules and the best part is that it automatically turns the heating off once the room is warm. This Nest is a good option.
3) Think about your windows…
When I moved to London, I was really surprised that most houses here did not seem to have double glazed windows, which are very common in Paris. If you can afford the expense or next time you move, consider investing in double glazed windows. I have lived with and without double glazed windows, and the difference is striking. Without double glazing, the loss of heat is much more significant, making a room harder to heat and keep warm, and increasing your heating costs. If this is too much of an expense or if you are not able to install double glazed windows, you can also invest in a window insulation kits, which should help you save on heating costs.
4) … And doors
Use draft blockers at the bottom or your front (and other) doors. They are generally cheap and easy to install, will save you money on heating costs and keep the dust out.
5) Check any other openings in your house that could be sealed or insulated
These could be chimneys, small bathroom windows, vents, etc.
6) Protect anything that’s outside
Harsh weather can damage a lot of things that have to stay outside such as cars, lawnmowers, and your house itself! Think about what you can do to protect anything you have staying outside during the cold months to prevent damage and prolong their life. For instance, keep your gutters clean: accumulated frozen water expands and can crack your gutters, keep your car covered or even inside a garage to prevent a sheet of ice to form on the windows, causing you to heat up water and de-ice the windows every time you need to get in your car.
7) Talking about cars…
Do a check-up of your car midway through the winter: this is a good way to check if anything has changed due to the weather and avoid further deteriorations: wipers, oil, coolant, lights, windows, fluid levels, brakes, tires, heaters…
8) In the bathroom
How tempting is it to take long hot showers in winter? Very tempting, indeed, but maybe not ideal. Keep your shower reasonably warm and short. Why? Hot water can make your skin dry, will condense more in the air and damage any paint you may have in your bathroom. Short, well because long showers consumer more energy.
9) Wear layers inside
10) Leave your oven open after you finish using it
it will release the air into the room, warming it up and cool the oven faster. Win-win!