Keep warm without breaking the budget
Easter is well in the rear-view mirror, and the sun filled summer holidays seem nothing but a distant memory and long-gone are those days of a golden tan, days at the beach and sun-soaked bliss. It’s completely dark in the mornings now, the sun sets at 5.15pm and the overall outlook is downright bleak. Winter is well and truly at our doorstep. And we haven’t even touched on the ever-present chilly bite in the air. Now is the time to rug-up, pull out your winter woolies and grab a hot cup of Earl Grey. Brace yourselves, because the next couple of months are not going to be flash.
So, in anticipation of those single-digit temperatures we will never be used to and the freezing period we have ahead, we here at Cooper & Co have provided a guide to stay warm in your home this winter, without
1. Water heating is one of the largest power or gas users
- Check your hot water taps and hot water cylinder for leaks.
- Look at installing an insulating wrap on your hot water cylinder and the hot water pipe from the top – these are reasonably priced and easy to install and will reduce precious heat loss from your cylinder.
- Laundry uses a huge amount of water – with so many excellent cold water laundry detergents on the market there is very little need for hot washes.
- Look at what temperature your water is set at – do you really need it that high?
- Take showers instead of baths – and resist the urge to linger.
2. Stop your heat escaping
- Install insulation wherever you can around the home.
- Make sure your curtains are closed when the heather is on.
- If purchasing new windows dressings, the thicker your curtains and the closer fitting they are to the window the less heat you will lose.
- Seal drafts around doors, and if you aren’t using a fireplace, seal or cover that up as well – you’ll be surprised at how much heat can escape up the chimney.
- Only heat the rooms you are using – it sounds basic, but why heat the parts of the house you’re not using?
3. Know your appliances
- You might think you’ve turned the television off, but it might just be on ‘sleep’ mode, which means it’s still consuming power. Using the ‘off’ button on an appliances remote control won’t turn it off completely. When you are not using your television, stereo, video, computer or other appliances, turn them off at the wall.
- Walk around the house and you will be surprised at how many appliances are still on and therefore using power. Unplugging them at the wall will save power.
- Plan ahead when you use the oven to cook more than one item at once.
- As it gets darker earlier in the evenings and later in the mornings our lights stay on a lot longer and chew up a lot more electricity. Make sure you turn the light off in rooms you are not using. You can always turn it back on every time you re-enter the room.
- If you have an older-style home, it’s a good idea to invest in energy-saving bulbs which also reduce costs. Newer homes will most probably already be using these, but they can easily be purchased from hardware stores, and even supermarkets.
5. Layer up
- As basic as it sounds, trapping heat close to your skin makes a huge difference.
- A pair of thermals, ugg boots, a scarf or jumper gives you the equivalent boost in warmth of turning the heat pump up by 4 degrees.
- Keep a warm hat nearby – body heat can quickly escape from your head.
A few other tips:
- Use flannel sheets on your bed, instead of an electric blanket.
- Investing in a hot water bottle or a wheat bag. As little as $6 at Kmart.
- Start your day with a hearty warm breakfast. Replace you Weet-Bix and milk with some hot porridge or even bacon and eggs.
- Winter is often a time where outdoor activity and exercise is neglected. Make going to the gym a priority and a routine habit throughout winter. Take up pilates, yoga or a programme at home to warm yourself up. You will feel that much better and that much warmer.
These are just a few ways that you can save on the heating bills over the colder months. Above all, remember that it is important to stay healthy, warm and cosy. However you will thank yourself when the bills come through the door if you pop on an extra pair of socks now!