Winter is something of a double-whammy for people on a tight budget as not only is it the season that features Christmas, but it’s also pretty cold! Heating your home over winter is one of the biggest utility expenses, so if you can find some ways to get warm on the cheap, you’ll be winning.
Here’s a few good ideas for staying warm and staying in the black.
Try to get a discount on your heating fuel
Winter isn’t the best time to switch utility providers, but it’s always worth a shot. You may be able to get a cheaper deal, or to get your current provider to find you a cheaper tariff so that you’re not spending so much over Christmas. If you use home heating oil, then buying it from Supersaveroil.ie will mean you get the best possible prices.
Think about next winter too
If you don’t manage to switch utility provider or order your heating oil in time to take advantage of the lower summer prices, then make sure you do it in time for next winter!
If you don’t use your chimney, block it up!
Chimney flues can essentially suck heat out of your rooms, so if you only have your fireplace as decoration, then you need to block it. You may have a fireplace with a closing hatch, in which case that’s great, but if you don’t, you can install a chimney balloon to stop warm air escaping up it.
Go retro with some draught excluders
Your gran and her friends knew a few things, especially when it came to keeping a warm house. Those dachshund dog or snake-themed draught excluders really did the trick, so take a lesson from some wise old ladies and either buy or make your own draught excluders. It can be a pain to keep moving and replacing them, but cold air lurks around the floor, waiting to creep in through the gaps under doors after all. You will notice the difference.
Turn your thermostat down by just one degree
By lowering your thermostat by a degree – or two if you’re feeling brave -you can reduce your fuel consumption by 10%! Realistically, you’re not going to miss that one degree; if you push it to two degrees lower you might need an extra jumper or thicker socks, but you’re still not going to actively suffer. Ideally, you need a temperature between 18C and 21C to stay healthy – being cold all the time can lead to circulation problems – so as long as you stay within this band, you can’t go wrong.
Turn off your heating half an hour before you go to bed
Most people only turn off their heating as they’re going to bed because they worry about being cold as they settle to sleep. Your radiators will carry on kicking out heat for at least 20 minutes, so start turning them off half an hour before bedtime to save some more fuel – and some more money!