The arrival of warmer weather has created a welcome respite from the pressure of gas prices. This respite is, however, only temporary. That means you should make the most of it to prepare for when the cold returns. Here are some tips from David Tyrer, Director of Rio Heating, to help you save on your gas bill.
Switch to electricity
If you can switch completely to electric, you can not only eliminate your gas usage charges but also your standing charges. If you can switch partially to electric, then you can at least save money on usage charges.
If you’re planning on upgrading your central heating anyway, then it could make sense just to go all-electric. If, however, your gas central heating is relatively modern (and hence efficient), then you might want to look at electric radiators. Both hard-wired and plug-in electric radiators come in smart options for even greater efficiency.
If you’re concerned about having heating in a power cut, then remember that most gas central heating systems still need electricity to function. The only way to ensure heating in a power cut is to use an off-grid solution like a bottled-gas heater.
Maximise your insulation
If your core home insulation was done some time ago then it may need to be updated. Even if it’s still in perfect condition, there may still be steps you can take to maximise your insulation in general. Basically, you need to think of your home in its entirety, literally top to bottom and side to side. If you can insulate it, then do so.
For example, you’re probably already used to putting art on your walls for decoration. Consider putting textiles on them instead. Alternatively, put textiles against the wall and then hang the art over the top of them. This may sound excessive, but it really can trap heat. Also, make a note to check your door and window frames for gaps as autumn approaches.
Try turning down your thermostat
If you have very old people or very young people in your home, this may not be practical. If, however, you’re all healthy adults, turning down your thermostat by as little as one degree can significantly reduce your heating bills.
Get smart about laundry
Train yourself and your loved ones to think before putting clothes in to be washed. A lot of clothes can be worn two or three times before they need a proper wash. If they’re clean but a bit musty then airing them or steaming them are better options. Not only will they save you money, but they’ll extend the life of your clothes too.
When you do laundry try to fill the machine as full as possible but do not overfill it. You should be able to fit your flat hand comfortably on top of the load. If you can, this means that the machine is as full as it can be. That little bit of space at the top is needed to ensure that the clothes can still move freely.
Keep your tumble dryer switched off as much as possible. If you can’t air-dry clothes outdoors, air-dry them indoors instead. If possible, take clothes out of the machine as soon as the spin is over, shake them and then either hang them up or fold them. This reduces the need for ironing, saving you electricity (and time).
If you must tumble dry, then do so as efficiently as possible. Unless you have a separate tumble dryer, keep to a maximum of a half load. Put a couple of dryer balls (or tennis balls) in with the laundry. If possible, take it out while it’s still damp and leave it to air dry. If you’re changing loads, keep the door as close to the machine as possible to trap the warm air.