Keep warm without breaking the budget

08-May-2017 18:00:00

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It’s that time of the year when the heaters come on or the fire gets lit – and power bills can sky rocket. How can you keep the family warm while keeping control of the bill?

Here’s some small but effective ideas for efficient power use:

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.

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?

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.

Lights

  • 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.

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Topics: Residential, New Zealand, Advice, House of Inspiration