Six Common Winter Energy Usage Questions Answered

Family staying warm on the sofa

Here we have put together some of the most common winter energy questions and provided solutions on how you can get through the cold period without spending too much on your electricity or gas bills. Read on to find out more.


Common Winter Energy Usage Questions

gas bill

As winter approaches and the energy crisis shows no signs of easing, people are naturally wondering about the best ways to both keep warm and to save money this Christmas. Difficult though it is, there are some very important ways in which you can optimise your energy usage so you can keep the house heated without worrying about the cost.

Should I Put The Electric Heater On?

An electric heater is generally more expensive when compared to central heating. Even with gas prices soaring, it is still cheaper to heat your home with the radiators than putting on the electric heater.

However, there are cases where the electric heater can be used to make it even more economical than central heating. For example, if you are just heating a smaller space, like a room or two, an electric heater can be more friendly on the budget.

It also depends on the type of heater you have. Generally, the best heater is an oil-filled heater that is cheap to run and usually costs around £50 for a good one. Oil-filled heaters take a bit of time to heat up, but they will warm your home thoroughly.

Hot Water Bottle Or Electric Blanket?

Boiling the kettle to fill up a hot water bottle is a great way to keep warm in bed during the night. Yet boiling a full kettle tends to be more expensive and uses more electricity than putting on an electric blanket for an hour before bed to warm it up before you get it.

However, a hot water bottle usually stays warm for a lot longer. Depending on the size, shape, and quality, you can get hot water bottles which will last for even six hours. This usually works out a lot cheaper than running the electric blanket for the entire night!

Should I Still Use The Tumble Dryer?

In the winter, it is usually quicker to put on the tumble dryer to get your clothes dry and warm after they’ve been washed. However, with the energy crisis, there are ways of making clothes-drying more cost-saving.

Using a drying rack is the cheapest way to avoid using the tumble dryer so often and it usually gets your clothes dry within a day or two. You can also invest in an indoor airer which works in the same way as a drying rack, but has different bars and rungs on which you can hang your different clothes.

Of course, you can also still hang your clothes outside. If there’s a pleasant breeze and no rain, your clothes will get dry and at a lower cost. As well as being good for your budget, it’s a great way to keep your carbon emissions down since you will be using less electricity to dry your clothes, which makes it much better for the environment.

Should I Leave My Heating On All Day Or Just Use High Bursts?

This is the age-old question. On the face of it, it really depends on your home and your insulation.

If you live in a property where heat escapes a lot more, then it would be best to just use short bursts of heating so that the heat doesn’t seep out of your home during the day. If you live in a property which is well insulated, however, it is advisable to leave the heating on low throughout the day so you trap all the heat inside.

In whatever property you live in, if you have a thermostat which allows you to programme exactly when your heating comes on, this is the best way to save on your heating costs.

Should I Leave The Heating On While I’m Away?

radiator

It is tempting to switch your heating off while you are away because it saves money, but it’s actually a good idea to keep the house warm even if you won't be there. This is because it prevents pipes from freezing and having to pay more for repairs. Again, if you can automatically programme your heating to come on when you need, this will save you a lot of money.

How Can I Insulate My Home

Insulating your home is the best way to keep heating costs down, your house warm, and help the environment. In the UK, there are many schemes and grants available to help you insulate your home in a cost effective way. You can also contact your supplier for details on how they can help you too with the Warm Home Discount.

Here are some of the common way to insulate your home:

  • Loft and Roof Insulation
  • Cavity or Solid Wall Insulation
  • Draught-Proofing
  • Double-Glazed Windows
  • New Boiler Installation

There are also government programmes which are available to help with your energy costs if you are struggling, like the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.

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