Winter is coming! Tips and tricks to save on your energy bills

Christopher James Scheller / Unsplash
Christopher James Scheller / Unsplash
13 February 2019, Redaction

We all want to be warm this winter, but sometimes cranking up the thermostat can leave you with a hefty fuel bill at the end of the month. After you’ve done all the usual tricks of using energy efficient lightbulbs and turning off lights and appliances when you’re not using them, what other ways can you save money while staying warm in winter?

How to heat a room for just a few cents a day

British journalist and sailor Dylan Winter shows us how to heat a room using only four small Ikea candles and two flowerpots.

This is the winter 'low cost' method which consists of placing four lit candles on a metal tray and covering them with a small clay flowerpot, which in turn will be covered with another larger pot with a hole in the bottom. The candles heat the air inside the containers and, thanks to the creation of a convection current between the hot and cold air, heat escapes from the bottom of the tray and from the central hole in the larger pot.

You just have to be a little patient and wait for the temperature to rise, but you’ll be amazed by this homemade heater that only costs the price of some tealights. Each candle can stay burning and warming up your home for up to four hours.

So, according to Winter, four candles (not fork ‘andles!) in the morning and another four in the afternoon are enough to heat one of the rooms in your house where you spend the most time. A pack of 100 tealights costs 3.79 euro, so it would only cost 32 cents to heat each room.

Install smart sockets

With mobile apps today, you can control the entire electrical installation of your home from your iPhone, Ipad, or Apple Watch. Google has also hopped onto the smart home bandwagon with its Google Home app for Android devices.

There is an extensive range of smart sockets on offer on the market that help homes to be more efficient. One way they do this is that they can be used to turn off the central heating from work or analyse which appliance consumes the most electricity.

They are also a great way to monitor your house when you’re not there and keep it safe from theft. Many users of these smart outlets use them during holidays to turn the lights on and off, for example, thus making at seem like someone is in and keeping burglars away.

Use doors and windows effectively

Make sure that any air inlets and outlets in your home, like windows and doors, are properly sealed to help maintain indoor temperature. It’s also important that if your house faces the sun during the daytime, you ventilate for 10 minutes immediately after you get up and pull up the blinds. This allows fresh, naturally heated air to enter the house and stop it going stale.

It’s also a good idea to make sure the carpets match the curtains; decorate with dark-coloured rugs and curtains because they absorb solar radiation more than light furnishings and help to raise the overall temperature in the house.

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