This is the time of the year where we rely on our boiler and certain appliances more than usual. So, we’re sharing some tips on how to make your home more energy efficient. We’ve also thrown in a few ways to be kinder to the planet throughout the colder months.
The changes we’re suggesting are so small, you’ll forget you’ve made them – that is until you check your bills!
See if you can lower your thermostat
As mentioned in our winter heating guide, lowering the temperature by a small amount can have a big impact on your heating bills.
When did you last check the time that your heating is set to come on and go off? Consider lowering the temperature overnight and while you’re away. If you’ve been working from home, you’ll likely have the heating on all through the day. If you’re going to be working in the office more regularly, you can lower your thermostat during daylight hours – those house plants don’t need the extra warmth.
Did you change your thermostat at the start of daylight-saving time? Some thermostats adjust the time automatically, but if yours needs resetting manually, make sure it still reflects your routine.
Challenge yourself to spend less time showering
After a hectic day, few things are as relaxing as a hot shower or bath brimming with bubbles. However, if you’re showering extra to stay warmer for longer, there are more energy-efficient solutions to explore. For every minute we spend in the shower, we use 12 litres of water on average, according to Waterwise. Why not, next time you take a shower time yourself and see if you can score a personal best?
It’s sweater weather, so if you’re feeling chilly, wrap up cosy, indoors and out. For a sustainable style update, see if you can source your knits second hand.
Hot water bottles and mugs of cocoa will also keep you toasty. When you’re making hot drinks, just remember not to fill your kettle too full to avoid wasting both water and electricity.
Turn off devices in the sitting room
The chillier months call for cosy evenings in, snacks and films at the ready. Just don’t forget to turn your TV and electronics off when you’re finished with them. Modern TVs sometimes have better standby efficiency, but it’s better to turn your gadgets off completely. The same goes for all the lights in the room – take note and reduce your electricity usage (and bills) at the flick of a switch.
Reduced screen time can help you get a better night’s sleep. The blue light emitted from screens mirrors the ultraviolet rays of the sun. This type of light makes us feel awake. To reduce your electricity consumption, and get more shuteye, why not shut down your devices earlier in the evening every so often?
Plan how to use leftovers in advance
The winter months are full of celebratory dinners. Generally, it’s the season where we’re going out for meals more often but still filling our fridges with food. As well as planning your festive feasts, decide in advance how you’re going to use the leftovers. You can find turkey sandwich and vegetable curry recipes by the dozen online.
If you’ve accidentally ordered too much food, or end up dining out more than expected, donate some of it to a local food bank. You can find your nearest here. Many food banks keep a list of the type of items they accept on their website and social media channels.
Make sure your kitchen appliances don’t go to waste
If you’re making the most of the seasonal sales by treating yourself to a brand-new appliance, consider donating your old one. The Reuse Network partner with charities to donate second-hand appliances to households in need. We’re proud to be a Friend of Reuse – you can find out more about the work they do here.