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Live Better With Less Money: Save Money On Heating
Gas Heating Prices Are Always Going Up
According to a study conducted in 2017, over 1 million homes in the UK were forced to make the choice between heating and eating. This is a horrible thought and nobody should have to go through the fear or pain of making that decision. It makes me so sad to think of anyone being in that situation, particularly vulnerable people, it shouldn't be happening in a developed country like the UK.
And as much as I will not be able to tell you how to heat your house for free, I can certainly help you lower your bills so you no longer have to make that choice.
My first piece of advice would be to see what help you are eligible for, the government offer winter fuel payments for certain people in order to help them get through the colder months. See what is available for you, be persistent though, they don't give these out easily, but don't let them fob you off if you think that you are entitled to some help.
The same applies for any kind of benefits, if you are eligible to receive them, apply for them. Don't lie though and say something like you have kids when you don't, it makes everyone on benefits look bad and you will get found out and made to pay the money back, and depending on your circumstances, you may get a prison sentence.
Turn Down the Heat
But only by 1 degree, turning the heating down by as little as 1 degree can save you up to £80 in one year! That's a lot of money for the sake of 1 degree, give it a try, you will barely notice any difference at all, but your bank balance will.
Don't Waste the Heat you are Using
If there is already something warm, like the oven being used then leave the door open when the food is cooked. The heat will travel a bit, your house might smell like food, but that doesn't matter, you're cold and the smell won't last forever. Dry your tea towels on the door handle whilst the oven is on, you are paying for the oven to be on, you might as well make the most of it.Leave the bath water in until it is cool, it'll heat up the bathroom and you'll stay warmer for longer.
Basically just take advantage of any heat that is in the house anyway.
Maximize Your Radiators
Radiators are the thing that most of us rely on to keep us warm, yet we don't really use them to their full advantage or take care of them.
Don't Block Radiators
So many people have furniture directly in front of the radiator and whilst this is something that is normally due to space requirements, it's keeping the heat out of the room and directing it straight into the furniture. Which is great if you have the radiator couch, but not great for anyone else.
Pull the radiator out just a little bit to allow some air to circulate, you will be surprised at how even a small amount of room can make a major difference. It doesn't have to be permanent, just pull it forward when people are in the room, and put it back when you all leave.
Put Up A Shelf
Putting a shelf above your radiator might seem weird, but it will help deflect some of the heat from the radiators back into the room rather than straight up to the ceiling where it would otherwise go. Try to find a shelf that is the same width as the radiator.
Bleed Your Radiators
Bleed your radiators for a more efficient radiator, clean them too, it doesn't make them more efficient, just more hygienic.
Blocking drafts means more than draft excluders near the doors. They can come from anywhere so identify the source of the draft and cover it up. Loft hatches are a major culprit and can let loads of heat out. You don't have to spend a lot of money covering drafts, if you don't go in the loft very often, cover up the hatches with duct tape or something like that.
And lay towels by the doors to keep drafts from getting into the room. Also, window panes are another cause of drafts, feel where the draft is coming from on the pane and cover it up for a more comfortable room.
Curtains are for more than just keeping light out, they can help keep the heat in too. Open the curtains when it is sunny, but close them when the sun goes away, this is the best way to make the most of natural heat coming into the house. Lined curtains are best for this, and although they cost more, it is worth paying the little bit extra to keep the heat in.
It may sound insane, but a layer of cling film over your windows can help keep cold out and heat in. Some people prefer to use bubble wrap, but I personally don't like the look of it, I find a layer of cling film or two makes a difference and if you take care putting it on it is barely noticeable. But if you have particularly bad windows, try using bubble wrap, it doesn't really matter what it looks like, it matters that you stay warm.
Switch Energy Suppliers
Some people think it's not worth the time or effort to switch energy providers, but I can promise you it is, you can save a lot of money and it's easier than ever before as the energy companies do a lot of the hard work because they want you to come to them so they try their best to make things as easy as possible for the customer.
Cashback Accounts For Household Bills
You won't save money with this method, but you will make it. Use a cashback account that gives you money back every time you pay your household bills. You get on average 3% back on your everyday expenses, which might not sound like much, but can really add up over the space of a year. You need to be eligible for an account like this, so ask your bank if you are, there is no harm in asking.
Wear More Clothes
You will be surprised at the amount of people that would rather spend money heating their home and walking around in shorts, and this is fine if you can afford it, but if you can't then wrap up warm and snuggle up under a blanket.
Believe it or not, tea light candles can be a brilliant source of heat and they can be purchased really cheaply. Buying in bulk is the best way to get a lot of candles for very little money. I used them one winter when my useless heating broke down and they really helped me out when I was in a bit of a mess. Always be careful with candles and don't leave them unattended or within reach of children or animals.
You Can Save Money and Still Be Warm
Saving money on your heating bill doesn't have to mean being cold, it just means making a few sensible changes so that you can afford to heat your home and still put food on the table.