With Christmas behind us, most families are having to tighten belts a little as we face the financial consequences of the festive season and battle our way through January. The latest rumours in the media that another Beast from the East style weather event might be just around the corner is therefore the last thing we need. The kids might love the idea of sub-zero temperatures and a foot of snow, but when you can see the electricity meter whirring or the oil tank level dropping before your eyes, it can mess up all your plans for a frugal start to the year.
There are some simple strategies you can follow, however, that will keep your heating costs under control while still ensuring that the family stays toasty warm whatever the Great British weather might have in store.
Don’t pay over the odds
Before we look at ways to reduce consumption, it’s worth examining the flip side of the coin. Paying ten percent less for your energy will have the same effect as reducing your usage by ten percent. And if you can do both, you will really be quids in.
If you have oil powered central heating, the usual increase in price through greater demand at this time of year has been somewhat offset by a drop in global oil prices. The result is a greater variation in prices than usual so it really pays to shop around. Use online resources like the super saver oil website, where you can save further by being organised and booking well in advance.
Households with electricity and gas powered systems often feel they are tied to whatever provider they currently use. That’s simply not the case, and utility companies are making it easier than ever to switch. So get on Google and check out the options.
Once you are paying less for your fuel, it is time to look at the question of consumption.
Leave the thermostat alone
We’ve all done it. We come in from the freezing cold, want to get the room warm as quickly as possible and crank up the thermostat. It doesn’t help. The temperature increases at the same rate, all that happens is the room ultimately gets too hot. And there’s a greater probability that you’ll forget to turn the thermostat back down. If you’re feeling cold from outside, just keep a jumper on for 15 minutes or so till your body temperature is back to normal.
Use the timer
Every heating system has a timer, so make use of it. There’s really no need to have the heating going all night – set the heating to come on 30 minutes before you usually get up and the house will be lovely and warm when you are ready to start the day.
Keep doors shut
Radiators operate by creating convection currents within a room. As the hot air rises, it circulates around the room, cools, sinks and then gets reheated. Keeping internal doors closed keeps the heat in, it’s that simple.