December 10, 2014

Guest Post: How To Get Your Home Ready For Winter And Save Money On Your Gas And Electricity Bills

December 10, 2014
Before you deck the halls, string up the lights outside and stock the freezer, there’s plenty more you can do to get your home ready for winter. These simple home improvements will help make your humble abode cozy for Christmas and can reduce your gas and electricity bills, so you have more to spend on posh crackers, mince pies and that perfect gift.

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Keep the big freeze outside
It's time to clear the remnants of summer from your freezer so it's fighting fit for winter. Do away with the frozen lollies and ice packs and defrost your freezer before you go for your big festive shop. By removing excess ice and produce, your freezer can cool your hearty festive stock more effectively. Keep your freezer less than three-quarters full so it can circulate the air without too much strain on the motor.

Mind the gaps
Draught-proofing is a cheap and effective way to keep your home warmer in winter – and it’s something you can do yourself! Seal gaps and cracks in your walls, around pipework, and doors and windows using sealant where practical. Just be careful not to obstruct areas where ventilation is needed, such as in bathrooms and kitchens.

Window draught excluders with brushes mean you can still open your sash windows and nifty gadgets like the EcoFlap prevent chills coming through your letterbox. More traditional methods of keeping heat inside your home include hanging heavy drapes and secondary glazing, which involves fitting another pane of glass inside each window reveal.

It’s never too late to insulate
According to the Energy Saving Trust, 25% of your home’s heat is wasted through your roof. Loft insulation works for 40 years and can dramatically reduce the cost of your heating bills by saving you up to £150 a year.

Cavity wall insulation can also save you around £140 a year on your home heating and both loft insulation and cavity wall insulation pay for themselves in around three years through energy savings.

Run an energy audit
If you’re serious about saving energy, have a trained technician map where your home is losing energy. An auditor will give you advice on how to combat your home’s problems and will assess how you can save money over time.

The audit will involve a series of tests, such as detecting leaks and examining the quality of insulation using an infrared camera.

Compare gas and electricity tariffs
Check you’re getting the best deal on your gas and electricity prices by routinely comparing tariffs, especially if your existing tariff is due to come to an end. If your tariff has recently come to end, you may have been automatically signed up to a more expensive roll-over tariff.

It’s a good idea to check price comparison sites which deal specifically with energy and also check with individual suppliers directly – they may offer a discount for direct customers, or may not appear on price comparison sites at all. Independent gas and electricity suppliers often offer cheaper rates than the conglomerates, so it’s worth checking them out.

Matt Fear is a home improvement guru and general handyman. He blogs regularly on his projects and offers tips, advice and practical guides on making a house a home in the most economic ways possible.

Disclaimer: This is a Guest Post and the text, images and links were provided by the post author.