As the weather turns colder and the heating bills get ever higher, many of us are looking at ways to save money whilst remaining environmentally friendly. One key area of interest tends to be the home and the good news is that most efficiency gains for central heating will translate into ‘green’ benefits, by reducing both emissions and the energy required to heat your home.
Start at the Basics to Save Waste
As a first step, look at the basics and identify where you are wasting money. If windows are open, shut them. If your family is wearing t-shirts in winter, get them to put a jumper on! The cost of energy means that heating your home to a tropical temperature is not only environmentally unfriendly but also highly expensive!
Identify areas where drafts are coming in. If you have old single-glazed windows, they are likely to be very energy-inefficient. Double glazing is an expensive cost initially, but well worth it if your windows are reaching the end of their life. New windows will keep your house warmer and more secure. In the meantime follow these tips to make your windows more energy efficient.
Tin foil wrapped around cardboard and placed down the back of radiators so the heat is reflected back into the room is an old fashioned trick to cut heating costs. Also, move your sofas and beds away from the radiator. Heat needs to circulate and will simply be absorbed by furniture.
Look at other ways of making your home more energy efficient to save both cost and the environment. Cavity wall insulation is a quick job that helps to insulate your home, as is loft insulation. You can buy rolls of this from your local DIY store and it’s relatively easy to install.
If the house lets the chill in, put old-fashioned stoppers underneath doors to prevent heat escaping and cold draughts coming in. Also, consider investing in a new more energy efficient boiler. The cost should offset itself in time, through more efficient operation.
Many utility companies provide grants or special offers on their boiler ranges but look around to check that you’re getting the best deal. It may also be worth getting a home boiler cover policy, especially if you have a family, to provide peace of mind against breakdowns in deep mid-winter!
Check Your Energy Suppliers
Also, look at whether you can switch your energy supplier or tariff for a better deal and one that is cheaper, as well as one that is ‘green’ (e.g. part of the energy is generated from renewable sources such as wind or hydro energy).
Don’t Forget Your Finances!
Also, check the latest array of current accounts to see if there are better deals available for you. There are often special incentives attached to new current accounts, although, as with any service or product, it’s well worth checking the underlying offer of current accounts before being swayed by fancy advertising.
Look for low interest rates, fee free buffers and good savings rates. Packaged accounts with free travel insurance etc. are only worthwhile if you actually take up the services.
It’s a good time to get on top of your finances. Do a sweep of your current accounts and cancel any old direct debits and set up new ones to take advantage of special prices and to avoid fees for late payments.
Other green tricks involve a little creative thinking. Rather than driving everywhere in cold weather, look at joining a car pool or sharing lifts or, if your commute is within walking or cycling distance, get your boots out and get active. You can save money and cancel your gym subscription at the same time!
With these tactics in play, you’re likely to start thinking of yet more creative ways to start another year in a good financial condition and with the happy glow of your ‘green’ lifestyle in place!
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