Winter is here! Keeping the cold outside usually means running up your electricity bill - by an estimated 30% to 40% (according to Eskom). The good news is, staying warm needn’t break the bank. If the frosty season sees your bank balance dropping as fast as the outdoor temperatures, you’ll love these budget tips to save electricity this winter.
Here’s how to heat your house without while saving costs at home:
Mind the gaps
Much of your home’s heat escapes through your windows and doors, so be sure to save electricity by blocking any air leaks and keep the heat inside. One of the best budget tips to solve this problem is to line your door and window frames with a thin strip of foam, available at any hardware store. You can also roll up an old towel at the bottom of your doors to prevent the cold from creeping in.
Carpets, curtains & throws
One of the cheapest ways to heat your house in winter is to take advantage of the warm sunlight during the day. Keep your curtains wide open to let the sun heat up your house, then shut them at sunset to seal in the warmth!
Wooden and tiled floors absorb cold air and circulate it back into your home. “Blanket your house” by covering your floors with rugs to help retain heat and act as an insulator between the floor and your home. If you’re still feeling the cold, bolster your rugs with some underfelt.
It’s easy to get cold when you’re watching TV because you’re not moving around. Throw some throws on your couch to keep you warm on those cold movie nights.
Don’t forget to throw a blanket on your geyser! A geyser blanket helps to retain heat and save electricity costs.
Save it, shelve it, close it
Don’t waste any heat! Place your heater under a shelf to prevent the heat from rising to the ceiling. Also, choose a heater that has a built-in thermostat which switches off the unit when it reaches a certain temperature. This allows you to regulate the amount of electricity you use.
Save electricity costs and only heat your immediate space by closing the doors to any unoccupied rooms while you have a heater on. The same rule applies to closets and cabinets.
Cook at home. Winter-warming soups and stews will heat up your kitchen as well as your belly! Not only will you save money on restaurant bills, but you’ll be warming up your home at the same time.
If you’ve used the oven, leave it open after cooking to release its heat into the kitchen (just be careful if you have curious children and pets). You can do the same with your tumble dryer.
Bottle it up
Forget the electric blanket! Fill up a hot water bottle and slip it between your sheets to preheat your bed and save electricity in winter. Even better, use a hot water bottle with soft, heat-retaining winter flannel sheets! If you’re really cold, keep your hot water bottle in your lap and you’ll stay toasty all evening.
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