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Let’s be eco-friendly this winter

- AND save some money with some valuable tips

1. Keep internal doors closed. Keeping doors closed within the house will trap heat in each room and mean you use less energy trying to warm up your house. To keep the room even cosier, use a thick mat to block the heat from escaping through the gap underneath the door. 

2. Make better clothing choices. Did you know you could save £60 a year by turning your thermostat down by just ONE degree. Time to grab the jumper and slippers. 

3. Heat consistently. Having your heating at a consistent low, rather than continuously turning it on and off, can actually save energy. This is because your boiler uses a lot of energy trying to warm to a high heat after being cold, then energy is wasted when it gets too hot and needs to be cooled again. 

4. Treat yourself to a woolly winter throw. Putting a luxurious blanket over your duvet not only makes the room look lovely, it will also make a world of difference on a cold winter’s night, meaning you can keep your heating at a lower temperature. 

5. Drop the pressure. Power showers use a lot of water, sometimes even more than running a bath. As you can imagine, this costs a lot of money and uses a lot of energy to heat. Try fitting a water efficient shower head and you'll make significant savings.

6. Fill up the fridge. It's time to stock up on some tasty treats, because through doing so you'll be doing your fridge a favour. An empty fridge wastes far more energy than a full one, because the fridge has to work harder to keep everything cool. If food is compacted together it keeps cooler. Time to go and do a big shop!

7. Be ring efficient. Using a big cooker ring for a tiny pan is a huge waste of energy, as is putting a big pan on a tiny ring. If you're only cooking a small amount of food, ensure that you're only using a small pan on a small ring. 

8. Air dry clothes. If you have your heating on, don't waste more energy putting wet washing in the tumble dryer. You'll be surprised at how quickly clothes dry hanging on an airer in a warm room – and your clothes will be far less creased than if they went in the dryer! BUT – don't dry clothes on radiators themselves, your boiler will be forced to work harder and use more energy.

9. Don't block the heat. Blocking the radiator with items like sofas is not energy efficient - as it means heat is absorbed by the item in front and the room will ultimately stay much colder. 

10. Be cool. Washing clothes at 30-40 degrees saves significant amounts of energy and money. This is because 90% of a washing machine's energy is spent heating the water. 

11. Switch off and unplug . Not using that hairdryer or iron every day? Then don't just switch them off, unplug them too. Appliances continue to use electricity even when they're not turned on so you'll be wasting energy for no reason. Also, ensure your TV is switched OFF and not just on standby – this saps unnecessary energy too.

12. Draw the curtains. A pair of thermal or thick curtains will work wonders at keeping the heat in your house, so when it's chilly outside close them and stay cosy. Conversely, on a sunny day, opening the curtains will actually let warmth in.

13. Invest in solar. You could save up to a third on your energy bills through installing solar panels. They're so beneficial for the environment and your pocket. Through the government's feed-in-tariff you can even get paid for the electricity you generate. 

14. DIY draft proof. For windows, try sticking draft proofing strips (made from either foam, plastic or metal) around the frame. Letterbox brushes and purpose made keyhole covers will stop the chill coming in through the front door. 

15. Replace your boiler. If your boiler is over 15-years-old, it's probably time for a new, more efficient version. You could save close to £350 a year when you switch.

16. Block up your chimney. Nifty devices like inflatable chimney balloons help minimise the drafts that come through the chimney when it's chilly outside.

It looks like we could be in for a very cold snap next week so one last, but vitally important word of advice, especially if you’re leaving your house for any significant period of time – Keep the heating on low and if there are water pipes in the loft lift the hatch cover to let warmer air circulate – Failure to do this can result in disaster!

By Julia Willey
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