Winter Money-Saving Tips: Stay Frugal in the Cold Season
27th November 2023
In 2022, the cost of energy in the UK increased more than twice! This means about 7.3 million homes could not afford to heat their houses safely!
It is very important to understand how to save money this winter and keep your budget under control. In this article, we have compiled some budget-friendly holiday tips to keep you warm.
How to save money this winter
Use a thermostat with a timer
A major part of the energy we use at home is for heating.
Lowering your thermostat by just one degree could allow you to save about £150 each year. If your boiler has a timer, you can also use it to make sure the heating is off when no one is home.
Please note, however, that the government suggests maintaining your room temperature at a minimum of 18°C. Those who are more aged or unwell may require even warmer temperatures.
Reducing combi boiler flow temperature
For those with a combi boiler, consider lowering the water flow temperature to 60°C. This is the temperature of the water that is sent to the radiators.
While higher temperatures can certainly heat your home faster, they also lead to higher bills. This is because of the decreased efficiency of combi boilers at capturing and recycling heat at a high temperature, leading it to use more gas.
If you have a conventional boiler with a hot water tank, try setting it to 65°C. However, don't go lower than this, as it could pose a health risk by allowing legionella bacteria to develop in the water.
Before making any adjustments to your rental home, please make sure to check with your landlord.
Turning down radiator valves
Many radiators have valves that control the temperature of each room. If used correctly, they might help you save up to £70, in certain cases.
For rooms you don't use much, try turning the heating valve halfway. This should still keep the room at a comfortable 18-20°C. Also, keeping doors closed helps to trap heat.
Check your roof
In the aftermath of winter storms with heavy rain, winds and snowfall, it is important to assess any potential damage to your roof. Check for:
- Missing tiles: This may lead to water damage or leaks, which can be expensive to repair.
- Blocked gutters: If the gutters are clogged, it can lead to extra weight on your roof and increase the risk of damage.
- Holes: Look for any openings or gaps in the roof that may have occurred due to the storm.
- Debris build-up: Clear any debris accumulated on the roof, as it can also add weight and contribute to damage.
Taking these steps can help identify and address potential issues to prevent further damage and costly repairs.
Check your heating system
It's a good practice to have your boiler system professionally checked every year.
You can also consider additional precautions when you are expecting extremely cold weather or storms. If you have a boiler, here are some recommendations:
- Monitor water pressure: Check it monthly to ensure it's at the right level.
- Bleed radiators: Do this twice a year to release trapped air and maintain efficient heating.
- Assess radiator valves: Before winter arrives, make sure they are open and functioning properly.
- Inspect venting system: Look for any leaks that may have developed.
- Check wiring: Examine the wiring for any signs of damage or potential issues.
In the case of heat pumps as your heating system, clear the outdoor unit and ensure that it is free from leaves or snow.
Block window and door draughts
Draught-proofing your windows and doors can lead to significant savings. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save about £45 a year. Additionally, if you have an open chimney, you can save about £65 each year by sealing it when not in use. The benefits include less condensation and dampness, lower energy bills, and a warmer home.
Most draught-proofing measures are simple enough to be handled by yourself, without requiring any external help.
For instance, you can add metal brushed window and door draught excluders on the frames. This helps keep out the cold and reduces the loss of warm air. You can install these on both exterior and interior doors. You can also draught-proof keyholes and letterboxes for added insulation.
- See a panto
Panto season can be quite entertaining with classics like Aladin and Snow White. Online tickets start from £13. Alternatively, you could also check your local theatre.
- Outdoor skating
One of the best activities for a budget-friendly holiday. Enjoy the icy air and the winter chill on one of the many ice skating rinks all across the country.
- Visit a Christmas market
There are lots of fantastic markets all over the country, like Nottingham's Winter Wonderland and Manchester's diverse mix of festive stalls. This can help you to complete your Christmas shopping!
- Indoor skiing and sledging
You can consider one of the indoor slopes across the UK as a cost-effective alternative to a major ski vacation.
- In Hemel Hempstead, the Snow Centre has a space for skiing and sledding events throughout the holidays.
- In the north, Snozone in Castleford near Leeds offers ski and snowboarding lessons, family events, and a kids academy.
- For those in Scotland, check out Snow Factor in Glasgow, the only indoor ice and snow slope of its kind in the region.