2 December 2010

As the cold snap continues to engulf much of England we have taken a look at the ways in which you can prepare your house for Winter. There are a number of home improvements and useful tips which you can use to conserve your heat. Take a look at the following tips to find out how to prepare your home for Winter:

1. Insulation
Suitable insulation is a priority, as your home can lose up to a quarter of its heat through the roof. Correctly insulating your house could save around £150 a year, so it makes financial sense to spend initially to save in the long run. You may also be eligible for a grant to help cover the expense.

2. Invest in a new boiler
80% of the energy your home uses comes from your heating and water. An energy-efficient boiler will help to reduce the amount of energy used, and reduce your bills. You will find that newer boilers, such as condensing boilers, waste a lot less energy as they extract heat from the gas that otherwise escapes. Replacing a 15-year-old boiler with a new condensing model could save you hundreds of pounds a year.

3. Double glazing
Double glazing your property is one of the most common ways to prevent heat escaping, with energy loss cut by half to half. Other things to consider include insulating your hot water tank, which could save you up to £35 a year, and draught-proof doors and windows.

4. Turn it down
Approximately £55 a year could be saved by turning your thermostat down just one degree. You can use your time so that you only use the hot water and the heating when you need them. With this in mind you can work out how long it takes for your heating to turn on and off. For example, if it takes 30 minutes to cool down then you can set your timer so that it goes off half an hour before you leave the house.

5. Change supplier
Make sure you shop around for your utility suppliers. Large energy bills are a nasty surprise. Shop around and investigate whether you could save money by moving to a new supplier.
Contact your current supplier and discuss with them the potential to move to a cheaper tariff. Make sure you don’t sign up immediately. Take the time to compare packages on the market, to see if there is a more competitive deal for you. You may also want to consider using different suppliers for your gas and electricity, as it may work out cheaper to not use a bulk package. Search online for the cheapest suitable tariff, which gives the most value.

6. Prepare an emergency kit
Although this may sound extreme it is worth putting together a small emergency kit, in case you are blocked in or suffer power cuts. Invest in some candles and torches, with enough batteries to ensure that these don’t run out. Stock up on tinned food, and items that have a long-term sell-by date. Finally, keep the contact numbers of your utility suppliers at hand so you can easily access them if you need to.


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