Keep warm with lower bills this winter
Winter means chilly evenings and big electricity bills, right? Not necessarily.
There are loads of smart ways to stay warm and cosy, while making sure you’re not stung by a huge bill at the end of the month.
Here are some top tips for winter to help you stay healthy and comfortable, cost-effectively.
- Stay dry. Moist air is harder to heat than dry air, plus it’s not healthy to breathe. Your first action should be managing moisture to ensure your home is as dry as possible.Cooking, showering and washing – get rid of steam with extraction fans. If you don’t have these, open windows during or after cooking, showering and washing up.Dry clothes outside or in a clothes dryer vented to outside – try not to use indoor airing racksVentilate – open windows and doors a few times a day to air the house and let moisture escape, even in winter. Opening your bedroom window slightly overnight is a good way to let out the moisture that builds upAir your bedding – duvets, pillows, and other bedding absorbs moisture over time, so air them outdoors when it’s sunny.
- Avoid un-flued gas heaters – which release toxic fumes and make your house damp. Cheap portable electric heaters are safer and cost less to run.
- Keep the heat in. Sneaky draughts can rob your home of heat, pushing up your bills.Draw curtains when it gets dark – to keep the heat in. The best curtains have a separate lining and are fitted close to the window, wide enough to generously overlap the window frames at the sides and long enough to touch the floor.Consider DIY window insulation kits – which can cut heat loss through windows by half and are a fraction of the cost of double-glazing.Stop draughts – do your windows and doors fit their frames? If needed, use draught stopping tape around windows and doors and draught excluders or door snakes along the bottom of doors.
- Run your heater well. If you’ve got the heater blazing in an empty room it’s an obvious energy-waster.Turn heaters off when you don’t need them – rather than leaving them on when you’re not there, this includes your heat pump.Set your heater thermostat – for 18 to 20˚C during the day, or 16˚C in your bedroom overnight.Many heaters are only big enough to heat one room – so close doors and in the evening pull curtains.
- Use a heater directly in the room you want to heat – and keep the door shut (unless you have central heating).
You can read more about warm, healthy homes and energy-saving tips at www.energywise.govt.nz
Source – EECA Energywise (2017) At Home