It’s hard to believe it’s already the first week of November. In just a few weeks the beginning of the holiday season will be here, and so will the cold. Keeping your home nice and warm during the winter months is important, not only for comfort sake, but also to help keep everyone from getting sick. Unfortunately, many of the ways people heat their home can be expensive and even harmful to the environment. This article from Do The Green Thing, gives you tips on how to cut back on energy cost and waste, when it comes to heating your home.
Heating your home the green way
Keeping warm in winter can be costly for you and for the environment. But there is plenty you can do to minimise the cost of both. Here are five top tips for people who want to maximise domestic warming whilst minimising global warming.
1. Switch to a ‘green’ energy tariff or supplier
Specialist suppliers that source much or all of their electricity from renewable sources are becoming both more common and more competitive, as are ‘green’ tariffs from mainstream suppliers. Even if you’re on a tight budget, it’s well worth investigating whether a green plan might be right for you: they can sometimes work out cheaper than the alternatives.
Whether it’s double-glazing, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation or just the humble draft excluder, are you doing everything you reasonably can to make sure the heat you generate stays inside your home? Insulation will save you money in the medium to long term as well as upping your green credentials, and many people are eligible for grants to help towards or even cover the up-front costs.
3. Green space heaters
If you use electric space heater (one that heats just one room rather than central heating), investing in a new one can often be another way of saving money and energy. The most recent models take advantage of new technology that allows them to provide the maximum amount of heat using the minimum amount of electricity. Some features to look out for include a thermostat, which will allow you to keep your room at a constant temperature and not waste money by over-heating it and a timer to give you more control over when the heater goes on and off.
4. Green central heating
If you use central heating, then getting a ‘power flush’ to clean out your system may be a good way of making it more efficient. Turning down the thermostat a few degrees and pulling on a jumper is the quickest way to save money and energy. Only use central heating when you need it. There’s an urban myth that claims it’s more efficient to keep it on all day and night, but this is not true. Make sure the heating’s off if there’s no-one in, and rely on thicker duvets and pyjamas to keep warm at night. More drastically, if your radiators are old, then getting them replaced with newer, more efficient models can be a cost-effective option in the longer term.
5. Heat pumps and other ‘alternative’ heating systems
If you’re really serious about making a difference, then there are a number of exciting new technologies that can help you heat your home in an environmentally friendly way. Heat pumps take warmth from the air, ground or water, and use it to heat your home. They are designed to work even in low temperatures and are already really popular in Scandinavia. For example, in Sweden, they are used in 97% of new builds. Under-floor heating is another alternative for people with the budget for more substantial work. It heats the house more evenly than conventional central heating, and is great for keeping your feet nice and toasty.