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HOUSEHOLDS are trying to keep energy bills down as the colder winter weather arrives.
There are easy things you can do to reduce costs and you don’t have to fork out much at all to try them out.
Simple and cheap items could add up to big savings
From creating your own double glazing with cling film to making a reflective barrier behind your radiator, they’re simple to do too.
Improving your homes insulation stops hot air from escaping and cold air from coming in, reducing the amount of energy you use – and the cost.
Tashema Jackson, energy expert at Energy Helpline, told The Sun: “While some tips may seem fairly low tech, they can make a difference in how much gas or electricity it takes to get your home to your ideal temperature.
“But make sure you’re careful when doing any bits of DIY around the home, as you don’t want to cause any damage that ends up costing you more money in the short term.”
Here are some of the budget ways you can make a difference to your heating bills, and the average amount you can save by spending as little as 68p.
Of course the exact amount will depend on the size of your home, what item you buy and the tips you can use.
But you could
Tinfoil – 68p
It works by reflecting the hot air coming from the back of your radiator back into the room, instead of your radiator blowing hot air at the wall.
This means that you won’t be wasting energy – and adding money onto your bill.
Simply put sellotape on the corner of the foil and pop it behind your radiator.
British Gas says the trick could save you over £25 a year.
You can by radiator reflector panels for as little as £7.99 from Screwfix. The exact cost will depend on how much you need and where you buy it from.
But you don’t have to fork out as much to complete the tip – at Asda foil costs only 68p and will work just as effectively.
Draught excluders £3
To save the most money, you want to stop cold air coming in and prevent warm air from escaping.
Draughts or gaps around your doors and windows act as unwanted ventilation shafts.
That means while you are paying for heat to fill your home, a large amount of it could be escaping – and taking your funds with it.
DIY draught-proofing starts at just over £3 for a roll of self-adhesive draught-excluding tape though.
You can use it to block up unwanted gaps around windows, doors and chimneys that let cold air in and warm air out.
You can also buy cheap draft excluders that do the same job for gaps under doors.
The Energy Saving Trust says you could save £45 a year with the trick.
Clingfilm – 73p
A budget way to create your own double glazing is by placing a layer of plastic film on window frames to seal up more pockets of hot air that could be escaping, or cold air filtering in.
Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £X a year according to the Energy Saving Trust.
It can be achieved from as little as 73p if you buy something as simple as cling film from a supermarket such as Asda.
You can buy actual window film kits for around £5 to £10 on Amazon too which is far cheaper than the cost of full double glazing.
But really you can use any material for the second layer of glazing, as long as it’s transparent and airtight.
LED lights – £1
Moving your lighting to more energy efficient bulbs will drastically reduce your energy bills too.
Uswitch says you could save roughly £6 a year per bulb if you swap them to the alternatives.
It might not sound much, but with an average of 12 bulbs in every home, that’s £72 a year.
The bulbs don’t have to be expensive, if you know where to look.
Last month one savvy shopper posted on the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook group about her cheap find.
She said: “I know people are worried about rising costs but don’t waste your money on battery powered lights.
“Please go to a pound shop and buy LED lightbulbs.
“We got them for £1 each so ok initial outlay but we changed every bulb and it saved £35 to £40 a month. So paid for itself in the first month.
“When you think that lights can account for 15% of your energy costs it’s worth changing your bulbs.”
You can pick up LED bulbs from most supermarkets and, as this shopper found, pound shops.
We found a 10 pack on the B&M website for £8.
More ways to save on energy bills
Turn it off at the switch and use a clothes horse instead to dry your clothes for free.
Turning your thermostat down just one degree can save you £100 a year, the Energy Saving Trust says.
Checking your boiler settings could also save you £95 a year – switch off the “comfort” mode and turn the flow temperature down.
Doing those simple tweaks has saved one reader £100 a year.