Winter has arrived, and for some homeowners, that will mean a few different things. First, you’ll probably be preparing for the festive season, and planning some family-wide celebrations that are going to cost you a fortune. Secondly, you’ll also be paying a little more than usual on your energy bills, particularly when you want to keep your home warm and cosy for everyone that visits.
If you’re worried about being able to afford the costs of a wonderful holiday, and the extra expenses associated with your energy bills this year, don’t panic. We’ve got some great tips that you can use to reduce your energy costs this winter.
1. Get Extra Financial Help
People in the UK can access a lot of different kinds of help with money if they know how to look for it. Speaking to the citizens advice bureau is often a good first step, to find out about things like child tax credits and council tax reductions. When it comes to winter heating support, if you were born before 1954, then you might be able to get up to £300 from the government tax-free to assist with your heating bills over the winter.
The winter fuel payment scheme is designed to protect people who need access to plenty of warmth during the colder months of the year. There’s also the option to apply for a “cold weather payment” too, which offers up to £25 for every seven days that the temperatures stay under zero.
2. Bleed your Radiators
Sometimes, taking simple maintenance steps to look after your home during the winter is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to protect yourself in the winter. If a radiator is colder at the top than it is at the bottom, this will usually mean that it needs to be bled. Bleeding your radiators will stop air from being trapped into the system, ensuring that you can get the best quality of heat from your radiators.
Bleeding a radiator is a very simple and easy process that you can find out how to do by watching a brief video on YouTube. If your radiators still don’t work properly after you’ve successfully “bled” them, then there’s a chance that you might need some expert assistance.
3. Protect your Pipes
Speaking of plumbing and radiators, during the winter months, the pipes that carry water around your home are extra vulnerable to freezing and bursting. If you’re not always going to be at home to keep turning your temperature up from time to time, then you’ll need to make sure that you’re taking steps to protect your pipes. Leaving the central heating on for a few hours per day is often a good idea, for instance.
If the worst does happen, it’s a good idea to make sure that you know where the stopcock is in your home. The Stopcock is the thing that controls the main point of access to the water in your home. If you can turn off the water instantly when a pipe bursts, you might be able to reduce flood damage.
4. Fix Your Roof Immediately
Sometimes you need to spend money now to save more cash in the long-term. For instance, during the winter, your roof can be exposed to a lot of detrimental weather. If there’s already a problem with your roof that needs to be dealt with, such as blocked guttering or some broken tiles, now is the time to deal with it.
Spend the extra money on calling out a professional, even if this means taking out a short-term or personal cash loan. You might have to pay back what you owe for a little while, but you’ll be protected from much more expensive issues in the long-term. A roofing issue that’s left for too long can quickly turn into a costly disaster.
5. Protect Against Mould
Finally, when the temperature starts to drop, it’s common to want to keep your windows shut and get the heating cranked up. Unfortunately, these conditions make a perfect environment for condensation, which often leads to a problem with mould and damp. Make sure that you avoid damp as much as possible by leaving the window open a crack when you’re drying clothes or opening the windows from time to time to help your home air out.
The last thing you want is to have to deal with mould when you should be enjoying the festive season and making memories with your loved ones, after all.