Between heating our homes, taking an extra five minutes under a hot shower and having to leave lights on for longer, it’s no surprise that energy use in winter tends to skyrocket.
We’ve put together a few easy tips and tricks to help you cut back in the last of the cold months.
You already know you should set your thermostat between 18 and 20 degrees, but did you also know that switching on a ceiling fan could actually speed up the heating process? Set your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise; they’ll push naturally rising warm air downwards, heating up your rooms more quickly.
It’s not just heating the air that can heavily impact the amount of energy you use. Heating water – yes, for those lovely hot showers – can be a major contributor to winter energy bills. So while it can be tempting to linger under the hot water, consider stepping out of the shower earlier and towelling off under two heat lamps, instead.
Without the heat of the sun, bulky winter laundry takes longer to dry, leaving many of us turning to our dryers. Help yours run more effectively by cleaning the lint filter before each load; it’ll help prevent your dryer working harder than it needs to, in a season when it’s already being used more than usual.
You could cut down on your dryer use even further by hanging spun-dry laundry on a clothesline for a few hours while the sun’s shining, then finishing it off in the dryer for a shorter period of time.
Smaller appliances often use less energy than stovetops and ovens, so consider making warming winter soups and stews – and a whole lot more – in a slow cooker instead. We’ve got some great recipes to start you off!
Haven’t planned far enough ahead to get the slow cooker going? You can still cut back by checking your oven’s efficiency. All ovens have a seal to help keep the heat in; find out if yours is working properly by holding a piece of paper in the oven and closing the door over it. If it slips out easily, your oven may be losing heat – and working less efficiently – so it’s time to replace the seals.
Put together, these small changes could make a big difference to your energy use this winter.