Heating can take up a big chunk of your household expenses every month. It is important to be sure that you are only heating your house when it’s necessary. Think about this: Lowering your thermostat by just 1°C can knock 10% off your heating bill. Naturally, everyone is different when it comes to heating and when it needs to be turned on. However, if you think that you can adjust more than 20% of your electricity consumption from day to night, perhaps a Nightsaver tariff would suit you and is a great way of saving money.

To get a Nightsaver tariff you will first of all need to get a Nightsaver meter. The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) will install this free of charge. A Nightsaver tariff will mean that you will get half price electricity at night. This is because the rates are higher in the daytime as well as your standing charge. If you think you use more than 20% at night then you could to save yourself some cash.

Insulating your home

If you haven’t done so already, you may want to consider insulating your home. Insulating your home is an easy and cost-effective way to save money on your heating bills. For example, insulating your attic can cut your heating bills by up to 20%. The cost of insulating your home can vary depending on what work is required. To find out more information and to see whether you are eligible for a grant to cover all or part of the cost visit http://www.seai.ie/.

 

Investing in double glazing

Spending some cash on your home can sometimes save a lot in the long term. If your windows are single-glazed and you can afford to, you might want to consider buying some new windows and replacing older wooden doors. A lot of heat can get lost through single-glazed window, but remember, research is vital when making a purchase such as this as costs can often run into the thousands. Although the initial investment might be big, it can save you money in your energy costs over future years.

 

How to stop draughts

Whether you have double glazing or not, it is a good idea to inspect your house for leaks and draughts. You may already know where some air leakage is located such as an under-the-door draught, but there are others that can be less obvious in your home. You can hire someone to properly inspect this and they will conduct an air audit. The costs for this can vary and if you are looking to save a bit of money you can do this yourself. Here are some tips when inspecting your home for draughts:

 

Outside of your home

Inspect all areas where two different building materials meet including all exterior corners, outdoor water taps, the meeting point of siding and chimneys and areas where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet.

 

Inside your home

Inspect the following areas for any cracks and gaps that could cause air leaks:

  • Electrical outlets
  • Switch plates – these are the coverings on lights and plug sockets.
  • Door and window frames
  • Electrical and gas service entrances
  • Skirting boards – these are the boards that are covering the lowest part of an interior wall, also called mopboards, baseboards, floor molding and base molding.
  • Weather stripping around doors – the strip of material that covers the joint of a door to exclude rain, snow or cold air.
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Attic hatches
  • Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners
  • Cable TV and phone lines
  • Where dryer vents pass through walls
  • Vents and fans
  • Gaps around pipes, wires, foundation seals and mail slots.

 

How to Check

If you can rattle the window or door, or, if you can see daylight around a door or window frame, it may mean a possible air leak. You can seal these types of leaks by caulking or weather-stripping them. To find out more information about this visit: Caulk Your Home or Home Wise.

 

Draught Exclusion

One tip that can help to exclude draughts is to use heavy curtains, preferably lined ones, to keep in warm air. Close curtains at night – even in empty rooms. Open the curtains during the day to let in the heat from the sun. Make sure that curtains don't hang over radiators as that will block heat getting into the room. It is extremely important to never block vents in rooms as fresh air is needed.

 

Fireplaces

Do you have a fireplace in your home? Did you know that 70% of the heat gets lost up the chimney with open fires. Whilst the initial investment might be large, installing a stove instead of an open fire can reduce your fuel usage and also give out more heat.

If you have an open fire that you are not using for long periods, you can prevent draughts from the chimney by getting a chimney balloon from a DIY shop.

WARNING: THIS IS A HIGH-COST LOAN

Representative example: €460 loan over 26 weeks. 26 payments of  €23.00 per week . Rate of interest 60.0% p.a. fixed. Representative 187.2% APR. Total amount payable €598.00.

Provident

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