As temperatures start to fall and household prices continue to rise, the need to stay warm without increasing your bills has never been stronger. Heating your home on a budget has never been greater! We’ve got some helpful suggestions for you to minimise your energy usage and keep warm this winter.
Start by making the most of natural sunlight during the day, opening curtains to let the warmth in. This can be helped by trimming any trees that prevent sun entering your house. If you don’t have the time to trim hedges or trees, hire a gardener or arborist.
Given that there often isn’t much sun in winter, an efficient form of heating will also be required. Most New Zealanders find heat pumps the most efficient way of heating your home.
Upfront costs can be substantial, but finance costs can be offset against the savings you will make on energy.
Compare specifications, quotes and reviews of different models and installers as these will vary widely. Use a professional installer that can advise on the size and type of heat pump for your home.
Compare energy plans and providers at whatsmynumber.org.nz and shop around. If you find a better deal than your existing plan, get back to your current provider and ask them what they can do for you.
There are lots of other little things you can do to help heat your home. For example, when you have finished cooking open the oven door and let the heat warm your home. When you use the dishwasher, open the dishwasher door after wash and let the dishes air dry. You save the cost of the electricity used in the drying process, and the heat will help warm your home.
At night close windows and use your curtains or blinds to help keep heat in. If you don’t have thermal curtains or blinds, getting them installed would be the best use of any money you have to spend. Up to 20% of the heat from a room can be lost by keeping your curtains open.
You should also prevent the warm air escaping by blocking up unused chimneys and stopping draughts around doors and windows. You can make your own draft ‘worms’ to help with this by stuffing large socks or pantyhose with newspaper.
If you are building a new home, double glazing is a great way to help keep the heat in and the noise out. You may need to live in a pretty cold spot to justify retrofitting this to an existing home.
Good insulation is also important. The government has offered subsidies to help landlords and homeowners save hundreds of dollars on ceiling and floor insulation. If you have existing insulation check it’s in good condition and there are no gaps.
Use Builderscrack to hire insulation installers.
Finally, the warmer you keep yourself, the less you will need to spend on warming your home. You can help warm yourself by exercising inside, wearing warm clothes, eating warming foods (like chillies), and of course, snuggling with your loved ones or dog.