Cover tiled of wooden floors with rugs
Yes, those blessed with under floor heating in their homes are lucky. But sadly, it does increase your electricity bill the more you use it! So, give the underfloor heating a break (if you have it) and keep your feet warm by covering bare floors with rugs. Also, why not invest in a fuzzy pair of slippers to wear in the evenings?
Replace heaters with jerseys and blankets
Heaters are nice if you are looking to warm up your home, but just like underfloor heating, it uses quite a bit of electricity, especially if you are using it throughout those chilly days and cold evenings. Not to mention that they can be a fire hazard if faulty. To keep warm, stock up on blankets and wear extra layers of clothing instead of flipping the switch on your heater. And, if you ‘have’ to have a heater to fight off the cold, invest in gas heater. Just make sure you use it properly and don’t leave it on if you aren’t in the room. As I said, fire hazard!
Switch to a gas stove
Hot cups of tea and coffee, hot chocolate, and refilling water bottles – the kettle is one of the most important appliances during winter for those exact reasons! But turning it on and off every hour can be a little pricey. Either you can store hot water in flasks to use later, or you can go the pricey option and install a gas stove. There are many benefits of doing this – you will pay less buying gas than using electricity, it speeds up your cooking time as you don’t have to wait for the conventional stove plates to warm up, and when load shedding hits you’re at least covered when it comes to tea, coffee, and cooking! It’s definitely something to invest in that will benefit you in the long run.
Switch off lights and appliances you’re not using
We have all seen the ads on TV and know that this one is a no-brainer. But I will say it again – turn off all lights and appliances that you don’t need. So, if you aren’t watching TV or using your computer, turn it off. If you are relaxing in one room and let the light on in your bedroom, then turn the light off. Also, be sure to unplug the appliances that you aren’t using from the wall socket as they do use a small amount of electricity even when switched off.
Take showers instead of baths
Showers use less water than filling up the bath tub. Yes, it will be a little chillier than sitting in a tub filled with warm water, but it will save you money in the long run. Because showering uses less water, the geyser will use less electricity to reheat the water when it refills. Also, to save electricity when it comes to your geyser, set a timer that will switch your geyser on and off at certain times during the day. And lower the thermostat on your geyser and cover it with a geyser blanket to keep in the heat. Also wrap the water pipes in insulation tape. You can also fit a low-flow shower head to further reduce the amount of water you’re using.
Replace your normal light bulbs with energy efficient ones
Change all of your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). They might not use less energy, but they will last as much as 10 times longer than normal light bulbs. They are a little more expensive, but will end up saving you more energy over their lifetime. And, during the day, make the most of the natural light coming in from outside. Open your curtains to let the sun in. In addition to this, if you are looking to keep warm without the use of heaters or electric blankets during the day, find a nice sunny spot right by a window and soak up some rays.
Keep the heat in at night
With the sun beaming into your place throughout the day, it should be warm if you have kept all the windows closed. To keep the heat in throughout the evening, make sure you close all windows, curtains, and doors. Also, if you have noticed any cracks or holes throughout your home that lets a breeze into the house, seal them up. Also prevent cold air creeping in under doors by placing a ‘door worm’ or ‘sausage’ at the bottom of your doors. This will definitely lower your use of electricity as you will not be using heaters.
Replace old appliances with new ‘energy efficient’ appliances
Appliances can only last for so long, and when it’s time to replace them, be sure to check out their labels and energy ratings. You want appliances that will use less energy than the old one did in order to save electricity, so buy appliances that have an ‘energy efficient’ label or rating on them. An ‘A’ rating is the most energy efficient, and a ‘G’ rating is the least efficient.
Turn off or put a timer on your swimming pool pump
Since algae growth decrease during the colder months, you don’t need to keep the pool filter pump going day in and day out. You can reduce the running time interval by up to two hours and save some electricity. At my house, we have installed a timer on the pump and only let it run two hours a day. Spend some time to see how long your pump needs to clean your pool and work off of that. Also, invest in a pool cover – it will keep the cool cleaner, which mean fewer backwashes and less use of the pump.
Hopefully this helps keep your electricity bill low throughout winter. If you have any other tips to share, leave a comment below!
By Kim Brown