As winter chills bite, heating costs increase. Do they really have to though?
But whether the price hike is necessary or just a rip off we all need some energy to heat our homes and more.
How to keep winter warm on a budget starts with getting Value for money
For most people money is hard come by. Working for a living can be tough, living on benefits even tougher, and there are so many drains on your income. Whilst some spends are essential it is possible to enjoy some of life's luxuries and still keep the wolves from the door.
We should never be cold in winter
Maintaining good health is vital and living in exceptionally cold conditions can damage your health. If nothing else it is miserable. If the atmosphere becomes damp, as well as cold, you and your family could have chest and breathing problems.
So how to keep warm without racking up huge energy bills?
Compare and switch
Not all energy providers offer the best deal. Use a couple of online comparison websites in order to find the best deal available.
Bear in mind though that some comparison websites are not independent. Rather they have a vested interest in recommending certain energy providers. Make sure that you check more than one source.
Research options available through cash-back sites for an extra bonus. There are some great deals around right now. Take your time, choose well, then switch your energy provider. If and when their prices increase switch again.
Small changes can make big savings
Assess your home for energy efficiency. It does not have to cost a fortune to make positive changes. Draught-proof doors, windows, skirting boards and anything else necessary. If you minimise energy waste you will be able to afford to heat your home properly.
Close drapes on an evening to retain heat in your home.
Set thermostats for appropriate heat. It is not necessary to have your central heating set high all day and all night. What is the point of having heating on when you are not at home?
Check the settings of fridges and freezers. In winter they can be turned down a notch.
Do not leave televisions and similar equipment on stand by. Switch off at the main plugs in order to save energy. This helps the environment and stops you wasting money. Energy bills can be high in winter without unnecessary extras.
Wear an extra layer of clothes. These days it is recommended that plenty of thin layers are worn to keep warm. This is much better than one thick sweater.
Switch of lights in rooms that are not in use. Make sure you have energy saving light bulbs fitted.
Eating well will help you to keep warm as well as stay fit and healthy. In the long run then this will save you money.
Drink plenty of warm drinks.
It is best to make changes before the onset of the worst weather. If you buy heavyweight drapes in the summer they will cost less than in winter. Making changes to your home in summer, with winter in mind, could bring extra savings.
When it is time to replace equipment such as freezers, washing machines, fires and other white goods make sure that you buy the best energy rated equipment you can afford. In the long run these too will also save you money.
When the weather gets really cold make sure that you put your heating on. Economy is one thing but good practice and looking after yourself is a different matter.
If you follow the advice here you should be able to afford to heat your home when the worst of the weather bites.
The following money expert advice is updated daily and worth checking out;
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