16 Energy Saving Tips for Advent Window 16

Beautiful woman relaxing at home with cup of coffee

Some of us believe that turning up the thermostat makes our homes heat up quicker and that the temperature dropping outside automatically means we should turn up the thermostat.

Most of us believe we know how to keep warm. Turn the thermostat up, draw the curtains and reach for a blanket. But a survey from the Energy Savings Trust showed that although 4 out of 5 British consumers believe they understand their heating controls, up to half of us misuse energy by simply turning up our thermostats when it’s cold outside.  On day 16 of our advent calendar, we’re bringing you 16 tips on getting through the turkey, having family over, Christmas decorations and the *really* cold snap without throwing money at the wind too.

Keep your heating on. If you’re going away for Christmas, make sure your you keep your programmer/ timer on. Set it to come on less frequently than usual, but to come on. While you will have some energy costs, this will help you avoid the more expensive problem of frozen pipes when you get back. If you’re a landlord, make sure your tenants do the same.

Draught proof your windows and doors. It could save you about £35 over the year.

Don’t leave your devices on standby. More than 75% of us admit to leaving at least two of our devices on stand by regularly. Your set top box left on standby for 20 hours in the day can cost you £20 a year. This Christmas, turn your TV and games consoles off standby and you could save up to £30 a year. Particularly when you’ve got guests over, there’s no need for your tv to be left on as background noise when you’re not watching it.

Get your heating system checked before your guests arrive. Book a boiler check with your gas engineer to make sure everything’s in order before the festivities begin. The last thing you want is for us to get that long anticipated white Christmas while your home feels like an ice box.

Check the opening and closing times of your local gas engineer and plumber over the Christmas period. The last thing you want is to wake up over the holidays and face a heating emergency with no idea who to call. Incidentally, we’ve got some tips on how to troubleshoot heating emergencies if you find yourself stuck in a rut.

Get a plumber to do a winter check on your pipes. Again, make sure blockages are cleared, none of your pipes are frozen and there’s no chance of a plumbing emergency over the break.

Turn your thermostat down. It may sound like the opposite of what you should do, but it really won’t make a difference to how warm you feel. Dropping a degree or two on your thermostat could save you money this year.

Use LED Christmas lights. LED Christmas lights use up to 90% less energy than normal Christmas lights. If everyone in the UK used LED lights, collectively we could save up to £13 million during the twelve days of Christmas.

Or use solar powered fairy lights. They’re free to use, as they’re charged by the sun during the day.

Christmas is a good time to light candles. Create an atmospheric or victorian theme in your home by simply using candles instead of flicking the switch. Read our post on the origins of advent calendars or the Swedish tradition of Lucia to see how candles featured very heavily in Christmas traditions.

Wear that ugly jumper. Very simply, you won’t have to turn the thermostat up.

Use your tablet or phone instead of your laptop to power that Netflix binge you’ve been looking forward to. Tablets use 70% less energy than a laptop.

When cooking, make sure to cook with the lids on and use the right size pots for your hobs to avoid wasting energy.

Cook multiple things in the oven at once, to avoid having to turn the oven on multiple times during the day.

Over Christmas dinner, when everyone’s gathered together in the same room, it’s a great opportunity to turn the heating down, or even off. The shared body heat will keep everyone warm, and you can save money while you’re at it.

On the same note, have an engineer install thermostatic radiator valves in different rooms. This will allow you to control the temperature in rooms that no-one is in, or warm up bedrooms just before everyone goes to bed.

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