‘Quick and easy’ changes to cut household energy costs – for under £10

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Energy costs are an unavoidable household expense and one that has become increasingly difficult to afford for many Britons. Improving the efficiency of your boiler and heating system is just one way to get more value for money, but it’s not the only solution. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Hometree property expert, Natasha Berthiaume shared five impactful heating hacks that cost less than £10 each to do. And some are even free.

Natasha Berthiaume, Head of Brand at Hometree, said: “There’s nothing worse than offering solutions that have little-to-no impact. Take ex-Tory MP Edwina Currie and her tin foil hack, which may result in people spending more money over time, as they will need to set their heating to a higher temperature for it to work effectively.

“It is more important than ever that we come together as a nation to help one another. The most vulnerable people in the UK are destined to suffer as the energy crisis worsens, with many people cutting back on essentials like food in order to afford their bills.”

Whether Britons are looking for ways to stop cold draughts or find the most cost-effective way to control their heating, Natasha shared the best tips to make homes feel warmer without spending a fortune in the process.

She explained that simple changes to your furniture, radiators pipework can all play a part in making your home feel cosy, and they won’t leave you out of pocket.

Add radiator valve controls

Natasha said: “Radiator valves are ideal for controlling the temperature across different rooms in your home. They are very affordable and you can pick one up for just £9.95 on Amazon.”

According to the Energy Saving Trust, homeowners could save between £70 and £150 a year by installing thermostats and radiator valves, which will quickly refund the cost of purchasing them.

If you don’t want to install new control valves, Natasha recommended a smart valve instead. This can be linked to a smart thermostat to control the temperature of your property from one place.

Not only does this give you total freedom to operate your heating while out of the house, but also helps to “save even more on your energy bills”.

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Use “door snakes”

Draught excluders are incredibly effective at minimising the urge to dial up your thermostat in cold rooms, particularly in parts of your home where draughts are an issue.

Natasha said: “A door snake, also known as a draft excluder, is excellent for preventing drafts that come through gaps between the door frame and the floor, as well as retaining the heat inside a room.

“You can purchase one for as little as £8.23 on Amazon or even make your own. Simply sew together a couple of sheets or scraps of fabric to make a long thin cloth sack, and fill it with dried peas or rice.”

If you choose to get creative and make your own, always ensure you use a filling that will give it enough weight to stay in place. Measure the cloth to fit the width of the door frame for maximum impact.

Keep radiators uncovered

In some cases, simply moving your sofa away from a radiator is all you need to do to make your home feel warmer – and it costs nothing.

Having any kind of furniture in front of heat sources will block the flow of heat into the space, causing it to stay cold while wasting energy and money. Natasha explained that the same applied to electric and steam radiators which can be hazardous.

Reduce your thermostat temperature

Another fee-free hack is to reduce your thermostat temperature by just a few degrees. The Hometree expert said: “Many of us consider the ideal room temperature to be 21C but reducing it by just a few degrees (to 18C) can make a notable difference to your energy bills.”

If you have a condensing boiler, having the temperature turned up too high could impact efficiency. To avoid this, reduce the temperature of your radiators to 60C or lower.

Insulate pipework

It’s not just your heating appliances that need extra attention in winter, in fact, pipes are crucial to improve energy efficiency. Natasha said: “Purchasing and installing pipe insulation is a quick and easy way to prevent excessive heat-loss and help reduce your home energy usage. It also helps prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting during colder periods.”

You can purchase foam tubes from most DIY stores, or online at eBay for as little as £6.99. What’s more, you can also fit them yourself to avoid labour costs.

Simply place the insulation around the pipework inside your home. The property expert noted that this will help keep your water heated up for longer and prevent any blockages of ice.

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