One of the downsides of working from home is that whereas previously you would have been at work and there would have been no need to heat the house during the day. You now have to think about keeping the house a bit warmer seeing as you, and potentially the children, are all at home during the day. So, how to save home heating costs is, especially during this pandemic, a really topical issue – so let’s take a look at some good ideas to cut down on the cost.
Now one of the “business speak” terms that I absolutely hate is the phrase “low hanging fruit” but I use it here as there are maybe one or two obvious things you can do to start saving money on your heating bills straight away. Before you go switching on the heating, would it be easier to just put on an extra jumper?
Its possible that during the summer months you wander around the house in your boxers, as it’s not cold. Now come the winter you begin to feel the cold, so rather than putting the heating on and continuing the boxer tradition maybe it’s time to start adding a few layers to keep warm? Its amazing how a couple of thin layers will keep the heat in. Obviously, long sleeve tops are better than short sleeve ones and don’t forget your feet. A nice chunky pair of socks will keep those feet warm.
Another obvious way of keeping the bills lower is to turn down the thermostat a little. It doesn’t have to be much – a one degree reduction could save a fair bit over the course of a year and you won’t feel much difference either. Also, an easy fix, although a little bit of work is to turn down the control on each of the radiators. During the day, your requirements for which rooms require heating will be different to the evening. So if you must put the heating on, you could turn down the radiators in rooms you won’t be using such as the living room or the kitchen when if you won’t be in them much.
I have a small box room that I’m using as my “home office” and I notice that the computer and monitor slowly heat the room up over the course of the day as long as the door is kept closed most of the time. I layer up in the morning when it’s a bit colder, and after exercising at lunchtime, the office is a good bit warmer so don’t need to put on my outer layer. I will also do that “parent” thing of telling the children to shut the door if they come in to keep the heat in (I’m definitely turning into my mother “were you born in a barn???”)
If you are home all day then you may be heating your lunch up in an oven. If so then a simple idea is, once you have removed your food from the oven, leave the door open. The heat from the oven will escape into the kitchen and heat it up a little.
Not So Obvious
A simple, and not so obvious way to save money staying warm is to use some tin foil. If you place tin foil behind the radiators it will reflect heat back in to the room that would otherwise have been absorbed by the wall. This should heat up the room quicker and keep it warmer.
Of course, another option is just not to put the heating on at all and depend on individual heaters for the room you are using. This option assumes that you are using one room to work in during the day. One of the best ideas I have seen lately is actually a rug heater for the room you are working in. Called the Rug Buddy it is a heating element which you place under your rug and which heats up the space above. You can take a look at their excellent website over HERE or if you’re keen to find out more details of price and shipping you can click on the picture to the right or Amazon supply them directly HERE.
Another option, but not a quick solution, is to take a look at your insulation in the ceiling and the walls. If this is not great or sometimes just non-existent then it might be time to look into upgrading. Check the depth of your loft insulation as the recommended depth is 270mm although lots of houses have 120mm.
Included in the slow solutions to reducing your heating costs would be to take a look at the age of your boiler. An older boiler will be way more expensive to run so it may be time to look into replacing.
An easier way is just to look at replacing your energy provider. There are always deals on the go and most suppliers will have appropriate tarrif’s for your house. Might be an idea to check with friends and family as some of them offer money back if someone is recommended to them so it would be a win win for you and your friend.
Another good idea is to utilise draught-proofing strips around doors and windows. This will cut down on unwanted draughts especially if you are just heating one or more rooms during the day. No point in heating the room up just for a lot of it to be lost to unwanted draughts.
Finally (and the silliest) – you could always get a cat! I think I have seen enough pictures on social media of people working from home with their pets to last a lifetime and most of the cats (and some smaller dogs) seem to enjoy draping themselves over their owner while they are trying to work – I’m sure that would be mutually beneficial!
So that’s my quick round up of some obvious and some not so obvious ways to save some money heating your house while you are working from home. Do you have any other suggestions for keeping the costs down while working from home? I would love to hear your ideas if you have any, or if you are going to try any of the suggestions I have put together. As always the easiest way to get in touch is via the comments below.
stay warm and take care,