With the cold weather looming, households are expected to see their heating bills rise by up to 20% - a worrying prospect for families struggling in the recession.

Fortunately, there are loads of ways to reduce your energy output, so check out our top tips and start saving money now!

 

Top tips for saving money

 Cut costs and save money this winter with these useful tips

Want to save money on your energy bills? Check out our top 5 tips and start saving money now.

1) Use thermostats correctly

Monitor the temperature of your home by using thermostats fitted to heating appliances. A room thermostat stops the boiler operating if the temperature exceeds the setting. Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) detect the local air temperature in the room and switch the radiator off if necessary.

TOP TIP: Nudge your central heating thermostat down just 1°C and you could save 10% on your fuel bills!

2) 
Combine cooking with heating

Combining a stove or range cooker with a boiler means you can have a smart appliance on show that can heat the whole house. Traditional range cookers can heat hot water for the kitchen and bathroom and run the radiators, while providing the kitchen with heat. A boiler stove provides hot water and can run radiators, and works best in conjunction with other heating systems.

3) Bleed your radiators

Not feeling the benefit of your central heating system? You could be wasting money. Check your radiators are in good working order. If the top of a radiator feels cooler than the bottom then it probably needs bleeding to get rid of trapped air.

Fortunately, this only takes 10 minutes and can be done in 5 easy steps

4) Cut down your energy useage

There are plenty of ideas that you can put into practice around the home. 

Turn off all your appliances at the socket - this is much more energy efficient than leaving them on standby.

Use 20 watt energy saving lightblubs - these can save you up to £70 compared to a 100w bulb.

In the kitchen make sure you boil the kettle with as much water as needed (any extra is just a waste of energy), when cooking make sure you put the lid on saucepans so the food cooks quicker, turn off the heat on the stove a few minutes before you're ready to take it off and finally make sure you always match the size of the cooking ring to the size of the saucepan to avoid heating air.

5) 
Insulate your home

Warm and inviting, carpet has insulating qualities, and think about double lining curtains to keep out the cold. Electric blankets are a plus in cold bedrooms, while draught-proofing doors and windows will ward off whistling winds.

Need more heating advice? Check out our essential guide to heating and don't forget to check out our other great energy-saving tips.

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