- 1) Insulate your home
- 2) Open your curtains during the winter
- 3) Fireplaces are made for winter
- 4) Use your blankets
- 5) Wrap up the geyser during winter
- 6) Draught-proof your doors and windows
The nights are getting longer and the days are getting cooler so it is safe to say that winter is here.
In South Africa, there are a few places where people are lucky enough to still walk around in shorts and flip-flops.
However, there are many areas where people have to trade in their air conditioners for heaters and electric blankets.
And as soon as you start plugging these in, the electricity bill flies through the roof.
Luckily there are many sustainable ways that you can keep warm this winter and save money at the same time. Here are a few things to try this winter.
1) Insulate your home
Insulation is a great way to keep your home warm in the winter and it is cost-effective.
According to statistics, about 25% of heat is lost through the roof which means that your house cools down.
If you install insulation in your roof, then that heat remains inside the house. You can also opt for insulation in the walls but this might not be as cheap as insulation in the roof.
This will decrease the usage of things like heaters and electrical blankets. In turn, you will save money on your electricity bill at the end of the month.
2) Open your curtains during the winter
It might sound counterproductive but opening your curtains during the day is an excellent way of letting heat come inside the house.
The heat we get from the sun costs nothing. Usually, the winter sun is warm enough to chase the worst of the cold out of a room.
When the sun sets and it starts getting dark again, close your curtains to keep the warmth inside.
You can replace your thin curtains with thicker curtains during the winter months. Thicker fabric works great as insulation and the heat will be trapped in the room for longer.
Make sure your windows are also closed so that the heat doesn’t escape.
3) Fireplaces are made for winter
It may be a lot of work to clean the next morning, but fireplaces are amazing sources of heat during the winter.
There is nothing better than moving your sofa in front of the fireplace and enjoying the warmth radiating from the fire.
If the fire is big enough, it can heat the whole room and you don’t have to rely on a heater.
Pair it with a big glass of red wine and a thick pair of socks, and you’ll be warm in no time at all.
4) Use your blankets
Every household has a cupboard in their house where there are several unused blankets piled on top of each other.
Winter is the perfect time for you to use them. Instead of turning on your electric blanket, try sleeping with a few extra blankets on top.
The thicker and heavier the blankets are, the better.
You can also replace your bedding with comforters instead of using regular duvets. Comforters are much thicker and they trap heat better than normal bedding.
Pop a hot water bottle in between the sheets and you’re in for a good night’s sleep.
5) Wrap up the geyser during winter
The geyser accounts for about 55% of the energy usage in the average South African household.
Of course, it would be absolute torture to switch it off completely but there is a way to cut back on the geyser costs.
You can buy a geyser blanket for your geyser. This is a fitted blanket that wraps over your geyser to keep the heat inside.
It keeps your electricity usage low but you still have plenty of hot water.
You can also consider switching the geyser off during the day and only switching it on when you are bathing or having a shower.
6) Draught-proof your doors and windows
There are many gaps underneath and above windows and doors that can let the cold in.
You can prevent the heat from escaping by draught-proofing your home. Draught-proofing strips can be added to the bottom of doors and windows.
You can also use old blankets and towels as makeshift draught-blockers.
Moving towards a more sustainable way of living is highly recommended to homeowners.
We are facing tough economic times and every cent that we can save will help in the long run.
Apart from saving money, sustainable living also protects the environment for future generations.
Even if you’ve never thought of sustainable options during the winter, it is never too late to start.
Every winter there is a spike in energy consumption so if you can save electricity here and there you are definitely contributing towards the great good of the environment – and, of course, your bank account.
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