Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Saving money in a cold snap

The 'Beast from the East' has arrived on UK soil. Whether you're prepared or not, there's a few things to keep in mind with the cold front on our doorsteps.

First thing's first - what is it?

The current cold snap is what's known as a polar vortex. It's cold air that sits above the north and south poles and is controlled by low pressure, moving in different directions depending on which pole it is at. This weather has come over to us from Russia, with Siberian winds.

How can I keep warm?

Jumpers, and lots of them! Other than the obvious layering up, try and make sure any gloves aren't woollen where you're using your hands a lot outside. You may have seen when deicing the car that the ice sticks to the wool, this means that it then melts and makes your fingers even colder - there's a reason ski gloves aren't knitted.

Should I blast the heating in short bursts, or keep it low?

The verdict is always out on this one, some believe that keeping the heating on low all the time is more efficient, and others believe you should only have it on a little before you need it and only a little after it's reached the desired temperature. While there's no ultimate answer, having the heating on low does mean that everything is circulating through the pipes and there's less chance of the system freezing.

Be draught proof

It doesn't need to cost a fortune to prepare the house - padded strips can be bought from DIY stores at little to no cost; line your doorframes and block out any unwated chilly breezes. If you're not using your open fireplace then consider getting it temporarily filled so that no warmth escapes up the chimney, and no cold breezes come down! 

Check in on your neighbours

The cold is difficult for everyone, but particularly elderly neighbours, if you have anyone vulnerable living in your neighbourhood then consider dropping in and saying hi. It doesn't need to be a massive gesture taking up your entire evening, but pop in and make sure they have anything they might need. A good deed makes everyone feel better.

Be prepared for the energy bills

If there's any costs you can cut back on during this time, then do because your heating bill is going to rise. Consider the little things like making your own coffee to take to work (and keep your hands warm), have a packed lunch, plan your food shop with similar ingredients - your bank account will thank you later, even if you have to be a little boring for a couple of weeks.

If you have any questions regarding the price of your energy bill, or if you want to know if you could be saving money by switching to someone else then give us a call on 0800 915 1800 and speak to one of our impartial gurus. Visit energyadviceline.org.uk for more information.