Hi, our names are Ellie and Miriam, and we are currently doing work experience at PECT. With a joint interest in saving energy, we wanted to write this blog about getting ready for winter, and how to prepare yourself, home and workplace.
The proper functioning of your boiler is very important as we get closer to winter. Broken boilers can produce carbon monoxide, a toxic gas, or they simply might not work, meaning you will be cold all winter. Make sure you have it serviced frequently. If you are cold, put on layers of clothes before turning up the temperature in order to use less energy.
One risk that many people face in winter is the exposure of pipes to the elements. Many houses with outside taps are at risk of freezing and bursting and it is important that all of these are covered and insulated before the winter months. This is also true for pipes and water tanks located in people’s lofts, as this is one of the main areas of a house that will experience large temperature drops. Insulating these will not only protect them from the cold weather, but it will also help heat the water and maintain its warm temperature, reducing energy bills and saving you money.
If your boiler runs on oil, then PECT can help you get your oil tank filled before the cold arrives. Oil tank refills can take a few weeks to arrive, so make sure you’re well prepared. Alternatively, if you don’t have any central heating system, PECT can help you access grants to get a new heating system fitted. This will hopefully help you to stay warm over the winter.
Lack of insulation means that lots of heat energy escapes from your home, making your house colder and costing you money and carbon. Most energy (35%) is lost through walls, so it is important to insulate them, whether that’s cavity wall insulation or external/internal insulation (if you have solid walls). 25% of energy is lost through the roof, so make sure that is insulated too. Another reason excess energy is wasted in winter is due to the gaps in windows, floors and doors. Many windows do not have the correct glazing to avoid heat loss and replacing these with double or triple glazed ones before the winter will increase the amount of heat retention and reduce the amount of central heating being used to warm up a room. Along with this, draught excluders can be used to restrict excess air flow around the trim of the door, as this interferes with the amount of heat retained in a room.
It is also important to check your roof and guttering before the winter months begin. This is because loose tiles and blocked guttering will allow water to creep in through the ceiling causing leaks. It is harder to get roofing problems fixed during winter, as the conditions are more dangerous, and the weather is more likely to stop any work from happening. Not only this, but the extra heating that will be required to keep warm in these damp conditions will increase the overall energy usage and add to the cost of the damage caused.
If you have higher bills after a year of lockdown and increased time at home – do not worry. PECT can help with debt relief (subject to certain criteria), and following these simple tips will help you use less energy:
- Turn off appliances and lights when you’re not using them.
- Switch lights to LEDs to save energy and increase brightness.
- Put washing machines and dishwashers on eco mode to reduce water and energy usage.
- Use a smart meter to monitor electricity consumption and identify wastage.