A few simple tricks like moving your sofa and leaving your curtains open longer could save you hundreds of pounds on your energy bill.
With Brits spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, gas and electric bills have shot up nearly 40% — a trend likely to continue as we head into the cold winter months.
Replace regular lightbulbs with LEDs
Replacing standard light bulbs with LEDs is one of the easiest and most cost-efficient changes Brits can make.
“Most LEDs use at least 75% less energy, saving you a huge amount on your bill,” explained Herbert.
With Money Advice Service data showing the UK’s average annual gas and electric bill is about £1,254 ($1,670), this means the simple switch could save you £940 a year.
Leave blinds and curtains open longer
Brits could save £752 a year just by letting more natural light and warmth into their homes.
Herbert explained: “It’s tempting to turn your lights on early in the evening and keep your curtains or blinds closed.
“However, particularly in the summer months, try keeping them open until sunset, as the natural light and heat can help save you around 60% on your bills, compared to constantly having your lights on.”
Don’t heat empty rooms
Most Brits could reduce their heating bill by a third — £414 a year — by not heating rooms they don’t spend much time in, such as spare bedrooms or those used for storage.
“If you have rooms in the house that you don’t use, turn the radiators off and close the doors, particularly in winter,” Herbert said.
“This can cut your bill by as much as a third, depending on how many rooms you’re not using.”
Move your sofa away from the radiator
Moving your sofa just six inches away from the radiator could save you up to 10% — £125 a year — on heating bills. Big pieces of furniture soak up heat, so if you place sofas or armchairs in front of your radiator, the warmth won’t circulate as well.
This means you’ll have to heat your home for longer, which will add to your bill, Herbert explained.
“The more space between furniture and radiators the better. But because heat rises, you can get away with smaller gaps if you don’t have much space in the room,” she added.
Move furniture away from external walls
You’ll feel the cold more if you’re sat by an external wall — so positioning your furniture away from the outside of the house may allow you to have the heating on for shorter periods of time, reducing your bill by up to 10%.
“If you can arrange your house so that most of the furniture sits against internal walls, you should feel warmer. You’ll feel the heat from throughout the house, rather than the cold seeping through from outside,” Herbert said.
Corner sofas are especially effective at warming up a room, leaving less empty space for draughts to build. Put one length of the sofa against an internal wall to feel the most benefit, Herbert advised.