How to reduce your utility bills

How to reduce your utility bills

When it comes to keeping your home warm, particularly during the colder months, your utility bills can become a real drain on your finances. It can be tricky to keep a budget in place, and save money on your bills without compromising on the quality of your home life.

With the blustery weather outside, we thought we’d pull together this post on how to save money on your utility bills. Our top tips can help you orchestrate a happy home that’s not just cosy and welcoming, but energy efficient too.

Red standby button off

Change-up your routine

We all know how easy it is to lose track of how much energy we may be wasting, but one quick-fix is to make energy efficiency a part of your daily routine. For example, get into the habit of switching the lights off in a room as you leave and always avoid leaving devices on standby. As well as this, make sure your dishwasher is stacked and full before turning it on, and set your washing machine to a shorter, cooler cycle. Habits like this may seem small, but the savings soon add up.

White radiator

Bleed your radiators

When pockets of air get trapped in your radiators, heating up your home can become much more difficult. Trapped air means you need to keep your heating on for much longer to feel the same results. When you bleed your radiator, you release the air that’s trapped inside and heat can travel through the radiators with ease, thus keeping your home warmer. Bleed your radiators to benefit from lower energy bills.

LED bulb on a black background

Make the switch to LED bulbs

Traditional halogen bulbs have long been the go-to bulb for home-owners. However, increasingly, people are growing wise to their inefficiency. LED light bulbs use 90% less energy than halogen alternatives, and come in a range of colour temperatures and designs. Investing in LED bulbs for your home can see you reduce your utility bills significantly.

Grey radiator on a yellow wall

Add foil to the back of your radiators

The heat from radiators often escapes through the back, only to get absorbed by the walls. To avoid this, and make the most of the heat, add foil to the back of your radiators. This will reflect the heat back into the room, giving you more warmth for your money!

Blankets and cushions on a sofa

Layer up

An old energy saving hack, but still as effective as ever. Instead of turning up your heating at the drop of a hat, add on an extra layer or two or get cuddled up under a blanket. Regularly getting into this habit, as well as encouraging the rest of the household do so too, can help to keep your energy bills under control.

Running an energy efficient home can be a real challenge, particularly when you’ve had a long day out in the cold! However, having to sacrifice luxuries to save on your bills is a long-standing misconception. Small compromises and healthy habits are all you need to keep your utility bills under control.

We hope you’ve found our post useful, and you are keeping warm during the cold weather. What are your energy efficiency hacks? Get in touch and let us know!

The information above was provided by the team at online electrical wholesalers, The Electrical Guys


3 Ways to decide if you need residential air conditioning repair or a new system

3 Ways to decide if you need residential air conditioning repair or a new system

It’s really frustrating when your air conditioner breaks down in the middle of a hot summer afternoon as countless people who it has happened to can attest. The first thing to do, of course, is to call in repair services. However, in some cases, the air conditioning system is beyond repair and the home-owner will need to replace it. It can be a dilemma making the decision between having it repaired or shelling out and buying a new air conditioning system. Choosing between the two can be confusing especially when you don’t have technical knowledge of how these systems work. Often, people opt for the wrong one – costing them much more than necessary.

To determine whether you should have your air conditioning repaired or invest in a new one, consider the following factors:

Air conditioning unit

  1. Age of the unit

This is the first factor you need to consider. Age greatly affects the performance of your air conditioning system. Air conditioning units often come with a longevity recommendation. When your air conditioning has a 15-year mark and it’s only 10 years old, you may opt for repair services like air conditioning repair in McKinney. However, if it’s nearing the 15-year mark, a replacement may be the best decision. Trying to repair a unit way past its recommended year of service can be a false economy, costing you more in the long run.

Air conditioning maintenance

  1. Cost of repair and replacement

Air conditioning repair may sound cheaper than having to buy a new one, but this isn’t always the case. Some repair costs, including service charges and buying spare parts could add up and may cost you more than a new unit. In a case like this, opt for a replacement. Or, when the need to repair seems to occur more often than the usual, the total cost can be overwhelming. Hence, replacement is the wiser thing to do. Be practical on this one and look at it over the long term.

Air conditioning repair

  1. Energy efficiency

There are a lot of contributing factors when it comes to energy efficiency. First is the working condition of your unit. If the unit doesn’t produce as much cold air as it used to even after series of repairs, it’s probably time to buy a new one. Energy efficiency is also about your electricity bill. If you notice your bill is starting to sky-rocket over time and the air conditioning is the only possible suspect, invest in a new one. Finally, consider your space and the traffic in the area. If an additional person or persons are using the room or if the space became bigger due to home improvement projects, it’s may time to buy a new one. However, if the above cases are not among your current situation, you might consider repairing it first.

When you opt for air conditioning repair, make sure you hire the best repair service firm. If you decide to buy a new one, find the unit that is right size and output for your needs. Also, check for the Energy Star label that proves that the unit is energy efficient.


How to keep your heating oil costs as low as possible

How to keep your heating oil costs as low as possiblecredit

For many home-owners, the winter months are a worrying time. They worry about how much they’ll need to pay for heating oil. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep the cost of heating your home down, which is why we’ve written this post.

Buy from commercial sellers

Instead of automatically buying from your local domestic oil company, try commercial fuel suppliers as well. Many of them are happy to sell to domestic customers, as well as business owners. Usually, their prices are very competitive.

Buy your oil early

When possible, buy your heating oil early. Buying before the rush is the best way to avoid paying more than you need to.

However, you need to bear in mind that the cost of heating oil fluctuates throughout the year. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that buying your oil in the summer actually doesn’t work out to be cheaper.

However, most years, this approach does work. Because demand is lower during the warmer months the cost of heating oil usually dips during the summer.

Oil tank maintenancecredit

Look after your boiler

It is also worth having your boiler serviced during the summer. Many heating engineers are not so busy then. As a result, many self-employed engineers offer a discount to those customers who have their boilers serviced during the warmer months.

Having your boiler serviced on a regular basis will also save you money. This is because a properly maintained boiler works more efficiently. It’s also less likely to break down and need replacing.

Not to mention the fact that an unserviced boiler represents a safety hazard. Every year, hundreds of people die because they breathe in carbon monoxide emitted by a faulty boiler. Dozens more die in boiler explosions. In most of these cases, it turns out that the boiler involved hasn’t been properly maintained.

Don’t overheat your home

An awful lot of home-owners waste heating oil by keeping their home too hot. Studies show that if you turn your thermostat down by one degree every couple of weeks, most people will not notice the difference – at least not at first. Often, by the time they do realise that the house is cooler, the thermostat has already been turned down by four or five degrees, which significantly reduces the amount of oil that’s being consumed. Typically, for every degree you reduce your thermostat by, you save 1 or 2% on your fuel bill.

Basement oil tankcredit

Keep the heat inside your property

The other step you need to take is to insulate and draught-proof your home. It doesn’t take long to do, and it’s a job that many people can do themselves. You can find out more about how to insulate a house from this page. The information in this article will prove especially helpful for those who are living on a tight budget.

Buying your heating oil at the right time and shopping around for the best price are both important. However, it’s being careful not to consume too much fuel and making the best use of the heat that you generate that makes the biggest difference, and keeps your costs down.