Top 5 household hacks to help your family keep cosy this winter in Spending

Cutting your energy bills needn’t cost the earth. Sometimes, small acts can help you save big — at least, when it comes to energy efficiency. 

1. Double glaze your window for under £5

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  • Buy a roll of cling film and some sticking tape.
  • Tape a layer of film over the whole window so its about 2cm away from the glass. Make sure air is sealed all around the frame.
  • Blow a warm hairdryer in the corners which will make the film is tight so you can still see out.
  • Your room will be noticeably warmer because you have a layer of air trapped between the glass and plastic.

How does it work? As air is a poor conductor of heat, much less heat is lost through the window which will keep your room nice and cosy.

2. Make your own snake draught excluder

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  • You'll need a rectangular piece of unwanted colourful material, at least 40cm wide and just longer than the width of the door; an old pair of tights; a needle and thread; stuffing (fine gravel, beanbag balls, rice, lentils, etc - I used rice) and some buttons and ribbon (optional).
  • Fold the material in half length-ways so pattern sides are facing together. Stitch along one short and along the long edge. Then turn inside-out to make a long cylinder. 
  • Cut one leg from the tights and fill it with the stuffing. Tie it off when its just a little shorter than the cylinder.
  • Insert the stuffed tights into the material cylinder and stitch up the remaining short edge.
  • Sew on two buttons and some forked ribbon to make the snakes eyes and tongue.
  • Place under a door to stop the chilly draughts from entering your room.

Draughts under doors can make your home feel cold and uncomfortable. Draught excluders are a super easy solution to keep the heat in.

3. Pack your freezer tightly

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  • If your freezer isn't full, it uses up a lot of energy chilling the empty space
  • Keep your freezer full by stocking up on bread, bags of peas, or if you don't have any extra food on-hand you can even use bricks to fill the space

It might seem odd, but keeping your freezer full means it doesn't have to work so hard and use up a lot of energy - any excuse to buy a tub of ice-cream suits us!

4. Weather the cost of heating water

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  • Cut down your shower time by 4 minutes can save your up to £80 on your annual energy bill
  • Bathe less, shower more
  • Only fill the kettle with the water you need
  • Keep lids on pans when boiling water for cooking
  • Turn off radiators in the rooms that you do not use
  • Turn heating down by 1 degree and put on an extra jumper instead

Remember, heating water is one of the most expensive things you can do in your home. This includes for your bath or shower, boiling your kettle and heating water-filled radiators in every room.

5. Washing tips and tricks

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  • Wait until you have a full load before putting on a wash – two half-loads use more energy than a single full load.
  • Washing clothes at 30 degrees rather than higher temperatures will save around 40% of the energy used each year. Modern washing powders and detergents work just as effectively at lower temperatures so unless you have very dirty washing.
  • Hang your clothes to dry on a clothes line rather than using a costly tumble dryer. 

Want more advice on helping your family to save energy?

For free, impartial advice, information on financial support, great tips and to find out more about saving energy and going greener, call Home Energy Scotland on 00808 808 2282. 

Young Scot Rewards

This November and December we have a whole package of Young Scot Rewards activities to help your family keep cosy, reduce your carbon footprint and get you through the cold winter months. Check out our Energy Mission landing page and start gaining Rewards points today. 

Points code: 1YUYCF