A recent survey found that 91% of adults reported noticing an increase in the cost of living and 77% of adults were worried about meeting their daily living costs. Energy costs in particular have risen steeply over the past six months, and over the winter, this can be an even bigger expense, particularly for seniors who tend to have greater sensitivity to the cold. There are fortunately ways that you can not only save money over the winter months, but also future-proof your home for the months to come. This can help ease the impact of the rises in cost of living and make life more comfortable.
Repair or replace your windows
According to Green Spec, the average home loses 10% of its heat through the windows, however, this could be as much as 40% if the windows are in bad repair or don’t provide sufficient insulation. Single glazed windows lose twice as much heat as double glazed ones, so replacing the windows in your home could help. This is an investment, but in the long term, it will have a significant impact on your energy bills over the winter months and could also increase the value of your home. Some electric companies and local municipalities offer incentives and rebates for upgrading or replacing windows, so you may well find that it costs less than you think. They may also offer special grants for seniors so that they can make repairs to keep their home warm.
Draught-proof your house
Research done by Carbon Commentary has found that we lose an average of 3,000kw of energy every hour through draughts. That could be the equivalent of hundreds of dollars a year. Draught-proofing your house is an easy fix and if you are living on a pension, can be done inexpensively without needing professional help. Placing simple draught excluders at the bottom of your doors, particularly external doors will help – you can buy draught excluders, or use rolled up towels. Next you should consider any draughts that come from your window frames – these can be fixed using soft putty or electrical tape. Other common places draughts come through are from mailbox slots in your door, which can be covered with a thick piece of cloth, and through extractor fans, which can also be covered when not being used.
Cut down your energy consumption
Turning down your thermostat just by 1 degree could save you $100 over the winter months. It is also worth using a thermostat timer to come on when you need it, rather than leaving the heating on all day. Adjusting individual radiators so that you are not heating empty rooms is also a simple way to cut down energy consumption. When you are considering your use of electrical appliances, make sure everything is switched off when not in use – don’t leave appliances on standby. Only run your dishwasher cycle when the machine is completely full, and opt for a short washing machine program at a lower temperature unless your laundry is particularly dirty. These small changes will make a big difference over the winter months.
Cutting down energy consumption can help seniors to save money and is also beneficial for the planet. Replacing damaged windows and draught-proofing is an easy way to do this and will keep the house warm over winter.