Keeping your home warm this winter
With overnight temperatures reaching zero in some parts of the country, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority have issued some “easy and inexpensive” ways to warm up your home in winter.
Dr Marcos Pelenur from EECA says there are about 724,000 heat pumps in homes across the country and it’s important to clean the filters regularly.
“Heat pump filters can get clogged – aim to clean them every few weeks and your heat pump will run more efficiently and save you money.”
You can also use a dehumidifier to help heat a room faster, according to Dr Pelenur. He advises running the dehumidifier when you turn your heater on.
“Dehumidifiers work best in warm rooms and all the electricity they use gets released as heat - so your heater needs to do less work.”
If the cold draughts are whistling through your home, Dr Pelenur suggests putting low-cost draught stopping tape around windows or doors and tightening up the hinges on doors and windows.
“If you can’t do that, you can roll up a towel and put it up against the door or a window.”
He says it’s important to avoid lots of moisture in the home over winter because it increases the risk of mould. Air your home by opening windows and doors a few times a day, even in winter, he says.
Other top tips
• Dry clothes outside or in a clothes dryer that is vented to the outside – avoid indoor airing racks or clothes dryers that vent into your house. The moisture in the clothes will end up in your home, making it damp.
• Avoid unflued gas heaters which release toxic fumes and make your house damp. Cheap portable electric heaters are safer and cost less to run and are available during the lockdown.
• If you have a heated towel rail, only use it when needed. A heated towel rail left on 24/7 can cost you $170 per year to run. Convert the money you save into making sure your home is heated properly.
• If you are working from home, you may not have the luxury of choosing where to site your work space, but if you can, use a small space that’s easy to heat on its own. Move your desk to a position that gets good natural light.
• If your circumstances or energy use has changed, check you are still on the best power deal to suit your needs.