The ongoing cost of living crisis seems to have no end in sight as UK residents continue to spend extreme amounts of money on utility bills, groceries and other necessities – day in and day out.
So it’s not surprising that many are looking for a cheaper way to keep warm in the colder months, as in the UK in winter, ferocious winds and freezing temperatures force people to turn up their heating.
And while many may have some basics when it comes to energy saving tips and tricks, there are undoubtedly a number of areas for improvement and savings in each area.
Read more: Pensioners entitled to living expenses could get an extra £1,350 in support this year
Therefore, Chronicle Live has compiled ten money-saving devices and gadgets that users praise for their energy and money-saving abilities.
10) Portable heaters
Portable heaters come in many shapes and sizes (Image: Shared Content Unit)
Portable heaters are all the rage, and many swear they’re a lot cheaper to run than a home’s central heating system. A great example is Dunelm’s DF fan heater, which is said to cost just 68p an hour to run – and it only costs you a retail price of £14.
Elsewhere, Argos also sells a slightly more expensive, albeit larger, portable heater at £32 – with customers leaving rave reviews of theirs. A five star review read: “Warming electric heating that is much cheaper to run than central heating.”
A second added: “Bought this to heat my lounge when I didn’t want to have gas all the time given the rising costs at the moment. My lounge is quite a large space so I was concerned it might not be as effective as I was hoping – but it’s fantastic.
“Blows hot air and heats up the room in minutes. No complaints at all!”
9) Heated Airiers
Tumble dryers can be quite expensive (Image: Birmingham Mail)
We all know by now that tumble dryers cost a small fortune to run, but with the weather in the UK being so unpredictable, how else are we supposed to dry our clothes quickly, efficiently and cheaply?
Well, many shoppers have been blown away by heated drying racks lately — which are a lot cheaper than running a dryer.
Wowcher is currently having a special offer on a normally £249 Hirix device, bringing it down to just £34.99. That’s a saving of 86 percent, to be precise. Elsewhere, discount experts have reduced a regular £99.99 drying rack to just £39.99, while Lakeland is offering a three-tier heated drying rack for 10p an hour for £44.99.
8) Hooded Blankets
The Ony hoody (Image: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)
I myself have an Oodie that I got as a birthday present last year and I’ve never regretted it since. Rather than turning on the heat every morning or evening, I instead slip into my hooded blanket for a quick warm-up.
And while Oodies can be quite expensive, with my special colourway selling for £49, a number of other brands have released hooded blankets for far cheaper. For example, Dunelm has them for £11.20, Amazon stocks them for just £12.99, John Lewis has Ony’s on sale for £8.99 and Online Home Shop is selling them for £11.
7) hot water bottles
Hot water bottles can be a blessing (Image: WalesOnline)
Hot water bottles are a fantastic way to warm up during the colder months and most of us probably already have one laying around somewhere in our house. Far cheaper than turning on the heater, a quick kettle boil poured into an ordinary hot water bottle can keep you cozy for hours, especially when paired with a nice fluffy blanket.
And to keep the heat in even better, who doesn’t invest in a sleeve for your HWB?
For those who can’t find their old ones, Argos sells them for just £8.50, while you can bag one for just £5.39 on Amazon. Don’t forget to use them safely by checking the expiration date (yes, even hot water bottles have one).
6) Air Fryers
Ambiano 3L hot air fryer (Image: Aldi)
Last year Chronicle Live ran a story after a week of trying to use an air fryer instead of an oven to see if it was doable and actually saved money. If we had gone ahead then we would have seen an average saving of 30p a day, £2.10 a week, around £9 a month and over £100 a year.
So it’s hardly surprising that people have recently been swapping their conventional convection ovens for cheaper electrical appliances. And you can pick them up relatively cheaply too, with Aldi selling one for £34.99, Homebargains for £44.99 and Argos for just £56.
5) draft excluder
If you want to make your home as efficient as possible and reduce high energy bills, a good place to start is to take a look at your insulation.
British homes are among the least insulated properties in the world, and it costs the families who live in them hundreds of pounds in wasted energy every year.
Many balk at the idea of spending thousands on professional insulation, especially during a livelihood crisis, but insulating your home doesn’t always have to be difficult or expensive, and even simple DIY remedies can significantly impact your energy bills.
And draft insulators are a good start for keeping the heat in and the cold out. You can pick them up from a number of locations for under £10 on Amazon, Dunelm and Etsy.
4) Smart plugs
In absolute terms, that means more hassle savings than cost savings, but if crawling around on your hands and knees to unplug plugs isn’t for you, these nifty devices can save you money. We all know that all household appliances on the wall should be turned off when not in use – but how many people are busy walking around the house every night?
For some homes where computers, phone chargers, games consoles, set top boxes and printers are always plugged in and on standby, the annual savings can be as much as £50. That cost could be nipped in the bud with a smart plug that you can control either through your smartphone or through a smart speaker like Alexa.
If you want to be really clever, you can even group everything together so you can turn everything off at once. You can buy smart plugs from around £10, like this one, or buy several together to save money.
3) Eco showerheads
Eco showerheads are more cost-effective (Image: scu)
Showering instead of bathing can save water and energy, but you can save even more by installing a water-saving showerhead like this one.
These heads use 60 percent less water than traditional ones, and because they use less water, less energy is needed to heat the water, so it’s a win-win. A four minute shower every day could save the average person £40 a year on their energy bill and money on their water bill as well.
That adds up to a saving of £160 for a £160 family of four.
2) LED lamps
LED lamps save energy (Image: PA)
For your money, you can’t beat the energy savings you get from a small LED light bulb. A traditional 60-watt halogen bulb left on for ten hours a day can add £25 a year to your electricity bill, but the equivalent LED bulb, which uses just 15 per cent of the energy, uses just £4 of electricity.
Multiply that by 10 lightbulbs and the difference is £210 a year – so you can see the savings add up when the average home uses 34 lightbulbs. The cost of LED bulbs has come down to just £2 each in recent years and the new LEDs no longer emit a glare and take forever to warm up so it’s a no-brainer.
You can get LED bulbs from any Screwfix, B&Q, Toolstation and even Amazon.
1) Energy monitors
Plug-in energy monitors differ from smart meters (Image: Huddersfield Daily Examiner)
A plug-in energy monitor could be the smartest $10 to spend this year, as it will show you exactly how much power your devices and gadgets are using when in use. A plug-in monitor differs from a smart meter because it shows real-time information for each device individually, rather than the overall energy usage in your home.
This allows you to make an informed choice about what to use and what to give up, as well as decisions about how long you can afford to use gadgets and technology.
An energy monitor alone will not save energy – but it will make you aware of how much energy you are using. It’s a great tool to help you change your behavior and lower your bills. You can see the effects of leaving appliances on standby or using an air fryer instead of an oven, for example.
Amazon currently offers energy monitors for just £8.69, while Screwfix stocks them for £17.99.
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