December 5, 2013 12:30 am
Figures from HomeServe find that one in five people aged 65 or older (21 percent) are worried about their heating bills this winter, second only to slipping and injuring themselves (31 percent) and ahead of falling ill (17 percent) or being left housebound by the weather (13 percent).
A majority of pensioners (54 percent) give their heating bill as one of their largest, with one in 10 (11 percent) braced to pay a bill that's more than they can afford and 9 percent unsure how they will pay for it.
As a result, one in 10 (9 percent) will have to raid their savings to keep the heat on, while just under one in 30 (3 percent) will have to put their bill on a credit card. One in three (33 percent) say they will have to ration when they have the heat on, with one in four (25 percent) only heating part of their homes. Yet both these can jeopardize their health and well-being and, if homes are not effectively insulated, can in fact be a false economy.
Here is some advice on how to cut the cost of heating this winter:
1. More radiant radiators
To make your radiator more effective, put aluminum foil between the radiator and the wall. This acts as a heat reflector instead of allowing it to pass straight through the walls. If you have high ceilings, shelves above the radiator can also help.
2. Get on your high horse
Use a drying rack instead of drying your clothes on the radiator directly, stopping heat reaching the rest of the room and also making the furnace work harder to reach the desired temperature, increasing the amount of energy used.
3. Don't touch that dial
If your home is cold first thing in the morning, turning up your thermostat to a higher level won't make it heat up more quickly. Instead, set the boiler to come on a little earlier, this will use much less energy.
4. Get it covered
If your furnace breaks down in the middle of winter, as well as the discomfort of being without heating and the hassle of finding a tradesman, putting things right can also be costly. Having coverage can save you lots of time, stress and money.
Published with permission from RISMedia.