5 Ways to conserve energy in winter

With every conceivable household cost on the rise right now, we can all use a little help to save on expenses. Here, we share 5 ways to conserve energy, reduce your power bills, and stay warm in winter.

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Close doors to prevent sucking the heat from warm rooms

1. Keep internal doors closed

It’s so simple and yet a little tricky to get all household members on board with this one. Closing doors within the house traps the heat, meaning you use less energy to warm up the entire house. Garages are not usually heated, so it's important to close internal access doors. Likewise, rooms such as guest bedrooms and bathrooms that are not in frequent use don’t need to be heated, so it makes sense to keep those doors closed throughout winter. Attic rooms and upper stories will tend to be naturally warmer than lower rooms and may not need heating at all, so close their doors to keep ground floor rooms cosy. 

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Above: our range of Insulated Garage Doors (insulation optional)

2. Insulate your house and garage

Insulation is a top priority when it comes to energy conservation. Insulated walls, floors and ceilings help to prevent heat transfer, whether it’s cold or warm air affecting the home. Insulation helps prevent cold air from permeating the house during winter, while during the hotter months, your insulated home will have some protection from the worst of the heat.

Any uninsulated areas can lessen the effect on the home as a whole. If you imagine a closed loop versus one with gaps, the closed loop is more likely to keep warm air in. The garage door is often the last area of the home to be insulated, yet being a large metal structure, it’s often the culprit when it comes to heat loss. Install an insulated garage door when you want to save electricity and keep your garage cosy. 

An added bonus to insulation is that it also reduces sound transfer, which can be especially helpful if you use your garage for projects like woodworking or as a hangout space.

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Above: Use any available warm spots to dry clothes naturally.

3. Use all available heat sources

Make the most of everything available to you to keep your home warm and save on energy consumption. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Open curtains to welcome any available sun but make sure to close them early once it cools down. Curtains left closed all day can attract mildew by trapping condensation.
  • After using your oven during winter, leave the door ajar to make the most of the toasty heat.
  • Use a clothes airer to partially dry clothes rather than drying them all the way in the dryer. The combination of a warm room and sunlight works quickly to freshen and dry laundry. Place the airer near a window and crack the window open to release moisture from the room. 
  • Consider installing a pulley system for drying clothes if you have the space. Because warm air rises, you’ll be making the most of the warmth whilst keeping the washing up out of the way.
  • Maximise the benefit of a heated towel rail by using it to dry damp jackets and clothing when you come in from outdoors. Heated towel rails are also useful for drying delicate hand-washed items.

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Above, clockwise from top left: Keep heating at a consistently low temperature to conserve energy; There's a lot to be said for cosy blankets and warm clothes; snuggling up with a good book is one of the joys of winter; slippers for the win; an example of Dominator's graphite-infused insulation.

  • Turn down the heat and put on a jumper! A cold home is neither healthy nor pleasant, but during winter, there’s a lot to be said for keeping your body warm by snuggling up on the couch with a soft throw, sliding your feet into a pair of slippers and layering your clothing with a thermal or singlet. While cold and draughty air won’t do you any favours, overheating your home wastes valuable energy.

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Above, middle and right: Draught-stoppers are an inexpensive way to prevent cold air from seeping under doors. The double-sided version on the right stays in place while the door is in use.

4. DIY draft proofing

Gaps, holes and ill-fitting windows create draughts through the house, wasting your best efforts to warm your home. 

Before winter, replace damaged or missing weather stripping and apply new caulk to broken seals. Draught-proofing strips for windows can be purchased from hardware stores, along with inexpensive caulking guns.

Homes with wood or tile flooring seem to be more prone to draughts. To keep each room energy efficient, use draught stoppers to block the heat from escaping through gaps underneath doors.

Old garage doors with warped tracks and gaps at the side are dangerous and allow cold air to seep into the garage. That makes for unpleasant morning starts, sucking warm air from the house if the garage is attached. Take a look at Dominator’s range of insulated garage doors to help conserve energy in your garage.

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Above: Gaps and cracks can reverse your efforts to warm your home.

5. Keep consistent

Keeping your heating on at a consistent low temperature rather than continuously turning it on and off can actually save energy. This is because it takes a lot of power to warm an area from a cold start, whereas maintaining a moderate temperature is more energy-efficient. Energy is also wasted when the home gets too hot and needs to be cooled again - see point 4 above. 

To round up, treat your house like an incubator if you want to conserve energy at home during winter. Keep consistent temperatures with no gaps and draughts, close the hatch and snuggle up!

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