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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The ESSENTIAL winter money-saving checklist

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Use our winter checklist to ensure you are prepared for what the colder, damper, darker days could bring.

The cold weather means you’ll be using more energy, and there’s a greater chance of experiencing problems with your home and car.

he winter can be a big drain on your finances.

Switch your energy supplier

You can see a round-up of the best deals in The cheapest gas and electricity tariffs. Now the best deal costs under ₤ 800 a year for the average user.

The Government estimates around 13.5 million households in the UK are missing out on ₤ 2.7 billion by sticking with the same energy company.

To understand how you could save compared to your current tariff use the loveMONEY gas and electricity comparison centre. , if you find a deal that works for you take a look at How to switch energy supplier for all you need to know on making the move.


And there’s never been a better time to switch, with some deals over ₤ 100 cheaper than they were a year ago.

By shopping around and taking advantage of the best energy deals, households could save an average of ₤ 200 or more.

Find a better deal on oil

Read How to save money on your oil bill for more advice.

You can also save by shopping around and getting a better deal if you are one of the 1.1 million homes that rely on heating oil in the UK.

Get free insulation

Take a look at How to get free cavity wall and loft insulation for more details.

There’s no obligation to carry out the changes and you don’t have to be a customer to qualify.

You just need to request a survey to see what energy measures could be installed and whether you can get them for free.

The ‘Big Six’ energy companies are working with the Government to offer free energy efficiency measures to make homes warmer and bring down energy bills through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

The Energy Savings Trust estimates a semi-detached home could save ₤ 160 a year with cavity wall insulation and ₤ 140 with up to 27cm of loft insulation.

Improvements on offer include free loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and/or a replacement boiler.

Get a boiler service

If you don’t qualify for help replacing your boiler from the ECO scheme mentioned above, take a look at Save money on your new boiler for some tips on how to lower the cost.

If your boiler is acting up, and repairs are becoming more frequent, it may be time to replace it.

It might be a good idea to get your boiler serviced before the cold weather takes hold to ensure it works properly.

Use energy saving tricks

There are plenty of simple things you can do to cut how much energy you save and use money on your bills. Here are just a few you can try:

Check the roof.

With this you can turn off the mains water quickly to prevent flooding and limit the damage to your home.

You can avoid damage to your pipes by leaving the central heating on for a few hours a day if you are away when temperatures are likely to plummet.

Check your home insurance.

The payment is issued automatically from 1 November this year until 31 March next year.

It’s important to clear your gutters of leaves regularly.

When driving in harsh winter weather and are pretty simple to do yourself, these simple checks can help you avoid problems.

, if you were born on or before 5th July 1953 you could get between ₤ 100 and ₤ 300 tax-free to help with heating bills through the Winter Fuel Payment scheme.

It may be harder to insure your home if you live in a flood risk area. Read Where to get home insurance for high flood-risk homes for help.

There is often a rise in burglaries in the winter months as it gets darker earlier.

You could get your chimney capped, but this can be pricey. Another cheaper option is to use a chimney balloon. They cost around ₤ 20 and are easily installed.

Clear your gutters.

Your home kit might include a torch, batteries, candles, matches, spare fuses, radiator key and important numbers like your insurance company helpline and 24-hour local plumbers.

To avoid damp when drying clothes indoors, leave a window open a crack in a spare room with the door closed to ensure moisture is carried out and doesn’t linger.

Make sure outside lights are working properly to deter thieves and close the curtains to stop crooks eyeing up your valuables.

You could get your chimney capped, but this can be pricey. Another cheaper option is to use a chimney balloon. They cost around ₤ 20 and are easily installed.


Once the temperature drops it’s natural to keep the windows shut and turn up the heat. These conditions are perfect for condensation which can lead to damp and mould problems.

Bleed your radiators.

Leaves that fall into gutters can block pipes and drains and cause them to overflow, which can damage brickwork and foundations.

Fight damp and mould.

A policy doesn’t have to be expensive, especially once you’ve had a look at Cut your home insurance costs.

Good insulation can also help prevent damp elsewhere in your home.

It’s a good idea to leave a light on to make it seem like someone’s in if you’re planning on leaving your home unoccupied for a while.

Those on certain benefits may also be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment, which offers ₤ 25 for every seven days that temperatures are below zero.


Get your car winter ready.

You can also get ₤ 140 off your electricity bill with the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

Remember that things can also go wrong with your boiler and central heating. You might want to look out for a deal that includes home emergency cover, unless you are thinking of getting separate boiler cover.

Make sure you get it swept so you can use it to heat your home this winter if you have a chimney.

It may also be worth pruning back any branches that hang near your home to prevent future build ups.

A decent home insurance policy will cover you for things like flooding, burst pipes and storm damage, which are more likely in the winter months.

Remember that things can also go wrong with your boiler and central heating. You might want to look out for a deal that includes home emergency cover, unless you are thinking of getting separate boiler cover. Read How to find cheap boiler cover.

Wear extra layers instead of turning the heating up
When you get up and for a couple of hours in the evening, Time your heating for
Switch off lights you don’t need and use energy-saving light bulbs
Exclude draughts with heavy curtains and sausage-shaped draught excluders near doors
Turn down your thermostat by one degree (it can reduce your heating bill by 10%).
Turn off heaters in rooms you aren’t using and shut the door.
Don’t leave electrical appliances on standby.
Match the saucepan size to the hob ring (otherwise, you’re paying to heat the air).
Wash your clothes at 30 degrees.
For more read: How to save money on your energy bills.

, if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills you may be eligible for other financial help or special tariffs.. Take a look at where to get help with paying your energy bills for the more information.

Keeping the rain out is an important task for the winter so you should make sure your roof is in good shape.

Make sure you check extractor fans and window vents are working in bathrooms and in kitchens.

Deter burglars.

You should also be prepared for any winter disasters in the home with an emergency kit that can help in case of things like a power cut, dodgy radiators or damage to your home.

If you have an open chimney that’s not in use you should take steps to block it off to prevent losing heat.

Get winter money help.

It’s important to have the right protection for your home.

This process releases the trapped air that stops radiators heating up properly, impacting the efficiency of your heating system.

, if a radiator is colder at the top than at the bottom this usually means it needs bleeding.

Make a home emergency kit.

Clean or block the chimney.

Winter can be a massive drain on your money, but there is help available.

, if you spot some damage that could be made worse by wintry weather get a professional in to fix it.. When looking for tradesmen use these handy tips: Don’t get ripped off by a rogue trader.

Pensioners that meet the criteria get this benefit automatically but energy companies will also apply the discount for other vulnerable people on low incomes so it’s worth checking what you could get.

To avoid major damage should the worst happen, make sure you locate where your stopcock is. This controls the mains water tap in your home.

Pipes carrying water into your home are vulnerable to freezing and bursting during the winter months.

Protect your pipes.

According to Aviva, household thefts rise by 5% the week the clocks go back, while malicious damage jumps 160% over Halloween.

Read how to protect your water pipes for more ideas on how to prevent any disasters occurring as the temperature drops.

You should check for missing or cracked roof tiles and get them fixed as soon as possible to avoid letting water in. Use a ladder for a close up inspection or just walk around the outside of your home with some binoculars.

Make sure your car is winter ready with a few basic checks on the lights, screenwash, oil levels, coolant levels, tyres and windscreen wipers.

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