SUMMER is right around the corner, so it's a good time to check your energy-draining winter devices.
Switching off appliances around your home is one of the easiest ways to cut energy costs.
And May usually marks a turning point in the weather as temperatures start to rise and the evenings get lighter.
It means you can turn off gadgets that you keep on over winter, some of which you may have forgotten about.
We spoke to Ben Gallizzi, an energy expert at USwitch, to find out how a quick check and reaching for the off switch could save you as much as £612.90.
Turn off the heating
As temperatures rise, you should find that you’re using your heating less and less each day.
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Ben says that if your thermostat is set to be on 24 hours a day, you may find that the heating kicks in when the temperature drops in the middle of the night.
"This can mean that you end up spending money on heating when everyone in the home is fast asleep", he added.
You may have forgotten that your thermostat is on this setting if you adjusted it way back at the start of winter, so it's worth checking.
USwitch estimates that the average household with gas central heating spends about £423 on heating in January, February and March.
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This falls £212 for April, May and June, and drops to almost nothing over July, August and September.
But you could still end up paying over the odds if you don't adjust your timers.
Turn off any plug-in heaters
Electric heaters can be a useful way of making a room a little warmer in the winter.
Some of them also come with timers you can set when they come on.
If your gadget does, then it's time to give the settings a tweak.
Ben said: "As it gets warmer outside, don’t forget to turn your timer off so the heater does not switch on when you do not need it."
Plug-in electric heaters use between 2kW and 3kW of energy, costing between 66p and 99p for every hour they are in use.
If you used a 3kW electric heater for three hours a day for three months, this would cost you a whopping £62.10.
Turn off the tumble dryer
It's easy to get into the habit of putting your wet laundry into the machine over the winter.
But Ben said spring and summer are the best times to find alternatives to using the tumble dryer.
USwitch estimate that using the tumble dryer could cost £117 in energy over the course of a year.
“The arrival of warmer weather is a good opportunity to turn off the tumble dryer and hang clothes to dry outside for free instead," Ben added.
“Some 11 million households own tumble dryers, and an average appliance costs almost £1.03 a load under the energy price guarantee."
If you do decide to opt for a washing line in your back garden, you could also consider switching off your heated airer.
They typically use 300W, which will cost 20p if used for two hours per load of washing.
But don't worry if you don't have a garden and you rely on your airer, as you wouldn't make a huge saving and it's still cheaper than a tumble dryer.
Check if you still need your dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers can help speed up your drying time, while also reducing the amount of moisture and condensation created by drying clothes indoors.
However, you may not need it as often during the summer months when you can open the windows to ventilate your home instead.
Ben said: “Dehumidifiers that remove the extra moisture from the air typically use 185W, which will cost 12p if used for two hours.
“You could consider changing the settings so it runs for less time, or turn off completely if you can let the air in through your windows.”
Switching off your dehumidifier for three months over the summer could save you £10.80.
Take your lamps off a timer
During the dark winter months, lots of households chose to put their lights on a timer for security reasons.
As the days get longer, it's worth checking these settings to see if your lights are coming on earlier than they need to.
"LED bulbs are incredibly energy efficient, so the daily savings from turning the lamp off when it’s not needed will be small — but they all add up," Ben said.
“A 35watt bulb, for example, could cost 7p if used for six hours — costing £2.17 over a month.”
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Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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