Did you know that setting your PC monitor to go to sleep after 10 minutes instead of 30 can save enough energy to run a refrigerator? Or that electric heaters can be up to three times as expensive as central heating? Or, according to Energy Saving Trust, if everyone boiled only the water they needed every time they used the kettle, we could save enough electricity in a year to power the UK’s street lights for nearly seven months?

There are many things we can do this winter in order to save on our electricity and energy bills, and stay warm during the cold weather. During this show, building expert Kish Bhudia and I discussed what people can do around the house and in each room of their homes in order to save electricity and energy to improve the environment, as well as save money to improve the figure at the end of their bills.

The first thing to do when trying to save money on your bills is to shop around. You should look for a new energy company every year as charges change. Simple type your postcode into the internet and go on comparative sites to find the best deal.

One thing that is a problem predominantly in winter is condensation. Condensation is excess moisture in the air, due to a lack of ventilation and heating in the home. It is often mistaken for dampness but you can identify it as condensation because it has a black and spore appearance. It occurs in places such as behind beds and cupboards where it is extremely cold as the moist air travels to cold parts, particularly from the kitchen and bathroom to other areas of the house.

To prevent condensation, do not close your vents during winter periods and if you are drying clothes inside your house, keep some windows open. Kish stated that it is advisable to put ventilators in every room of the house as you can buy ones that you are able to control.

We also spoke about insulation, particularly in roofs and lofts because heat is most commonly lost through ceilings. We talked through different roofs and different loft uses:

  • Loft used for storage: you should have a good level of insulation between and along the joists in particular;
  • Loft conversion: you need a rigid board on the inside and outside;
  • Inaccessible loft: you can self-install insulation as it is cheap and easy to do yourself. It costs around £300-£400. Be sure to wear gloves, goggles and a mask if you do decide to DIY.

Other than insulation, another way to keep the heat in during winter, and house cool during the summer, is by having double glazed windows. There is also the option of triple glazed windows which are great for soundproofing noise if you live in noisy areas.

One thing we all love during the winter is long and hot showers. Kish advised having shorter showers and lowering the temperature of the water by a few degrees as this will save energy and have a big impact on the environment.

There is a big difference between traditional and energy-efficient light bulbs. A traditional light bulb uses 60-100 Watts while LED bulbs use 5-10 Watts. They also last for approximately 10 years so they are much more energy and economically efficient than traditional bulbs.

Although it may sound bizarre to talk about solar panels in winter, Kish placed emphasis on them because he explained that if you install them now before Christmas, you will make big savings. The reason Kish mentioned them is because they do not require sunlight but merely daylight. However, there are parts of the country where they generate more power such as in the south of the country and if your house faces the south.

Rounding up the show, Kish left us all with some tops tips on energy efficiency for this winter:

  • Put the temperature on your boiler down. It will save energy.
  • Check that the floors of your house are insulated.
  • Buy a smart meter as it they monitor how much energy you are using so that you can turn off highly-consuming energy appliances.

Stay warm with more savings this winter!