Keeping your home warm during the long winter months is an important consideration for everyone, while doing so cost-effectively in an environmentally responsible manner is also a top priority.

Eskom’s number one tip for keeping your home cosy this winter is to install ceiling insulation: “It is the most important step for improving the energy efficiency of your home and makes it up to 5% warmer in winter; approximately 40% of heat is lost through the roof if your home is not insulated,” the national electricity provider says.

Eskom also recommends installing window blinds or hanging curtains as it improves thermal insulation by preventing heat from escaping out of your home. Eskom further provides the following tips for saving electricity in the home during winter:

  • Install energy and water saving shower heads – it reduces the amount of hot water and electricity used to shower.
  • Install water flow restrictors on your taps – it reduces the amount of water your geyser needs to reheat and, therefore, lower your geyser’s energy consumption.
  • Install a geyser blanket and pipe insulation on the first 1,5 metres of pipes to reduce heat loss.
  • Invest in a fan heater controlled via a thermostat – this is the most energy-efficient space heating option if you need quick heat for just one hour in an average room of 3 x 4 x 2,5 meters; it spreads heat quickly and evenly and the thermostat switches it off when the room temperature reaches the desired level.
  • When you do switch on your space heater, heat only the room you are in – remember to close all doors and windows while the electric heater is on.
  • Also, remember to seal gaps around windows and draught-proof wall cavities throughout your home in preparation for winter.
  • Warm your bed with an electric blanket – switch it on an hour before bed time and switch it off when you get into your bed.
  • Don’t use under-floor heating – hot air rises and dissipates quickly when doors and windows are open, and it’s a waste of energy leaving under-floor heating on when you’re in bed.
  • In addition to the above option, invest in an oil heater with a thermostat and an output no bigger than 2,000 watt if you need heat for up to three hours in the same room; it heats the room slowly and steadily over the three-hour period and does not cause a spike in your electricity bill.
  • If you require heat for eight hours or longer in the same room, a heater with a thermostat and an output no bigger than 1,000W (lowest setting) will do the energy efficiency trick; it gradually raises the temperature and reaches the optimal level of thermal comfort over time without burning a hole in your pocket.
  • Replace your electrical element geyser with a solar water heating system or heat pump – water heating can account for up to 50% of your monthly energy costs; solar can assist you to reduce your energy costs with up to 24% whilst heat pumps are three times more energy-efficient than conventional geysers.