“Britain braces for a two-month snow deluge”, “Weekend washout – heavy rain then snow”, “snow and icy winds”… These are just a few of the recent scary weather headlines. Has the “Arctic air” attack hit you yet? Probably not in such panicky terms… but as we’re experiencing the coldest spell of weather this winter you’ve probably had to bump up the thermostat a degree here, half a degree there, until you realise it’s well up in the 20s. And, of course, that costs money.
According to the National Energy Foundation, a charity dedicated to improving the use of energy in buildings, there are dozens of tricks for the home which will reduce your energy consumption. Some are the obvious ones about insulation of lofts, hot-water tanks etc; others involve some sacrifice, such as not using a hair dryer or switching to hand-powered kitchen devices. But we’ve picked a few which are surprisingly helpful and are no inconvenience…
Appeal’s 7 top energy-saving tips
1. Keep furniture away from radiators
The foam in settees etc is an effective insulator. If it’s in front of a radiator, it blocks the heat from reaching the room. On the other hand, placing a large piece of furniture against a cold outside wall can help keep the heat inside the room.
2. Use the heat of the sun
This is something that applies even in the depths of winter. On those crisp sunny winter days, the bright low sunlight can actually help heat your home. This is where ULTRA Plus Smart blinds come in handy. The smart shading system, exclusive to Appeal, gives you total and instant control over your window coverings, via an app on your phone or tablet when you’re out, and using voice control in the home (through Amazon Alexa or Google Home). As soon as there’s a bright spell, just tap the app for a “Here Comes The Sun” scenario that raises all the blinds facing the direction of the light, or say “Alexa, I need some time in the sunshine”.Similarly, as soon as the sun goes down, you can lower the blinds before heat starts escaping – again, instantly.ULTRA Plus uses the award-winning ULTRA powered blinds system – wireless, cordless and discreet, with a quiet motor and an easily rechargeable battery. ULTRA Plus is available in a wide variety of blind styles – Pleated, Roller, Roman and more – as well as an array of materials, patterns and palettes.
3. Cover your keyhole
… And your letterbox too – it’s surprising how much heat you can lose through small holes in the door.
4. Insulate single-glazed windows
Single-glazed and even double-glazed windows in rooms particularly prone to the effects of cold weather need extra insulation. Appeal Shading’s specialist solutions include a number of specialist constructions. Honeycomb Energy Saver blinds are practical without sacrificing on style – the beautiful translucent material creates a honeycomb lattice of air pockets which provides an 80% thermal barrier. Honeycomb blinds are available with the ULTRA and ULTRA Plus Smart blinds systems.
5. Clean the back of your fridge
Not many people know this one… the condenser coils at the back of your refrigerator extract heat from inside the fridge and expel it outside. If they get clogged up with dust, pet fur etc, attracted by static electricity, they become less efficient. It’s a double whammy – the fridge uses more electricity to cool itself, and you lose out on free heat!
6. Cover glass doors
Around 20% of heat loss in traditional houses is through windows. But that figure goes up significantly in modern homes and conversions. Increasingly, the trend is for more floor-to-ceiling glass – whether picture windows, transparent gable ends or walls consisting almost entirely of bi-fold of patio doors. Homeowners often leave those uncovered because shading solutions are difficult to find.Appeal’s blinds and other shading solutions (including wooden shutters) are entirely bespoke – measured and fitted to work to your home’s dimensions, however large or small the space needing to be covered, or how challenging the position (including ceiling lights) or shape.
Our efficient ULTRA Smart blinds pack away so neatly in the head rail (which also houses the motor and powerpack) that you can open your bi-fold doors without hindrance in good weather, but keep out the cold weather at this time of year.
7. Send a balloon up your chimney!
If you have an ornamental fireplace where you don’t actually set fires, you may be letting in cold air via the unsealed chimney. A simple solution is to install a chimney sheep, cushion or balloon as a draft excluder. They are cheap and easy to put in place.
A Gift to our Customers
For more than 30 years, Appeal has been providing the best window solutions to thousands of satisfied customers throughout the UK.
As a thank you to our loyal returning customers and as an incentive to those of you who haven’t joined the ranks yet, we would like to offer you a gift to help you transform home this year. Appeal will be sending a cheque to the value of £250 to every household that arranges a design consultation for a date before 28th February 2019*. This cheque can then be used as part payment against any order placed at the consultation for any Appeal Group product including the ULTRA and Haus brands. Thanks again.
* For full terms & conditions, see https://www.appealshading.com/special-offers/