The Stresses and Strains of Running a Home

19 Oct 2018

Young family laughing on the sofa

Domestic Help from Hoppy

What’s so hard about running a house? That’s probably something we’ve all thought when growing up, only to come to the startling realisation, when having our own place, that we need as much domestic help as possible.

There’s so much to consider, including day-to-day chores, scheduling your time and keeping on top of bills, for example. In fact, the last point alone is a huge stress for a lot of people because it doesn’t just mean paying everything on time, but also keeping those bills affordable. This is a huge issue in winter particularly, when naturally people’s usage goes up in order to keep our homes warm throughout the colder months. It often feels as though huge energy bills are simply an inevitable part of the season.

While it may be true that an increase in the use of heating is pretty much unavoidable for most, there are still plenty of steps you can take in order to make your household outgoings more manageable. In this article, we’re going to look at how to ease the stresses and strains of running a home by first and foremost getting your energy bills down, with a few extra helpful suggestions along the way.

1. Get a smart meter

Often, we have the best intentions to lower our energy expenditure, but don’t actually know where we are going wrong. That’s why smart meters are so useful. They allow you to pinpoint where you may be using energy unnecessarily and therefore take steps to reduce usage during these times. They can also make clear any excess energy wastage caused by an unknown issue long before a hefty bill lands on your doorstep.

You shouldn’t need to worry about hiring someone to fit it either, as most energy providers are able to quickly and easily install them free of charge.

2. Use timers

Another way in which technology can vastly improve our energy efficiency is through the use of timers. By setting up a system for when you need to use your heating and sticking to it, you can exercise a great deal more control over your bills. For example, one helpful tip is to programme your heating to turn on half an hour before you get up, and there’s actually a good reason for this....

3. Lower temperature for longer periods

The reason why you should set the heating on earlier is that you can do so at a lower, more sensible temperature. People often set their heating on way higher than they need to when they are feeling very cold, such as first thing on a morning. However, operating in this way uses more energy than having the heating on a lower temperature more consistently.

4. Get a routine

Of course, all of this only works with a set routine. Now, this isn’t just good advice for lowering your heating bills: it’s also good for organising your day in general. If you are able to follow a routine of getting up and doing things consistently at set times, then your usage of timers, smart meters and lower temperatures will be a lot more effective.

5. Cook smart

Cooking is not only good for saving money because a homemade meal is almost certainly going to be cheaper than eating out – which will more than make up for whatever energy your oven is using – but it also has a side benefit. Cooking is a source of heat and can naturally warm up a home to an extent: just ask anyone who’s attempted to make a pizza in summer! Plus, the right food can also warm you up as well, meaning there’s less of a need for heating. The best part? Those warming foods – chillies, stews, casseroles – they’re also cheap.

6. Get the right provider for your area

Luckily, this can be completely hassle-free, thanks to Hoppy’s easy to use comparison service. Simply hop on, fill in some details and find out which energy provider is the perfect fit for your home.

7. Move your sofa

The way your room is laid out has a huge impact on the efficiency of your heating. While it is possible to maximise the benefit of your heating with some well-thought-out furniture layouts, we're going to start somewhere simpler: the sofa.

Your sofa, or indeed any other furniture items being in the way of your radiator pretty much makes all the heat that’s being expelled go to waste, creating nothing more than a very useless hotspot in your room. Start there, and if you feel like taking things further, go for it.

8. A warm jumper and a cup of tea

Some things are just common sense. If you’re cold, try doing things other than turning the heating on full blast. Wear appropriate winter clothes, have a hot drink, buy a hot water bottle. Even if these things don’t completely do the job, we bet you’ll be able to turn that temperature dial down even if it still remains on.

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