Why is it important to keep my home warm and dry?
It's important for your family's health that your house is warm and dry. Cold and damp homes are linked to poor health, especially for babies / small children, people who are sick, and older people.
Here are some ways to keep your home healthy that won't break the bank:
How to heat your house - Only heat the room that you are in. Try and keep the temperature between 18 and 21 degrees especially if you have babies, sick, or older people living in your home.
Dress warmly for bed and make sure your bedroom is warm enough - it is very important to stay warm during the night.
Block unused chimneys and stop draughts around doors and windows. (Draughts is the cool air that enters the room). You can make your own draught 'snakes' by stuffing rugby socks or pantyhose with newspaper or cushion filling. Up to 20% of heating can be lost through draughts.
Open windows and curtains on sunny days, and close them when the sun goes down to trap heat in your home. Trim any trees that prevent the sun from entering your house (but if you are renting, remember to ask your landlord first!)
Here are TEN easy ways to save money and cut your electricity costs:
Talk to your electricity company about which plan is best for you. Most companies provide options including direct debits at a flat rate all year round, pre-payment meters and low use rates for people who are saving.
Most of your electricity bill will go on hot water so use as little as you can. Set your washing machine on a cold wash and rinse your dishes in cold water. Take short showers instead of baths. Showers use 60% less water than baths.
Fix dripping taps. A dripping hot tap can cost $80 a year but you can buy a washer to fix it for $1!
If your hot water cylinder is old, keep the heat in by using a hot water cylinder wrap. They’re available from hardware stores. Make sure the thermostat is set to produce a temperature of 55 degrees at the tap (this will also prevent burns).
Always turn the lights off in rooms when you leave. But if you are using energy efficient light bulbs it is better to leave them on if you are returning within ten minutes.
Appliances that have a standby function (such as TVs, stereos, mobile chargers, computers or microwaves) should be turned off at the wall. This can save you up to $75 a year.
Clothes dryers can be very expensive to run so try not to use them unless you really have to. Heated towel rails are also expensive and cost around $120 a year to run.
Make sure there is generous air space behind the back of your fridge and try to locate it out of direct sunlight, or in a cooler room like the laundry. Don't open the fridge door too often or leave it open.
Make sure you cool food before putting it in the fridge. Turn off your second or 'drinks' fridge - this could be costing you $190 per year.
When cooking, keep the oven door closed. Always keep lids on pots and use as little water as possible to cook foods. Simmer rather than boil food and if possible use a microwave, as this uses 30-40 per cent less power than a conventional oven. Defrost food naturally if possible, (in the fridge is best) rather than in the microwave.
- Kindly provided by Ministry of Social Development