The Cheapest Ways to Keep Warm This Winter

Feel that winter chill coming?
Hope Turner  |  

Time to swap the singlets for sweaters and embrace the relief from the sweltering heat for a few short months. However, if you’re feeling a little too chilly, we’ve got some helpful insights to help you stay warm!

Winter is just around the corner, and as the days get shorter, the temperature drops and the rooftop cocktails seem like a distant memory; it can be a great time of year to reevaluate your spending habits as the social calendar takes a bit of a dip. 

However, we know there are financial pressures with the colder months, especially when it comes to keeping your house and family nice and warm. Don’t worry, though; there are many ways to stay warm this winter without breaking the bank.

From upgrading your old appliances to some cheaper short-term alternatives, here are our top tips for keeping warm in Winter.

Save money on heating appliances

There are many convenient ways to heat your home. Some can be as simple as changing the way you use appliances you already have. We’ve listed some appliances you can upgrade or purchase to help with the chilliness and how you can use them in a more energy-efficient way.

Jump to each one below:


Air-conditioning

With 68% of Australians actively using their air conditioners in the summer, it’s not surprising that it’s the thing they're trying to cut down on most while trying to decrease their energy bills.

Most air conditioners will have a reverse cycle built in to pump out both cold and warm air, which can come in handy on those super chilly days. Heating with an air conditioner can be a costly endeavour, so it’s good to keep in mind how much you’re using it.

The following tips can help ensure you get the most out of the aircon you use:

  • Keep all windows and doors closed when using it;
  • Keep all windows and doors open if you’re not using it;
  • Minimise the area you need to heat by shutting the door to your room and turning it to a low setting.
  • If you can try using fans instead (see next section) as they use considerably less power;
  • Always turn your aircon off if you aren’t in the room or aren’t home;
  • Use a timer or ‘sleep mode’ at night so it isn’t constantly running;
  • Clean air filters regularly and have your air conditioner serviced per the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you do decide to turn it on, try turning it on at a temperature between 25 and 27°C. You don’t want to blast it too hot and waste electricity. Keeping it at an optimal temperature can save 5 - 10% energy.

Reverse Fans

It may sound silly, but there actually might be a setting on your fan that could warm up your home. Most fans will have a reversed mode specifically for winter. This will change the direction of your fan’s spins, which, if coupled with a low speed, can move the cooler air up and bring some warmth down!

Check your insulation

Studies show that good insulation is one of the most important factors in saving money on your energy bill. The smallest issue with your home’s insulation could have a significant effect on your bills, especially in winter. 

According to Sustainability Victoria, having a fully insulated home compared to a non-insulated one can reduce the cost of heating and cooling by around 40% to 50%! Ceiling insulation alone can lower your heating bills by 20%!

“Average households that install wall, floor and ceiling insulation can save hundreds of dollars on energy costs each year.”

- Chris Barnes, CHOICE home-heating expert

Also, contrary to what you may think, improving your home’s insulation is a relatively simple and inexpensive job for any tradie, and once it’s done, you won’t have to think about it!

We know making your home more energy-efficient can be costly, but Jacaranda Finance is here to help. Check out our home improvement loans to help pay for any of these bigger winter upgrades.

Electric heaters

There are other options for homes that don’t have an air conditioner or cannot make home renovations. Portable electric heaters can be a very handy way to heat your home, especially for rooms that are generally smaller and/or colder. They can also be a good solution for singles or couples as they have a smaller heating capacity. 

With a smaller upfront cost, they are easier to purchase and transport into your home than an air conditioner, and with no installation needed, you can just plug in and go. In the long term, however, this can be an expensive solution as these types of heaters can be difficult to run.

But for an extra bit of warmth in a bedroom or at home office, consider an electric heater!

Gas heating

Another good option for portable heaters is gas ones. Although they generally have a higher upfront cost, a gas heater will usually be cheaper to run overall than an electric one. Also, not needing to be plugged in to use makes it more portable. This solution is better for larger spaces, so it's good for a more communal open living space. 

Gas heaters can also be a great idea if you plan on doing any outdoor entertaining in the colder months.

Electric blankets

We know there’s nothing worse than getting into bed in winter and the sheets being super cold and uninviting. An electric blanket can be a great winter addition to solve this issue. 

Not only are they cheaper to purchase than a portable heater, but they also run at about a third of the cost. Simply turn it on 15-30 minutes before bed, and it’ll be ready and snuggly by the time you want to sleep.

Always be sure to roll up your electric blanket when storing; don’t fold it, as this can cause damage.

Cheap ways to stay warm - without using the heater

With the cost of living crisis ongoing, now might not be the best time for everyone to upgrade their appliances and insulation. If you’re in this boat, there are some cheaper alternatives you could look into that can help cut down on your energy bills as well.

Jump to each one:


Add extra layers

It seems cliche to include this tip, but dressing heavy really is one of the cheapest ways to keep warm this winter. Just adding a thicker pair of socks or a nice big jumper could make a world of difference to your energy bill. 

Even popping an extra blanket on the bed could eliminate the need for that heater to be on all night!

Rug up 

We’re all grateful for our nice cold tiled or timber floors in the summer when it’s too hot, but when it gets cold, or you can feel the draughts, it can be a real pain. So what do you do if you have no carpet in the house? Get a rug! 

Rugs have been proven to improve the overall heat in your home and can also be a fun interior design moment.

Get the hot water bottle out

A less costly alternative to an electric blanket, a hot water bottle is an easy way to keep you warm at night. Simply boil the kettle or pop it in the microwave and keep it between you and the duvet for extra warmth.

Check for draughts

Have you ever felt a chilly breeze even though all your windows and doors are shut? It might be worth having a look around and checking for any little gaps letting that cold air in. 

There are easy solutions to draughts in the house. From door snakes to weather seal tape, sealing draughts is an easy weekend DIY job that could be extremely helpful.

*An easy way to check is to grab a candle and run it near (not too close) to window frames and doors and see if it flickers!

Let the sun in

The sun may seem to disappear so fast in the winter, but in reality, you still have 10 - 12 hours of sunshine a day, so make the most of it! Sunlight is easily the cheapest solution, as it’s…well, free! Open up the curtains and let that natural heat into the house. Just make sure you close them again before it disappears to trap that heat in!

We know that weather can be unpredictable, so this is not a foolproof plan for all weather conditions. But make sure you utilise it when you can, as not only can it help with your heating bills, but a little bit of extra Vitamin D in your day is essential in these winter months.

Move around

Speaking of Vitamin D, we all know it can be super hard to get out of bed on those cold winter mornings, but there’s no better way to fight the winter blues than to get your endorphins going. Even doing some easy stretches from the comfort of your own home can really help both physically and mentally.

Also, making a pact with a partner or pal can really help you hold each other accountable for fitness plans! Plan a morning walk with a hot coffee or some morning yoga in your house and keep that blood pumping.

*Be sure to wear appropriate clothing if you are going to be exercising outside in the dark; high visibility is essential, especially in the colder months when the sun rises later and sets earlier.

Tips to make your house more energy-efficient

We have so many other tips and tricks to help you save money just by making simple changes around the house. Check out these other articles for more savings tips!

Written by - Hope Turner

Marketing and Communications Specialist
Hope is Jacaranda’s Marketing & Communications Coordinator. With several years of copywriting experience specialising in Social Media content, she is responsible for writing and updating website content and articles, updating social media, and everything in between!

You can get in touch with Hope via hopet@jacarandafinance.com.au.
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