AN INVENTOR has revealed how a little known chimney trick could help you to slash your energy bills.
Simon Wild invented the Chimella chimney umbrella, and often shares his best energy saving hacks on TikTok.
In a recent video, Simon said your chimney could be driving up your energy bills.
Failing to draught proof your chimney – which keeps cold air out and hot air in your home – could be driving up your bills.
Hot air is drawn out through your chimney even when you’re not using it.
If you’ve got the heating on, then a lot of it will be lost.
It comes after energy bills were capped at £2,500 a year for the average household last month.
But it was announced during the Autumn Budget that a new £3,000 cap will come into force for 24million people on standard variable tariffs after April.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to buffer yourself against crippling hikes.
But reducing your energy usage can save you money – including draught proofing your chimney correctly.
In a recent video, the inventor said: “With energy prices being the highest they’ve ever been, we’ve got to look at energy efficiency in the home.
“One of the quickest and easiest measures you can take is to block off your chimney.
“Because when you’re not using that fireplace, that chimney acts like an open window 24 hours a day, seven days a week – sucking all the heat out of your house.
“So if you want to save on your energy bills, don’t waste the energy in the first place.”
Plugging the gap means you won’t be leaving your heating on for longer than it needs to – and you won’t be tempted to turn the thermostat up either.
The Chimella chimney umbrella works by reducing the air flow through the chimney and sav save you on your energy bills.
It has a button, allowing it to open like an umbrella, and extends up the chimney to prevent cold air coming down.
Simon estimates that doing this could save you up to £200 a year.
While experts at the Energy Saving Trust estimate blocking off your chimney when it’s not in use can save around £90 a year.
The exact savings could vary depending on a number of factors, such as your energy tariff, how big your house is and how well it is insulated.
Chimella umbrellas start at around £74.99 for a standard size, to a £119.99 for an extra large model from chimella.com.
It’s important to take any draught excluder out when you are using your chimney, otherwise it is a fire hazard.
Other chimney draught excluders can be fitted inside the chimney or around the fireplace.
For example, we found one on sale at Wickes for £18.50 and another on Amazon for £35.99 – prices varying depending on size and protection.
You could also try using a chimney balloon – a cushion-like contraption that effectively blocks it up.
But remember, if you order online, you will have to pay a delivery charge, so make sure you factor this into your budget.
The Sun recommends always shopping around for the best deal.
How else to save money on your bills
A cheap way of putting on the heating is by only turning the radiators on in the rooms you are using.
How much you can save varies on a number of factors, such as how big your house is and what energy tariff you are on, for example.
But savvy saver Scott Dixon told The Sun he’s saved £490 from just turning the heating on in his lounge.
Smart thermostats are new bits of kit that connect your heating system to the internet.
Here, a gas engineer explains how the gadget can help slash your energy bill by £164 a year.
It allows you to turn the dial up or down from your smart phone – whether you’re in or out of the house.
A classic money saving energy bill trick is to turn your thermostat down by one degree.
This can shave as much as £100 off your bill.
Putting foil behind your radiator could save you £20 a year, according to British Gas engineer Joanna Flowers.
Hot air will be reflected and circulated around the room.
What energy bill help is available?
In October, all households started to receive a £400 energy bill discount.
The payment is dished out by your energy supplier and is split across six discounts between October and March next year.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
A £300 one-off “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” will be paid out to eight million households this month.
It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over the state pension age.
Millions of households are also in line to get the £150 Warm Home Discount between December and March 2023.
There are also plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling.
British Gas has recently confirmed that it’ll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.
Ask your supplier what’s on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- British Gas Energy Trust
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF’s energy customer support fund
- E.on’s energy fund
- Npower’s energy fund
- Octopus Energy Octo Assist fund
- Ovo’s debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power’s hardship fund
There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment metre.
If you’re in debt there are plenty of services you can take advantage of and they offer free and friendly advice on how to manage debt.
Most of them can offer you free guidance and help in person, over the telephone or online.
- Money Advice Service – 0800 138 7777
- Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060
- StepChange – 0800 138 1111
- National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
They can also help you take the next steps if you need a debt management plan (DMP) to tackle your debt or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). These are agreements for managing multiple debts
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