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This Morning reveals handy devices that cost under £20 including a tap aerator and chimney balloons

With spiralling energy costs, more and more people are looking for ways to save money on their bills.

According to gadget expert Matthew Lock, who appeared on This Morning today, there are a number of household items you can pick up that may help you cut your costs.

He listed a number of gadgets, all priced under £20, which you can use around the house to become more efficient, from tap aerators to slash your water usage to items that will help reduce cold drafts around your home.

As well as more familiar items like a radiator key, which is used to bleed radiators and help them work optimally, he also introduced gadgets which may be less familiar to many, including chimney cushion.

Hot water cylinder jacket

If you have an old metal cylinder type boiler, spending around £12 on a hot water cylinder jacket could save up to £200 a year on the average heating bill, according to Matthew

Spending around £12 on a hot water cylinder jacket could save up to £200 a year on the average heating bill, according to Matthew.

He said: ‘If you’ve got an older type boiler that’s a metal cylinder type, which a lot of houses still do have…get this wrapped around it.

‘It’s really cheap, and it’s so easy to wrap around. It literally rolls out…you get string, tie it around. And that insulation can save 200 pounds on the average heating bill.’      

Plug electricity monitor

An item you can use to find out which of your appliances are draining your power is a plug electricity monitor, which can be picked up for well under £20

An item you can use to find out which of your appliances are draining your power is a plug electricity monitor, which can be picked up for well under £20

If you want to check how much you are using individual appliances, a plug electricity monitor (which costs around £13) could help.

Matthew said: ‘So this is something very similar to a smart metre for individual appliances.  

‘You can take this around and see what are the big trainers in your house, and it will tell you how much the appliance costs.

‘So you’ve got an old appliance, you want see how much it costs, and whether it’s worth upgrading to a level wattage or efficient one, this will be able to help you do the maths.

‘It’s around the £20 mark, so it’s not too pricey, and should pay for itself if you’re making those savings.’  

Tap aerator (or spray tap adaptor)

A spray tap adaptor, which can be picked up for around £12, can help you slash water use by about a third, saving you money

A spray tap adaptor, which can be picked up for around £12, can help you slash water use by about a third, saving you money

According to Matthew: ‘If you’ve got a tap at the moment that isn’t aerated, you’re going to be wasting water and a heck of a lot of it actually – about 1,200 litres a month.’

He explained that the aerator ‘incorporates the air around us into the water’ saving about 30 per cent of your water usage, and saving you money.

The spray tap adaptor Matthew showed cost £12 from amazon.

Chimney pillow

Meanwhile you can eliminate some cold draughts by putting a chimney pillow in out-of-use fireplaces

Meanwhile you can eliminate some cold draughts by putting a chimney pillow in out-of-use fireplaces

If you have an out-of-use fireplace, and want to reduce drafts, a chimney pillow could be the answer, though it’s important to note that they should not be used in working fireplaces.

According to Matthew: ‘If you’ve got one that’s out of use, get this in your chimney. 

‘Heat rises, so all that heat you’re generating for your living room or dining room is going straight up the chimney up into the atmosphere.’

You put the pillow in flat, then blow it up once installed in the chimney.

Tumble drier balls

One of the biggest strains on your electricity bill is drying clothes, so if you use a tumble drier, these balls could help

One of the biggest strains on your electricity bill is drying clothes, so if you use a tumble drier, these balls could help

According to Matthew, some 14 million people in the UK electronically dry clothes, making it one of the biggest strains on your electricity bill. 

‘The best way to help save with that is the old fashioned tumble dryer ball,’ he said.

‘It alleviates the need for as much ironing. If you’ve got a big load, like a full duvet setting that could stick together…all it does is separates the loud apart so the hot air can get in between…it makes it more efficient.’    

Radiator key

A simple household task that will help optimise your utilities is bleeding radiators, which can be done using a special key

A simple household task that will help optimise your utilities is bleeding radiators, which can be done using a special key

According to Matthew, an easy chore that people should be doing to optimise their radiators’ performance is to bleed their radiators, for which they will need a key.

‘When we’re talking about boilers and heating, get the radiators bled…and then top up the boiler afterwards. It makes the boiler so much more efficient.’  

Water-saving shower head

Using a water-saving shower head can also help you less water, while still retaining a decent water pressure

Using a water-saving shower head can also help you less water, while still retaining a decent water pressure

Another way to reduce the amount of water you use is to pick-up a water-saving shower head.

Matthew explained: ‘If you’re on a water metre, that’s great. But also, they are not heating as much water with the boiler to use.

‘Now this [shower head] has a fan in the back repels the air and pours it through these little holes and creates a cyclone of water…you get a lot more pressure for your money.’  

Draft excluder thermal curtains

While Matthew said that draught excluder curtains are 'not be the most elegant designs', they will help keep out cold air - especially if you have single glazed windows

While Matthew said that draught excluder curtains are ‘not be the most elegant designs’, they will help keep out cold air – especially if you have single glazed windows

Another way to cut cold drafts is to install draft excluder thermal curtains, said Matthew, who explained that they ‘might not be the most elegant designs’, but they will help keep out cold air – especially if you have single glazed windows.

Another tip Matthew shared was to use insulation tape on windows to help with drafts, which he said ‘costs pennies’.  

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