Home Energy Efficiency Tips
We’ve got some simple energy-saving ideas to help you save on your energy bills. Most of them are commonsense, but there might still be one or two you hadn’t thought of...
Did you know that you can lose up to 35% of the heat from your home through the walls and up to a further 25% through the roof – heat you’ve already paid for? Insulating your home can put a stop to this and could help you to reduce your heating bills. Cavity wall insulation is quick and easy to install, most of the work involved in cavity wall insulation happens on the outside of your home, with minimal inconvenience to you. Once a survey has established that your home is suitable, a series of small holes are drilled into the mortar joints of the external brickwork. Glass wool is then blown into the cavity space through the holes until an effective heat seal is formed. When it’s finished, your home will be more energy efficient, more comfortable and easier to keep warm.
Loft insulation will also help reduce heat loss. Glass fibre rolls are laid between all the floor joists. This material is chemically inert and so won’t affect any other materials in the loft. If you don’t have any insulation, the glass fibre should be laid to a depth of 250mm (10 inches). If there is already a small amount up there, you may only need a top-up.
Don't overheat your home. Use your heating to reach the temperature you need and make sure you know how to use the controls properly. If your house is too hot, don't open the windows - turn the thermostat down instead. Reducing the temperature by just 1°C can cut your fuel bills by up to 10%. You may not notice the change in temperature but your bill could be reduced.
Tackle Draughty Doors
If your home is draughty, heat is whisked away and it costs you more to keep warm. It’s easy to stop the wind whistling through your letterbox and under doors.
Insulate your hot water cylinder with a lagging jacket and if it has a thermostat, make sure it is set to the recommended temperature of 60°C. Having a shower uses much less water than a bath.
Use energy-saving light bulbs - They last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs and using one can save you a lot of money over the lifetime of the bulb.
Keep saucepan lids on when cooking to reduce condensation and energy. When cooking vegetables, use just enough water to cover them. Using the microwave instead of the oven will also save money.
Using a 30°C washing machine cycle rather than a 40°C cycle means you use less electricity. Use the economy setting where possible and use the half load setting when you have a small quantity to wash.
Fridges and Freezers
Defrost fridges and freezers regularly. Don't leave the door open for longer than necessary and don't put hot food in - let it cool down first. When buying a new fridge or freezer, look for the energy rating. The most efficient appliances and the cheapest to run are given an "A" rating.
Switch It Off
Turning off your TV, video and music system instead of leaving them on standby will save you money. Likewise don’t leave laptops and phones on charge unnecessarily. Finally, remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room, little changes do add up.
Draw your curtains at dusk to stop heat being lost through the windows. Take care not to drape curtains over radiators. Lined curtains will help stop heat escaping.