With rising utility prices and more of us being aware of the impact our choices are having on the environment, you may be looking at ways to make your home a little more energy efficient. If this is you, don’t panic thinking you are going to need to invest thousands of pounds. Depending on your home you may need to invest a little, however, for many of us, there are also some simple steps to achieve this too.
Insulating your home
If you’re looking to go green and save energy, one of the best ways to do this is to insulate your home, after all, what’s the point in paying for heating if the warm air can escape? If your home was built after 1920, for instance, there’s a high chance your external walls are made up of two layers and so cavity wall insulation might be needed. Lagging your water pipes will also help and fitting a British Standard jacket around your water cylinder could cut heat loss by over 75 per cent and save you around £20-£35 a year.
Investing in a good boiler
Investing in a good boiler is not just about making it safe for your home but it can have a huge impact on keeping your home warm and reducing your energy costs. A new boiler with installation will cost in the region of £1500 – £3000 however the energy savings you will make as well as the peace of mind is well worth the investment. They are built nowadays to put as just as much heat as the older boilers but with a fraction of the work, saving both money and helping the environment.
Turning off your appliances
Do you often leave your electrical appliances on standby? If so, you could be wasting between £40 and £80 of electricity a year unnecessarily. The standby mode continues to use energy as the device isn’t complete switched off, so be sure to turn TVs, DVD players, personal consoles and other products off at the wall to avoid large bills.
Using LED lightbulbs
With winter rapidly approaching, many of us will leave the lights on in our homes for longer periods as we try to get through the dark months. This can result in high charges, so be prepared by switching all halogen bulbs for more energy-efficient LEDs. The latter have many benefits as not only are they long-lasting and highly durable thanks to their lack of filament but they’re also mercury-free and cost-effective over time.
Spending less time in the shower
If you come out of the shower resembling a prune, there’s a high chance you’re wasting a considerable amount of water and money. While relaxing under a constant stream of hot water is certainly luxurious it’s not particularly good for your bank balance, so try limiting your showers to five minutes or investing in a device that slows the water flow slightly if you want a bit longer.
Being economical in the kitchen
A lot of energy is used in the kitchen, but if you’re hoping to become more economical start by lowering the temperature of your washing machine to 30 degrees. You could also use a bowl to wash up rather than leaving the hot tap running and fill your kettle up with just the amount of water you need before boiling. Plan your meals ahead so you only have to turn the oven on once a day and take food out of the freezer in good time so you don’t have to defrost it in the microwave.
Saving energy takes a little thought and effort, but when you’ve got the basics nailed you could reduce your bills significantly. With the focus shifting to more eco ways to live, just taking a few little steps each in our own homes could have a big impact across the board. What could you be doing differently in your home to help make it a bit more energy-efficient and eco friendly?