Energy saving is a phrase that is often used, but now more than ever does it need to be implemented. The public need to be made aware of the global and environmental implications using too much energy has. Although, you may think people just need a good telling off, that’s not what benefits you as a person. The big win comes when you see how much money you can save!¯¨
Changing your light bulbs is one of the least expensive methods of saving energy in your home. Research has shown that £1 out of every £3 spent on lighting and heating your home is wasted. So switching to energy saving light bulbs should be first on the agenda.
Although energy saving light bulbs cost around £3-£4 compared to 50p for a traditional bulb, energy saving light bulbs will save you around £9 a year on your electricity bill and up to £100 over its lifetime. Not only does energy saving bulbs save you money on your energy bills but they last much longer than the traditional bulbs.
You may be thinking what’s the catch? There really is only one minor catch and that is that the energy efficient bulbs take longer to turn on (only a few seconds) and some cannot be used with dimmer switches.
British people take their heating very seriously and with the cold winter we don’t blame them. Therefore saving energy in this area of the home can be very worthwhile.
Heating the house all day while you are out for example can be very wasteful, and programing your heating to suit your lifestyle is really simple. There is no need for the heating to be on all the time, and programing it to come on twice a day, once before you wake up and again just before you get home is ideal.
Controlling your heating from the boiler is one option, but there are others. Say your plans are different on a weekend, by simply setting your boiler accordingly can save you even more energy and money.
If your boiler is 15 years old or more it won’t be as energy efficient as a new one, and it will be costing you more to run. However, if your boiler is newer then there is no need to worry as there is no need for it to be replaced. When the time comes to replace your boiler, choose a condensing boiler (advised) as it could dramatically reduce your heating bill. A condensing boiler works on the principle of recovering as much as possible of the waste heat which is normally rejected to the atmosphere from the flue of a conventional (non-condensing) boiler.
The thermostat is another key factor in saving energy, did you know that turning your thermostat down by 1 degree, could reduce your heating bills by 10%, which works out at around £55 a year and you won’t even notice the difference.
Moving on to thermostatic radiator valves, these are located at the ends of a radiator and can be very beneficial to saving energy. If they are set to full (usually number 5) then this temperature can be too warm for the room, try turning them down to about half and see if it’s still comfortable. If you have a guest room that is rarely used then thermostatic radiator valves are great for isolating the room when not in use and when it doesn’t need heating.
Air leaks are a big problem in any home. If your home is less than ten years old then it should be of a higher insulation quality than that of older house. Checking that your insulation is up to scratch is easier than you think, if you feel like you always have to have the heating on or your home has a constant draft coming through it then now is the time to act. Check your loft to see if there is insulation up there. If not then invest in some, as having adequate insulation can save you hundreds of pounds a year.
If you have gaps and holes around doors and windows then this can be the cause of drafts. Simply fill the holes with decorating caulk and smooth over.
Insulation is a great way to improve the amount of energy needed to heat your home, and you will find insulation in the loft, walls, floors and windows. Make sure your loft is well insulated as this is the easiest place to save money. Heat rises so pack your loft with insulation and wreak the rewards; a home which is not adequately insulated loses a quarter of its heat through the roof.
Exterior walls are another area where a home can lose heat. If your home was built after the 1920s the chances are that external walls are made up of two layers with a gap or cavity between them, cavity wall insulation fills this gap; keeping the warmth in the house. Make sure your home has cavity wall insulation, or something similar. Cavity wall insulation can save you up to £135 a year.
All properties loose heat through their windows, but the newer the windows the more likely they are going to be better insulators. If your windows are double glazing then they are likely to be good insulators, however if you want to further insulate your home then you may consider energy-efficient glazing that will keep your home warmer, quieter and reduce energy bills.
By saving water in your home you are helping to reduce the likelihood of hosepipe bans and will save yourself money. Using water, especially hot water, uses energy and increases emissions of greenhouse gases which contributes to climate change. During a drought it’s even more important to make sure water is not wasted.
The average bathroom accounts for around 60% of the water we use in our everyday lives. Saving this water can help both the environment and your pocket. Simple things such as turning the tap off when brushing your teeth can make a huge difference and save up to 6 litres of water a minute. When in the shower, use an optimised shower head which uses technology to enable you to use the water you need without compromise. In addition, if you shower for a minuet less than usual then you could save yourself a small fortune in the long term.
About a third of all the clean and drinkable water we use in your homes is flushed down the toilet; however, there is a very easy way to address this. You can save lots of water by using something called a cistern displacement device, or in other words something you put in your cistern to take up some of the space that fills with water when you flush. You will probably only need one of these if your toilet was fitted before 2001, as cisterns fitted later were smaller and more efficient. If your toilet has a duel flush system then you don’t need to worry.