There are many things you can do around your home to save on energy usage.
Here are just a few ideas to help you save on your heating and electric bill.
1. Use low energy lights bulbs, LED are the best and have a life span up to 20 years.
Some people don't like the quality of light given out by LED light bulbs, as some can produce a cooler bluish light. The best LEDs will be indistinguishable from your old incandescent bulbs and be able to produce a nice warm light.
These bulbs are the most energy efficient, they are long lasting and get bright the instant you flick the light switch. Make sure you check our before you buy though, as quality can vary.
2. Draught proof your home. Draughts let the heat from your home out and lets cold air in.
Draught proofing (or draught exclusion) is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to cut energy costs in the home, whether you live in a house or a flat. The concept is really simple: stop cold air coming in and prevent warm air from escaping, using things like draught excluders. Keeping the warm air inside will save you money on your utility bills as the existing heating system will need to work less hard to keep the home at the required temperature.
Draughts or gaps in the home act like unwanted ventilation shafts, allowing cold air to seep in and hot air to escape. When the household heats their home, these uncontrolled ventilation gaps let expensive hot air escape.
Although more often than not, some heat escapes regardless of the actions of a householder, additional temporary draughts occur by leaving doors, windows and letterboxes open.
It is estimated that installing draught proofing measures in an average UK home could save the household £60 per year on heating bills.
How do I identify a draught?
You will be able to find draughts just about anywhere in your house that links directly to the outside. You could easily be in front of one now. They are found by doors, windows, loft hatches, keyholes, electrical fittings on the ceilings, under the floorboards, piping leading outside and any drilled holes for cabling that leads outside. Remember that day when you had that cable or Sky TV installed and the drilling that took place?
The best way to deal with these draughts is to close the gaps using draught excluders and block the holes.
Some rooms in the home need natural ventilation, such as bathrooms, kitchens or rooms with an open fire. These types of rooms generate a lot of condensation and by blocking the ventilation outlets, you may also encourage damp and mould to form, which may end up being unpleasant and costing you additional money to fix.
Draught proofing pays for itself in just a couple of years in most cases, by reducing your energy consumption and therefore your energy bills. Draught proofing can be a fairly simple home DIY job, although for more complex measures, help may be required.
Obviously, if you are uncomfortable carrying out the work yourself we strongly recommend getting in a professional to complete the work regardless. A professional should be able to identify draughts very quickly, and will know what to fill them with, therefore saving you a lot of time and energy.
3. Don't leave anything on Standby.
Leaving things on standby can cost you HUNDREDS of pounds a year
If you're worried about escalating energy bills then you might want to consider turning appliances off fully to save yourself some cash.
According to a new survey conducted by Npower, almost one in five (19 per cent) Brits don’t think electrical goods use electricity when in standby mode, which is incorrect.
Simply turning off your TV, or microwave or any other household device that has standby mode can save you up to £30 a year.
This means billions of pounds could be saved across the nation, as it's thought a large percentage of the UK population leave their electrical appliances on overnight or during the day, not realising they're using vital energy despite seemingly being 'off'.
According to yourmoney.com some of the more expensive items causing those energy bills to soar include:
Digital TV box – £25.91 Multi-room speakers – £19.66 Modem – £5.64 Microwave – £3.24
4. Close your curtains at night!
Closing the curtains…doesn’t seem like a big deal does it? But a study by the University of Salford has shown that you shouldn’t underestimate the power of curtains. Just by drawing the curtains at dusk, can reduce heat loss from the average house in the UK by 15-17%, therefore reducing demand for heating. (Straus, 2014). So why not try it? Try closing your curtains earlier into the night, and shutting blinds or curtains before you leave the office! To reduce heat loss even more you could line your existing curtains with an insulating material, this is thought to reduce heat loss from windows by as much as 25%!
5. Turn down your thermostat.
Over time, the social norms in homes have changed, and as heating in homes becomes more popular the average indoor temperature in the UK has risen from 12 degrees in 1970, to 22 degrees current day (Lane, 2011). But with the increased warmth has come the increased resistance to wear a jumper indoors.
Think about it though, what temperature would you leave the house without a jumper? After asking around most people said when its 15 degrees outside they would probably not take a jacket, so why is the average UK household heated to 22 degrees?
So how much of an impact would it be if every household in the UK reduced their household temperatures to say 16 degrees? It would lead to a 7% reduction in total carbon emissions. What about the impact on your heating bills? According to the Energy Saving Trust, reducing your thermostat by 1 degree can actually reduce your bill by 10%, and that’s with a minimal behavioural change, so imagine how this could drop again if say you started wearing a jumper indoors too!
Although no official number can be given to what is a comfortable heat, the World Health Organisation suggest that 18 degrees is suitable for a majority.
Do we really need every room in the house to be the same temperature? Or in fact to heat every room? The increased use of central heating in homes, has led to using it in rooms we never used to. Have a think about what rooms in your house you need heating the most?
-Do your corridors? How much time do you actually spend in the corridors?
-Does the kitchen? When the oven or hob is in use, do you need the radiator on too?
Adjusting the settings on individual radiators, turning them on when they’re needed instead of on all the time, or not turning them on at all, would help significantly reduce emissions.
So why don’t you give it a go? Help save the environment and save yourself money by trying out those three simple steps!
Open the oven door after cooking your meal, let that heat out into the house!