5 Tips to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
We could talk for days about the benefits of an energy efficient home. The bottom line, though? Keep your home as energy efficient as possible and you can expect cheaper bills, and a lesser impact on pollution and climate change. Win-win! Here are 5 handy hints to get you started…
Keep on top of home hygiene checks
It can be helpful to jot certain checks down on your calendar at the start of the year. For example, getting a boiler service booked in, bleeding your radiators, checking your radiator valves ahead of the colder months, checking windows for rot or cracked glass – you get the picture. Get on top of these types of checks and you’ll catch any issues early on. That is, before things get worse and costs creep up.
Make sure your home well insulated
A well-insulated home is a much more efficient home, so it pays to do a little research on this. Do some draught proofing, first off, checking for any gaps in windows or doors that might need sealing – or any damage that means these may need replacing altogether. Invest in double glazing if you don’t have this already, and insulate tanks, pipes, radiators and attics to keep heat loss to a minimum. The most popular insulation materials are fiberglass, spray foam and cellulose, but take your time to decide which is right for you personally.
Pay attention to heating and cooling
Keep an eye on how efficiently you heat and cool your home. For example, when the weather’s hot, while an air-conditioning system is a great way of keeping cool, ceiling fans are cheaper and way more efficient. And when it comes to keeping warm in the cooler months, don’t just crank up the heating to max. It may sound obvious, but reaching for a cosy jumper, drawing the curtains as the light dims and getting a fire going are all brilliant ways to keep warm. Be sure to use a thermostat to monitor your room temperature, too. You can set these to a desired temperature and, once the room reaches that point, the heating will go off automatically. Programmable thermostats are also great, and allow you to programme everything to switch off whenever you’re asleep or out of the house.
Save as much water as you can
Save water and you’ll save money and energy, and there are loads of quick-win tips that will make a real difference. Turn the tap off while you brush your teeth or wash your face, don’t use a dishwasher or washing machine until it’s full, and substitute showers for baths as much as possible. Got a budget to play with? Invest in a reduced-capacity bathtub or a water-efficient shower head. Consider a tankless water heater, which provides hot water only when it’s needed. And, whenever you’re replacing or buying water-using appliances, be sure to look for the Water Efficient Product Label and a Waterwise Recommended Checkmark.
Be mindful of electronic devices
It sounds obvious, but turning off computers when they’re not in use, and unplugging chargers when they’re not needed, can make a real difference. Pay attention to your lighting, too – LED lighting uses up to 75% less energy than traditional incandescent lights. You should also think about the placement of your fridge and freezer. These should be away from direct sunlight and internal heat sources, as they use more energy to keep cool.