How to Make your Home More Energy Efficient
Imagine now that you have got the bridging finance you were looking for and starting to renovate and refurb a new property. It is important to know how to make it as energy efficient as possible because it pays to be green. You can save money on your monthly bills, help the environment and can act as a nice extra selling point.
As we are thrust into the colder months here in the UK, we not only have to think about keeping ourselves and our families warm; we also have to consider the costs of doing so. With regards to energy usage (as well as the arrival of Christmas for those that celebrate it), this is easily the most expensive time of the year. After the horrors of last year’s winter expenditure, you undoubtedly promised yourself that you’d do better on saving energy next year. Here’s how to put that promise into action.
Energy Saving Actions:
- Seal windows and floorboards
- Turn down the thermostat
- Go blanket-crazy
- Don’t leave items plugged in
- Replace normal lightbulbs with energy-savers
- Turn off the lights
- Switch off your computer monitor
- Insulate walls and attic
- Don’t overfill the kettle
The first step to warming up your house is to identify where the cold is getting in. Typical offenders are floorboards and windows. By no means do you have to go ahead and get new flooring and window panes: fill the cracks in your floorboard with sealant strips or use a filler product such as StopGap. For your windows, try WindowSkins; a clear membrane designed to stick across the window, creating a kind of temporary double glazing effect.
Save on Heating
Lowering the thermostat is the most obvious way to save energy costs during the winter. Obviously, we still need to heat our homes. Increase the efficiency of your heating by ensuring all cupboard and wardrobe doors are shut; there’s no need for spending on heating unpopulated spaces. Further, turn the radiators down or even off in the rooms that are less in need of being heated (kitchens and bathrooms, for instance).
Blankets, Blankets, Blankets!
Wrapping up never got more comfortable. Make sure your sofas and beds are blanket-heavy so that you don’t have to keep your heating on late at night, and give yourself a further excuse for that heavenly weekend bed-day. Find great deals on blankets at Dunelm or HomeSense.
Don’t simply switch off your appliances; unplug them too. Even when nothing is turned on, energy can be wasted by items simply being left in the plug sockets. Further, take items off standby mode (particularly your TV); this could save you up to £30 per year.
Replace your Lightbulbs
Energy Saving Trust tells us that if we switched our halogen lightbulbs to LED lightbulbs, the average household would save £35 a year. Now that LED bulbs have reached halogen-level brightness, there shouldn’t be anything holding you back from making the switch. We’re always being told to turn off our lights when we aren’t using them, but we have to repeat it again. Switch off!
Turn off your Computer
We are all guilty of leaving our computers on constantly; we know it’ll get used tomorrow, so why shut it down only to turn it back on again? It really does save (both economically and environmentally) to turn off your monitor and go through the minor effort of re-starting it all back up again the next day. If you don’t use a computer all day, then turn it off throughout the day when you’re not using it. Turning off the screen only doesn’t count!
Fixing your insulation has the propensity to be more expensive, but it is absolutely necessary for a warm, energy-efficient home. If your walls and attic are not adequately insulated your home will lose a lot of heat. Approximately 25% of heat is lost through the attic or roof, and a further 35% through the walls (source: thegreenage.co.uk). Insulate your home so that your heat is kept inside, and your money with it!
Overfilling your kettle results in the same water being boiled and re-boiled over and over again, which is a total energy-waster. Use the guidelines on the kettle to decipher how much water you need for what you are making, and be vigilant when boiling; save yourself from forgetting you’ve boiled it already and boiling again by accident.
When it comes to saving energy at home, the cliché ‘every little helps’ really does apply. Whilst making big sweeping changes like buying new environmental appliances and bedecking your place with new flooring will make a huge difference to your energy efficiency, these changes are not always economically viable. Making smaller, incremental changes such as switching to LED bulbs and unplugging items will undoubtedly transform your place into a better environmental and energy-saving home.