It’s official. Energy costs are rising and we need to take a pro-active approach to reducing both our carbon footprint and our utility bills. For relatively small effort, big gains can be made in the area of domestic energy savings. Take a look at some of these easy to achieve tips that could help draw the sting out of the next energy bill that hits the doormat.
Turn it down
When winter beckons we all reach for the thermostat to turn up the heating without really thinking about it. For every degree the thermostat is adjusted downwards it is possible to save a whopping 65! Experiment with lowering the room temperature by degrees, the change is so subtle it is unlikely to be noticed. Conversely, if you have air-conditioning, adjust it upwards in the summer. The lower you have it set, the harder it’s going to have to work. This can increase energy consumption and make it more likely that it’ll break down. If your AC does break down, google “Global Cooling: AC Tune Up” to find an example of a company that can fix it for you, and that can also change things like filters to get it running more efficiently. An efficient appliance uses less energy and therefore saves you money, so it’s a no-brainer.
Banish cold by ensuring that all doors and windows are draught free. Buy and fit draught insulating strip to lessen the heat loss significantly. Sash windows are particularly bad culprits, but they can be sorted out by fitting attractive shutters. In addition to looking fabulous, lovely shutters made from wood can limit heat loss, as can heavy curtains.
Older houses are generally draughtier and extra care will be needed to keep them warm. There are many home insulation products to buy off the shelf and once the investment is made, bills will start to drop. Depending on the size of the house, savings of up to 75 can be anticipated, so it won’t take long to pay for the outlay on materials.
Kitchen energy crunch
Never boil an electric kettle with more water in it than is needed – if two cups of tea are required, use just enough water for that purpose. Kettles use energy shamelessly, so reduce the damage by being less slapdash with the water. Conversely, always fill up dishwashers and washing machines to full capacity, as one full load is more energy efficient than two half loads. Fit aerating heads on all taps to reduce water consumption. Those living in hard water areas should regularly de-scale appliances, such as kettles, irons, steamers and washing machines so that they function at maximum efficiency. Only use tumble dryers when necessary – line dried washing is more eco friendly and it won’t shrink in the heat. Turn the thermostat on the washing machine down to thirty degrees and consistently save energy on water heating.
Light the way to savings
Switch all light bulbs to the low energy versions. Ditch the halogen spots for LED versions and replace all other low performing bulbs with their new super-low energy equivalents. Get into the habit of switching off lights when leaving a room, and try and teach children to do this too.
Standby to lose money
Many of us are guilty of leaving gadgets and appliances on standby when it isn’t actually necessary. Apart from some TV and satellite recorders that need to remain plugged in to record programmes, many things just don’t need it. Dig out the instructions for household appliances to check details. Leaving phones and laptops on charge indefinitely is another needless drain on power, so don’t do it!
Make a concerted effort to address all these energy failings in the home and savings can be virtually guaranteed. Save money and save the planet; there isn’t really a downside.