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How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient in 6 Simple Steps

Fri 04 Apr 2014

Becoming more energy efficient is a great way to not only help the environment but also to help tighten your purse strings. There are the obvious big ways to make a difference to your home’s energy efficiency, such as installing solar panels, but there are actually a lot of ways that you can save money and energy without having to break the bank:

Doors and Windows

Doors and windows are one of the first places that warm air can escape from. If your doors and windows aren’t airtight, then your whole house will suffer from draughts. If you have old leaky single pane windows, then change them for double glazed windows as this could save you between 7% and 24% on your heating bills.

Internal doors can cause draughts too, meaning you may want to turn the heating up in a certain room. By purchasing a draught excluder to place at the bottom of your door, you can keep all the warm air in one room without having to keep topping it up using the heating.

Insulation

A quarter of all heat is lost through the roof of a home that doesn’t have any loft insulation. Most materials used in loft insulation are not very expensive and can even be installed yourself.

Even if you already have insulation, adding a few layers until you get to 270mm will really help. Make sure you insulate your loft hatch too for added efficiency. Try and use a blanket insulating material and hold it in place with an old sheet or piece of plastic. This could actually save you up to 23% on your heating bill.

Lighting

One thing that can really help when it comes to saving energy is turning off the lights when you leave a room. Often homes can have lights on in all the rooms, when actually the family is only spending time in one.

Light bulbs can also make a huge difference to your energy efficiency, changing just one standard bulb to an energy saving bulb can save up to £50 on your overall lighting costs. Energy saving bulbs also tend to last on average 12 times longer. Using LED lights instead of standard halogen ones could save you nearly £140 in a lifetime per bulb.

Thermostats

Turning down the thermostat in your home by just one degree can actually save you up to 10% a year on your heating bills – this could work out at about £85. Switching your heating on and off can also have a detrimental effect on your heating, whereas keeping your heating on at a consistently low level could save both energy and money.

The same applies to your hot water; if you make sure your cylinder thermostat never goes above 60ºC/140ºF, you will be saving energy. When it comes to your washing make sure you don’t overfill the machine and use an economy mode (30-40 °C), as this will have a huge affect on your wallet and energy levels.

Be Appliance Efficient

Switching off appliances is one of the easiest things to do, but so many households have something on standby in every room. Unplug any appliances you don’t regularly use because they will continue to use electricity even if you are not using them.

Next time you watch TV, make sure to turn it off at the wall before you go to bed. This applies to all computers and laptops too - just making this simple change can save you a great amount of money and energy.

Cooking

Try and cook all your food in one go, as there are many shelves in an oven, so use the space wisely if you can. Once you have finished cooking leave the oven door open to help warm up the room.

After eating a meal put your plates in the dishwasher, but don’t rinse them first as this is unnecessary and just uses up water. Keep your fridge as full as possible so that it doesn’t have to work too hard for only a few items and when cooking use the right size pan on the right size hob to save energy.

Saving energy doesn’t have to be really expensive and time consuming, but by just making these few simple changes you will notice a big difference on your bills and in your wallet.