Posted: 11 December 2017
Make money saving the environment. Sounds like a good deal, right?
Looking at the way you use energy in your home can do just that. 48% of energy used in a home is for heating and cooling. Making a few adjustments can cut the amount that goes to waste.
So what can you do to save energy at home? Below, we’re looking at the 5 easiest ways.
It may seem a little like magic, but good insulation keeps your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
That means you cut down on both heating bills and air conditioning – two of the biggest energy expenses in the modern home.
There are loads of ways to improve your home’s insulation. It’s a matter of how much you want to spend.
If you’re happy to spend more, get a professional to survey your home’s insulation. They’ll make recommendations such as improvements to windows and attic insulation. These improve your home’s fundamental insulation.
Old houses are more prone to poor insulation. Many weren’t designed with central heating in mind, so their thermodynamics are different to modern homes. Updating an old home to modern standards can generate huge savings.
If you’re on more of a budget, there’s still a lot of small things you can do. Cover bare floors with rugs. Make or buy draft excluders. Use reflectors behind radiators to ensure heat isn’t lost in the walls.
You lose up to 30% of a home’s heat through the windows. If you have any bare windows, consider covering them up with thick curtains or blinds to create an air barrier. Check out available styles of blinds at sites like Sky Blinds to find the balance between function and form.
Most of us don’t think twice about how many devices we have in our homes.
Most of us don’t turn devices off completely. But devices on standby make huge contributions to your energy bill. Turn devices off at the socket or unplug them when you’re finished. Although each device only uses a small amount of energy, it adds up when you factor in all your devices and multiply it by everyday usage.
It’s also common to overcharge devices like tablets and phones. Only charge these devices for as long as you need them to save energy.
A basic power strip could help you manage your phantom energy. Plug your most used devices into a single power strip. That way, you only have to switch off a single thing to cut power to various devices.
Use Energy-Saving Devices
It’s not just about our habits when it comes to devices. Upgrading the devices themselves can save energy at home.
To begin with, ditch your old tungsten filament light bulbs. There are a few options available, from CFL bulbs to LEDs depending on your preference.
You can buy accessories to eliminate the phantom power drain from plugged-in devices. There are charging stations designed to switch off after a certain length of time, for instance.
Try installing some automatic radiator bleeders. These keep the pressure in your central heating system nominal, which ensures you always get the maximum efficiency from your radiators.
Many utility companies now offer the option of having smart meters in your home. Take advantage of this to better understand your energy usage. By seeing where your energy goes and when you can make changes to tune your home’s efficiency.
Turn your home’s thermostat down by a single degree. This can cut your heating bills by up to 10 percent.
We use a lot of energy in our kitchen when we’re cooking and cleaning. Pay attention to your habits to save energy at home.
Heating water burns up a lot of energy. Try to reduce the number of loads you do in the washing machine and avoid washing half-loads. Most laundry doesn’t require a wash with hot water, adjusting to a cooler temperature can eliminate the unnecessary cost.
Try to dry your clothes on a line instead of in a dryer.
Make sure the dishwasher is full before you switch it on. Better yet, wash by hand if you have a small number of manageable items. When you do wash by hand, use a bowl instead of washing under running water.
Turn your refrigerator into an eco setting if it has one. If it doesn’t set it to between 3-5 degrees Celsius, which is the most efficient temperature for your fridge to maintain.
When cooking, try to cook multiple meals at once to save energy at home. It’s a more efficient use of your oven and you’ll even save yourself some time in the future. Let hot food cool before you store it in the fridge.
Use a pressure cooker to cook more efficiently than in an oven. You can cook the same meal in half the time. Cover pots and pans when boiling water to trap energy and reduce the amount of time you need to apply direct heat.
Make sure your kitchen maintenance is up to scratch. Check your fridge seals and repair leaky faucets.
Dress for the Occasion
We all like to feel comfortable in the home. But that can mean reaching for a comfortable sweater instead of the space heater.
Try changing your body temperature before you do anything else. Putting on an extra layer or making sure your extremities are covered could make a big difference to how comfortable you feel in the winter.
In summer, open windows and doors and remove heavy clothing before turning the AC on.
Predict what you’ll want and when. Putting a comfortable robe next to your bed in winter will give you less temptation to bury yourself in the bedding if your heating isn’t on and will save energy at home.
Save Energy at Home
Some of the changes you can make at home create huge savings straight away. Others are smaller changes that add up. Adapting to new habits can be tricky, but by keeping an eye on your energy use, you can save money and help protect the planet.
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