August 30, 2017

Making Your Home More Energy-Efficient: Seven Easy Steps

Making your home more energy-efficient is not only good for the environment – it could save you a significant amount of money too.


There are lots of things you can do to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Big changes like installing solar panels, double glazing or loft insulation can save a lot of energy – but there are plenty of simpler steps that can make a noticeable difference too.


Here are seven easy ways of making your home more energy-efficient:

Invest in new appliances


New appliances are much more energy-efficient than old ones. Although buying new appliances may initially involve a large outlay, it could save you money in the long run.


Check the energy efficiency rating of appliances before you buy them to see which will save you most. For advice on finding the most energy-efficient products, check out this guide from Which?


Most new washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers now have an ‘eco’ mode. In their dishwasher testing, Which? found that using the eco programme cut energy and water use by an average of 18%.


Turn appliances off rather than leaving them on standby


Research carried out by GoCompare in 2016 found that the amount of energy wasted each year by UK households leaving appliances on standby is enough to heat 5,000 homes.


Almost all electrical and electronic appliances can be switched off at the plug without interfering with their programming. If you’re not sure, check the manual.


Think about getting a standby saver, which will allow you to turn off multiple appliances all in one go.


Draught-proof your home


Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest – and most effective – ways of making your home more energy-efficient.


Unless you have a very new house, you’ll be losing some heat through gaps around doors, windows, floors or through the chimney.


You can either pay for your home to be professionally draught-proofed, which could cost between £200 and £580, or you could do it yourself for much less.


Reduce your water use


There are lots of small changes you can make to reduce the amount of water you use.


  • Cutting back your washing machine use by one cycle each week could save you around £5 a year in energy bills.


  • Filling the sink when you wash up rather than running the tap could save you around £25 a year.


  • Save around £7 a year by only filling the kettle with the amount of water you need.


  • Installing a water-efficient shower head could save a four-person household up to £75 a year.


  • Spending one minute less in the shower could save up to £7 a year per person.


Hang thicker curtains


This is one of the easiest ways of making your home more energy-efficient. Hanging thicker curtains will prevent heat from escaping through the windows, making your home warmer and cosier.


Switch to LED light bulbs


You can now get LED bulbs that are just as bright as halogens, but much more energy-efficient.


In fact, halogen bulbs are only about 30% efficient, emitting 70% of their energy as heat. Compare this to LEDs, which emit 80% of the energy they consume as light, producing very little heat.


LEDs also last much longer – usually years – meaning over time they’ll save you loads of energy.


Making your home more energy-efficient


As you can see, a few simple changes can make a big difference in making your home more energy-efficient.


The more of these steps you take, the more energy you’ll save – but even making just one change will make a difference to your carbon footprint and your energy bill.


We’ll be back with more home improvement tips next month, so visit again soon!


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