Using large amounts of electricity, such as when winter calls for more heating and electric light, can have a negative impact on the environment – and on your energy bill.
But there are ways to save energy at home, from small daily changes to efficiency-minded renovations.
1. Upgrade your boiler
Your central heating and hot water boiler can be a big consumer of the energy your home uses. An old or inefficient boiler can waste energy by unnecessarily heating water, failing to service the right areas of the house, or simply offering a weak service.
Modern boilers tend to be quieter and more compact, and can often prioritise between water heating and central heating, to ensure you only use the energy you actually need.
You may want to investigate whether it will save you money to upgrade your boiler. You might even be eligible for a grant that can mean your bank account doesn’t take a massive hit. Your energy company is the best place to see if you’re eligible.
2. Draught-proof your windows and doors
Draughts often stem from gaps between the door or window and its frame, but can also emerge from keyholes, letterboxes and cracks in the walls.
Rather than turning up your heating to combat the cold, identify where the draughts are coming from and block the cold air from intruding. Self-adhesive foam strips can be good on door and window frames, while brushes fitted in your letterbox and under the door can help to keep the chill outside.
3. Insulate your loft and walls
A large percentage of the heat lost from your home exits through the roof, while a smaller, but still significant, amount is lost through the walls. Insulation helps combat this.
Loft insulation is relatively easy to install or renew and can last up to 50 years when well maintained. Wall insulation is a little harder to fit, making it a job for a professional.
There may be a fair cost involved, but both types of insulation could effectively pay for themselves and you’ll feel the effects year after year.
4. Check out smart heating devices
The future is now; smart heating technology lets you connect to your home’s central heating remotely, giving you ultimate control of how and when the heating is used.
You can specify which areas of the house you want to be heated, to what temperature, and at what time. Some even learn from your habits and intuitively set the heating across the house in line with your lifestyle and preferences.
No more having your boiler burn through expensive gas or electricity all day because you forgot to turn it off.
These technologies aren’t cheap to install, but the savings can be huge, especially in a large or busy household. Smart plugs and lightbulbs work in the same way and could help to manage and improve your electricity usage throughout the home.
5. Adopt energy saving habits
While the biggest energy savings can be found through home improvements, there are plenty of energy efficient habits you can adopt that will also save you money:
- Only boil the amount of water in the kettle you need
- If you can, choose the eco-settings on your shower, and reduce your shower time by one minute
- Turn appliances off at the wall, rather than leaving them on standby
- Use a washing up bowl and not running water to wash your dishes
- Ensure you only wash a full load of clothing in the washing machine
- Turn off lights as you leave a room, even if it’s only for a minute or two
These small changes can make a difference to your energy bill, and should reduce the amount of carbon emissions caused by your home.