Room by Room – How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Whether you’re a home owner or buy to let landlord, one of the simplest ways you can reduce your impact on the environment and save money is to make your property more energy efficient.
By making just a few easy changes to your home, you’re going to better protect your property, slash your bills and be a little kinder to our planet – what isn’t to like?
How Can a Greener Home Save Me Money?
An energy efficient home can mean a happier you and a happier bank balance. Here are just a few ways improved energy efficiency can save you money:
-Reduced Electricity Bills. Simple measures such as switching to energy saving bulbs, eco-friendly kettles and optimized electrical items will significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to power your home. By cutting back on the huge amounts of electricity used to light, cool, move water and cook within your home, you’re going to significantly reduce your energy bills.
-Reduced Gas Bills. Do you cook or heat your home using gas? Reducing the amount of gas you use within your home won’t only save you money, but will benefit the environment too, as you’ll be helping to decrease society’s dependency on fossil fuels.
-Reduced Water Usage. When you decrease your water usage within the home, did you know that you also save on the cost of gas and electricity, which is also needed to move water around your property? With a more careful attitude and the use of water saving devices, you’ll reduce not only your water bills, but gas and electricity bills too. It’s a win-win!
Where Do I Start? Tips for Improved Energy Efficiency around the Whole Home
The kitchen is arguably one of the busiest rooms in a household and can be a great place to start when trying to make your home more energy efficient.
Let’s start with the oven, probably the biggest consumer of energy in the room. Think about how you use your oven – are you regularly cooking for large parties or is dinner usually more of an intimate affair? If you’re moving into a new property, try to stick with a more modest size oven or learn to use your current oven more efficiently. An electric oven with a smaller hob top will heat up faster, saving energy and money. Furthermore, if you’ve got a microwave, try to use it whenever possible! When used creatively a microwave can cook pretty much anything and surprisingly, it’s extremely energy-efficient.
Now consider your fridge – do you really need a second one, or will one fridge-freezer suffice? Good energy saving tips for the fridge include regularly removing any frost build-up, checking there’s good airflow throughout the inside and avoiding leaving the door open for longer than necessary.
There are also plenty of ways in which you can improve your bathroom’s efficiency. This can include switching to a modern, more efficient shower head. A more modern fixture can reduce the gallons per minute flow rate of your shower, without affecting your water pressure in any way.
If you haven’t already, also make sure to fit your toilet with a dual-flush – two settings with more or less water per flush. If you live in or are buying a new build, your toilet will undoubtedly have one of these already. But if you’re yet to make the switch, make sure you do!
Finally, the light fittings you choose for your bathroom are just as important as the rest of your house when you’re looking to reduce energy wastage. So, think about switching to more energy efficient light bulbs (LEDS are a good bathroom option!) and if you have multiple bulbs above your sink, think about reducing the number you need.
The Utility Room…
Regardless of how modern or old your washing machine and dryer may be, rest assured that there are ways for everybody to make there’s more efficient.
If you’re always putting your washes on at a high temperature, then you’re not only wasting hot water but the electricity it takes to heat it. The majority of washing machine soaps and powders are actually formulated to work with cold water anyway, so why not try washing your laundry at much lower – or even cold – temperatures?
Simple energy saving tips for a more efficient dryer include cleaning your lint trap, vent and drying sensor regularly, as well as using the auto-dry settings on your machine. However, there is one completely effective way of reducing the energy used by your dryer and that is to not use it at all! Dryers are well-known to be the biggest consumers of energy within the home. So, if the weather permits it, why not simply hang your washing out to dry in the fresh air? Or purchase some inexpensive, indoor drying racks?
Bedroom, Living Room and Beyond!
Other areas of the house may be overlooked when thinking about energy efficiency, however, there are plenty of ways you can improve your home’s efficiency by turning your attention to your bedrooms and other living spaces.
A few easy starting points would be your lighting, entertainment and electronic devices. Swap bulbs for LEDs or energy saving bulbs, don’t leave electronics on ‘standby’ mode when not in use and strive to be more ‘green’ by opting for rechargeable, rather than disposable batteries.
Try taking a few easy steps towards improved energy efficiency in your home and find out how much money it can save you. You’ll find that a greener home doesn’t only benefit the planet, but your wallet too!