These days, more and more people are becoming concerned about their home’s impact on the environment. Thinking about how your family and home uses up resources is incredibly important not only because it is our responsibility to leave a sustainable world for our kids, but also because it’ll help you save money. And who doesn’t want that? Here are a few things you can do now to boost your home’s energy efficiency.
Insulate your home
When people think about energy efficiency, the first thing that usually comes to mind is using fuel to heat up their home. So how do you keep your home warmer in the winter without having to crank up your central heating? That’s where proper insulation comes in.
A lot of heat is lost by escaping through poorly insulated roofs and walls. But if you install enough insulation properly, you can save up to £160 on your annual energy bill. When improving the insulation in your home, don’t just think about cavity walls, but also look up, in particular, the loft. Hot air rises so the loft is the perfect place for heat to escape.
Check your central heating
Speaking of heating, you should check up on your central heating system as often as you can. At the very least, you need to get a certified heating engineer to inspect and service your heating system once a year. This will make sure that everything is working as it should. Unless you are part of a central heating cover plan, you might need to pay for a few repairs or replacements. However, this is a small price to pay to avoid major breakdowns in the future.
Also, if you have a boiler that is getting quite old—anything older than 10 years old—then upgrading to a new, more efficient model could be worth it. If your boiler is in your kitchen, the replacement needs to be a similar size or else some rearranging will be necessary. If your boiler is in the loft, it could take a bit longer to replace. Depending on the type of boiler you have, there are many pros and cons of an upgrade.
Cut off phantom loads
Phantom loads are devices that use up energy even when they are turned off. They still draw power because these devices have an internal clock, remote controls, or a quick-start feature. It might be a small amount of energy but nevertheless, it is still wasted energy. If you have many devices, phantom loads can make up around 10% of your energy bill!
When you don’t immediately need your electronics, you should unplug them so they can’t use electricity behind the scenes. For example, your television, speaker systems, DVD players, and computers usually have some form of phantom load. To make it easier, plug your devices into a power strip and turn the strip off when not in use.
Use your appliances efficiently
After your heating, your appliances probably make up the biggest part of your energy bill. Take a look at all the appliances you use regularly and think about whether you are using them efficiently as possible.
For example, washing the majority of your laundry loads in cold water, as well as using the shortest appropriate washing cycle will help save you a significant amount of money every year. If you have a dishwasher, try using it only for full loads and on eco wash settings. For your refrigerator, keep the fridge between 3 and 5℃ and the freezer between -15 and -18℃. Clear up build-ups of ice and keep your fridge filled as much as possible.
Install smart home gadgets
The smart home trend is booming lately. And with good reason too. They make it easy for you to lower your energy consumption and provide convenient ways to control various aspects of your home. There are smart devices for several parts of your home. Just think of something in your home and put “smart” in front of it—chances are that it exists!
The smart thermostat is probably the most well-known. These devices learn and adapt to your schedule so that they adjust your central heating to maximise comfort and minimise energy use. There are also smart shower heads and sprinklers that optimise your water consumption. Smart lighting lets you customise the colour and intensity of your light without using up too much energy as well. Plus, smart devices are controllable with your phone!