Most of us probably imagine we do a good job of monitoring our home’s energy consumption, but a quick look at energy saving facts tells a different story. The average UK home spends at least £30 a year just leaving their appliances on standby. Almost every room in the house could benefit from some improvements to help save the environment and the household budget.
For ideas on how to save energy at home read our tips on energy saving products, gadgets and habits.
The average home in the UK has around 40 appliances and all of them are power hungry. Try cutting their consumption back with these small changes:
- Monthly maintenance will stop your appliances having to work extra hard: making sure you don’t overfill the fridge or freezer and that the dryer lint tray is empty. These checks will make both appliances run more efficiently.
- Energy efficient kettles are easy enough to swap in but it’s really worth investing in the appliances you use every day (especially ones you can’t turn off, such as freezers).
- Most devices are found in the kitchen and offer lots of ways to conserve energy. There are big differences between a B rated appliance and an A+, almost up to 40% in energy consumption. Do your research on the latest tech in what you’re looking for: halogen ovens are giving traditional ovens a run for their money, due to their space saving and speed cooking qualities.
- To make it easy, use an energy saving multi-plug so you can plug all the gadgets in that you tend to leave on standby and only have to turn one off. Standby mode on items such as TVs and computers, or phone chargers which keep drawing down energy even when not fully ‘on’ are a pointless drain.
Programmable thermostats and energy saving heaters have been popular choices for some time. But a new wave of apps and products mean you can vary when your heating switches on and off remotely. So if you are unexpectedly working late, rather than just keeping the furniture warm you can switch the heating on from your phone on your way home. Try using some of the free calculator tools the Energy Saving Trusts provide for working out the best options for energy reducing opportunities and for ways to save money (Energysavingtrust.org.uk).
When looking for ways to reduce the water bill there are more solutions than just turning off the tap. An energy-efficient showerhead that use a low flow can easily be swapped for your standard fitting. Turning down the pressure of your power shower and teaching children to turn off taps whilst brushing teeth will quickly cut back your waste. If you don’t have one, water meters are a great way to encourage you to cut back on your consumption as you can see the direct cost of your usage (and any waste).
Lighting is a great place to start. Energy saving light bulbs are available in all types from spots to lamps, and with a new wave of bulbs that can turn any traditional light fitting into a dimmable scheme.
Big ways to save energy usually start with keeping in the heat or cool already paid for. How much money does insulation save? For walls alone it could be up to £140 a year. (Cavity insulation tends to most suitable for properties after the 1930s). Loft insulation is also an obvious candidate as is the biggest source of heat loss in a home, and can take only few hours for a standard loft. If you live in a flat that doesn’t include the roof or are in rented accommodation, you can still benefit from wrapping insulation around the hot water tank and costs less than £30 to fit. Draught proofing is important too, so a draught excluder for doors might seem a quaint style idea but will cut the chill factor. For old windows your local DIY shop will have insulating tape that can be attached inside the frame to stop the draughts. Adding rugs in the winter will also make an airy summer room much cosier and put an end to chilly floorboards.
Insulating your home is not just about preventing the heat from escaping, but also keeping the cool in. If the day is hot and you want to return home to a cool house keep your window coverings closed so you can cut back on air conditioning costs; look at our PowerView ®Motorisation app for controlling your blinds from wherever you are, should the sun make an appearance later in the day.
Heat maps of energy loss always have two main culprits, the roof and windows. If you are starting a new building project and looking for ways to reduce heat loss through windows, triple glazed energy efficient windows are a great place to start. A simpler place to start would be reviewing your window coverings. Duette® Architella® honeycomb shades can cut bills significantly.
- National Insulation Association (NIA) (Go to the NIA website)
- Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) (Go to the CIGA website)
- British Board of Agrément (BBA) (Go to the BBA website)
Use what you have…
Think about the ways you create heat: if you have been cooking leave the oven door open so the heat can enter the room. Thermal gain is a natural win. You can warm a room by allowing the sun through the windows to warm up the room. To ensure you don’t lose the benefits of this warmth your window treatments need to closed before the sun goes down. If you can’t guarantee that you will be home use a home automation app to time them to close when the sun drops, like our PowerView® Motorisation system.
Energy conservation techniques should start with a little forethought. Turning lights off in empty rooms is the obvious one, but we can make small changes in lots of ways. Small changes count in a big way; fill your kettle only for the number of cups you need, loading the washing machine appropriately (don’t over stuff or under fill) or not running a half empty dishwasher. Soon it becomes habit; adding cold water to your overly hot bath after you have spent money to heat it becomes an obvious mistake.
For putting our tips for how to save energy at home in action, take a look at our Duette® Architella® Shades range.