Household energy use is one area in which you can make a difference to the planet within the (well-insulated) walls of your own home.
Especially in colder months when you turn the heating on more often, this cuts costs as well as carbon emissions. To get you going, here are our top energy-saving methods.
One of the biggest reasons for energy loss is poor temperature regulation. Most people can operate comfortably at 18℃, while elderly people might need temperatures to be closer to 21℃. To keep your house to the temperature you require, use a thermometer to check it regularly. Make sure you place the thermometer on the inside wall of a living space to prioritise the areas of the house you actually use.
It’s getting hot in here…
Another basic trick is to only heat the rooms you actually use. In disused parts of the house, turn your radiators down to frost protection (the snowflake symbol) – the bare minimum in order to protect your pipes from frost damage.
Time for a chill
This piece of advice is particularly aimed at those who attend school or work away from home during the day. It’s simple: use your boiler’s timer. In principle, a house shouldn’t take long to heat up and should retain heat, taking a while to cool down. So you can schedule your heating to turn on half an hour before you need it to be warm and to turn off an hour or so before you leave the house.
Another effective way to prevent energy loss is through insulating your home. Most heat leaves through the walls so these should be your top priority. However, for older properties built without cavity walling, this can prove extremely expensive. A cheaper option is to insulate just one room in the house that use the most. Loft insulation is another way to defend your home against heat loss that isn’t as costly.
Windows onto a greener future
Georgian sash windows may be beautiful, but they are also the bane of environmentalists. They tend to lose lots of heat due to the upper window panes slipping down and leaving gaps at the top and between the panes. So to prevent heat loss via your windows, first check the windows close properly, then install draught insulation and double glazing.
Check your chimney
If you haven’t blocked your fireplace you could be losing a huge amount of heat via the chimney. To resolve this issue, buy a chimney balloon, which blocks the chimney and stops heat escaping.
Shining a light on energy loss
While switching off the lights doesn’t actually cause a huge drop in your energy bill, halogen bulbs can cause a problem if you have a ceiling dotted with loads of them. Simply switch your lightbulbs for LEDs to save energy.