Before you plunge into the annual Winter-long argument about which temperature to have the thermostat set at, it’s worth doing everything in your power to upgrade the energy efficiency of your home. Our energy saving tips will prepare your home for the colder months ahead.
How to save money on your gas and electricity bills
Are you spending more than you’d like to on your energy bills? There are lots of ways to make your home more energy efficient, helping you save hundreds of pounds each year. Here are 10 ways to save energy at home:
1. Get your boiler serviced
Rescue yourself from a potential heat-tastrophe by getting your boiler serviced safely before the winter months set in. It may have developed minor, fixable faults since last winter – these are the ones that, if left unchecked, could turn into a big deal if there’s a big freeze.
Boilers account for around 55% of our yearly energy, so a full service will help it run as efficiently as possible to save on heating costs. If you’re going to be cranking it up twice a day for the next five months, it makes sense to check that it’s running efficiently.
Engineers are typically less busy during Autumn (rather than Winter), so get it done sooner rather than later.
2. Eliminate draughts
Draught-proofing is a relatively cheap and easy job that pays for itself. Plugging all the gaps in your doors and windows stops you leaking all your lovely warm air outside, and blocks the cold outside air from inviting itself in.
Be your household’s draught detective and search the windows and doors for gaps. Once you’ve located gaps between windows and frames, buy some inexpensive draught-proofing strips from your local hardware store. For doors you can get draught excluding foam or rubber tape. And don’t forget keyhole covers and a decent letterbox flap.
3. Set your boiler timer
Do you really need the heating to be on an hour before you wake up? Depending on the efficiency of the heating system, twenty minutes should be enough to get the house warm enough before you jump ecstatically out of bed, and the same goes for the evening.
Most modern boiler controls allow you to have different settings for different days. So if you know you’re always out with the kids on Wednesday evenings, for example, adjust your timer. There’s no point in heating a house no one is in.
4. Turn your appliances off standby mode
Remembering to turn your home appliances off standby mode could save you around £30 a year. Most electrical appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming. It’s worth checking the instructions for any appliances you’re unsure about.
Tip: Unplugging your mobile phone charger when it’s not being used will help you save energy at home.
5. Insulate your loft
As we all learnt in school science lessons, heat rises. So if you’re living in a house with an uninsulated loft, a quarter of your heat is literally going through the roof. That means for every £4 of your heating bill, £1 of it has evaporated.
If you’ve already got minimal insulation, upgrading from 100mm to the recommended 270mm can dramatically slash your heating bills. It also helps you do your bit for the environment – if everyone in the UK installed 270mm loft insulation, we could save 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, which is equivalent to taking about 100,000 cars off the road. So be part of the extinction rebellion.
6. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs
Are you still using old halogen light bulbs in your home? Replacing them with energy saving light bulbs could save you £35 on your electricity bill. Remember to switch off lights when you leave a room, and if you have a dimmer switch, turn it down to help your bulbs last longer.
7. Turn down your thermostat
Ok. You can’t hold it any longer. The time has come to turn on the heating and cosy up in front of the TV.
If you’ve done everything you can to plug gaps, leaks and make your home super energy-efficient, take a long hard look at your thermostat dial. Does it really need to be set to Spanish holiday temperature – 25°C?
Every 1°C higher on your thermostat adds £80 to your yearly heating bill, so you could save big-time.
8. Put a jumper on
At the risk of sounding like your dad, a light sweater could give everyone in your home some extra warmth. You could even choose a thicker, woollier number, giving you some serious style points while potentially saving you money on your energy bills.
9. Reduce your shower time
On average, the average length for showering in the UK is around 8 minutes. If you were to spend just one minute less in the shower each day, it could save you up to £7 a year on your energy bills (per person).
10. Draw the curtains
An oldie, but a goodie. A thick set of curtains can do a wonderful job of trapping heat in your house and insulating your windows from the cold outside. You can search online – or on the high street – for thermal curtains. You might have to invest in a lamp or two to light up the space, but it’ll be well worth it.
We understand how easy it is to lose track of your gas and electricity bills, so just remember to follow these energy saving tips – they could save you hundreds of pounds each year. Hopefully you’re now fully prepped for an energy efficient Winter at home.