Posted on December 27, 2016
At this time of year for many of us, our minds will turn to New Year’s Resolutions. For some it will be going on a much needed health kick. For others it will be pursuing a new career. But almost all us of will be wanting to save money in some way or another. The good news is that every household could improve their daily life as well as their bank balance by looking at how to make their homes more energy efficient.
The first step we take when the weather gets colder is to wrap up warm with extra layers and blankets. Your home is no different. Without a good level of insulation in the walls and the ceilings, a house will never reach its full potential to stay warm. If you are not going to do the insulation yourself make sure you look out for someone who is a member of the National Insulation Association, as you can then be assured that the work will be done in line with the professional Code of Practice.
Windows and Doors
Double or triple glazed windows with upvc frames are the best product to keep the heat in and the cold out. The same applies for any glazing in the exterior doors of a property. The energy efficiency of windows and doors has improved significantly over the years, so even if your windows and doors still look in good condition, they may still be very inefficient.
Heating and Hot Water
Heating and hot water account for 62% of all utility bills in the UK. The first thing to do is understand what kind of system that you have and its relative level of efficiency. Then think about your controls, is the system always on when it does not need to be, could you turn it down 1 or 2 degrees without noticing?
- Replace the Boiler – Replacing a boiler after taking expert advice on which boiler suits your house and needs may involve a substantial up front cost, but one that will save both energy and money in the long term.
- Insulate Hot Water Cylinder and Pipes – Insulating the hot water cylinder and pipes will reduce heat being lost, avoid water coming out of the taps at boiling temperatures and also save you £25 to £35 a year.
With more and more properties now being on smart water metres, saving water will now save you money. Fitting water saving appliances such as flow regulators and aerators to showerheads and taps will reduce water consumption significantly. Better still, install water saving showerheads, low flow taps and dual flush toilets.
Water butts are also an excellent low-cost way of saving water. Connecting one to your drain pipe in the new year will mean it has time to fill up with all the winter and early spring rain water, ready to be used on the garden or to wash the car in the summer.
Make sure all of your lighting bulbs have been changed to CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) and LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) as this will reduce energy consumption. The effect of turning lights off when leaving a room and fitting sensors and timers to external lights is often also underestimated.
As 2017 dawns, give some thought as to how you could make your property more energy efficient. Whether you resolve to tackle each item on this list or only one or two, you will be doing your bit for the environment and you will see noticeable changes in your energy bills. Happy New Year!