Top tips for saving energy in the home

Top tips for saving energy in the home

Lighting

  • Use energy efficient light bulbs where possible; they use one fifth of the energy, last for years and save 80% on your bills.
  • Switch off lights when they are not in use (including fluorescent tubes which are not more efficient if left on). Also, don’t over-light rooms.

Heating

  • Thermostats should be set to 19 oC. Make sure thermostats are located away from draughts on an interior wall.
  • Make sure radiators have individual thermostatic valves (TVR’s) to increase controllability.
  • Make sure your boiler is serviced every two years. Replacing a 15 year old boiler could save 20% on fuel bills.
  • Use reflective material behind radiators to reflect heat back into rooms
  • Bleed radiators regularly to get rid of air bubbles.
  • Set your hot water to 60 oC, any hotter is not necessary and uses more energy.
  • A 3 inch insulating jacket on your hot water tank will save £20 a year.

Insulation & Draughts

  • Make sure loft and cavity walls are insulated. The recommended amount of loft insulation is around 12 inches which can save 25% of heating costs. Cavity walls can save a further third. If you are not sure if your house has cavity walls, if it was built after 1920 it is likely. A regular brick pattern, without end on bricks, also indicates a cavity.
  • Lag water pipes and fit draught excluders around the home. Exterior doors and letter boxes should have draught excluders.
  • Fill gaps in floorboards and skirting with newspaper or sealant. Ensure there is insulation under laminate flooring or tiles.
  • Gaps in windows account for 20% of heat loss. Consider double or secondary glazing if you have single glass windows, or the clear plastic sheeting that can be applied to each pane.
  • Keep curtains closed in rooms that are not in use during the day. Also, draw curtains before dusk to retain warmth.

Kitchen

  • Boiling a kettle uses as much energy as lighting a room for a whole evening. So only boil as much water as you need.
  • When cooking, match the size of the ring to the pan. Put a lid on your pan when cooking as it is more efficient and make sure you turn down the heat once it comes to the boil.
  • Make sure food is thoroughly defrosted before cooking. Thawing in the oven uses 50% more energy. Similarly, don’t put hot food in your fridge.
  • Regularly defrost your fridge and freezer so that ice does not become greater than 6mm. Use a thermometer to make sure your fridge temperature is between 3 and 5 C.
  • Keep the coils at the back of your fridge/freezer clean and not too close to the wall.
  • Buy a Savaplug for your fridge/freezer. It can save up to 20% of its energy cost by regulating power use. Visit www.savawatt.com, tel 01789 490340
  • Make sure you wash clothes on a 40 degree wash. A 60 degree wash uses 30% more energy and a white wash even more.
  • Dry clothes outside rather than use a tumble drier as they are one of the most energy intensive appliances.
  • Make sure your dishwasher is full before running. Try turning your dishwasher off before it enters the drying cycle so that dishes can air dry. This saves a significant amount of energy.

Appliances

  • Make sure appliances are not left on standby. 15% of wasted domestic energy goes on standby in the UK.
  • Unplug mobile phone and other chargers when not in use. 
  • When replacing appliances, look for the energy rating and choose the most efficient (closest to A), or look for the energy efficient logo.