Saving energy is becoming a national obsession and where better to cut back than right in our own homes? There are lots of effective, low-effort ways to reduce your electricity use and some won’t cost you a pound extra. All it takes is a few changes in habit and you can watch those pennies go flying back into your purse, wallet, bank account or discreet under-mattress hiding spot. Our top 10 ways to save energy at home will get you on the fast track to eco-living, and once you see the benefits, there will be no going back!
1. Maximise the efficiency of your heating system
We touched on this subject in one of our previous blogs but keeping track of your heating’s programming is one sure-fire way to save energy. When the seasons change, it’s easy to forget to update your heating schedule, so your system could be using more energy than needed. Small adjustments like setting the temperature slightly lower, creating separate heating schedules for each room in your house and enabling automatic features can all go a long way toward trimming down your running costs. But, if adjusting your heaters one by one sounds like a chore you don’t need, we definitely recommend point number 2.
2. Invest in smart controls
If your heating system requires a lot of manual programming, we highly suggest upgrading to intelligent WiFi compatible products that offer distance control. With a WiFi enabled system, you stay in charge wherever you go because you can use your mobile phone to make quick and easy changes to your settings. Not only does this let you adjust your heating when you’re away from home, it also allows you to easily access all of the heaters in your property from a convenient point of use. With a WiFi heating app you can group heaters together to follow the same routine, so if you want to tweak your settings, just swipe, tap and they’ll all update in sync. It’s a whole different user experience and the best choice if you want to fine-tune your heating and maximise efficiency.
3. Wash at 30 °C or less
According to Home Energy Scotland, washing your clothes at 30 °C will save you around 40% of the energy used on your washing machine each year, compared to if you wash at a higher 40 °C setting. That’s a huge saving not least because washing machines are notorious energy guzzlers. Newer models coming onto the market have a 20 °C eco setting for lightly used clothes, which is a great option if you just need to give your togs a quick refresh before they’re used again. Detergent manufacturers have also cottoned on to this trend (pun fully intended) and are now making powders designed to perform just as well at these lower temperatures. Older washing machines may not provide as deep a clean at lower settings, so if that’s the case in your home, here comes point number 4…
4. Update old appliances
Modern appliances use far less power than older models and one way to take charge of your energy use is by making sure you’ve got up-to-date electricals in all your rooms. When you’re shopping around for products like washing machines and fridge freezers, it’s best to go for appliances rated A+++ which represent the most efficient on the market. To help you compare like-for-like, energy labels displayed on each product should also give you the total kWh it takes to run the appliance for a whole year. An article by This is Money estimated that the total cost to run a D grade fridge freezer for a year was £151, whereas an A+++ model cost just £38 for the same duration. You can’t argue with savings like that.
5. Invest in LED lights
Incandescent lights certainly look moody and appealing when they’re dangling down from the ceiling of an inner-city bar but they’re not the best choice for your average home. You’re much better off installing LED bulbs, which can be up to 90% more efficient than a standard incandescent bulb, and can provide well over 50,000 hours of use. The Energy Saving Trust estimate that you could save up to £7 per year for each 100 watt incandescent bulb you replace with an LED equivalent, so though these newer bulbs are a little more expensive, you’ll definitely be saving more energy and money in the long run.
6. Plug up draughts
Dealing with your draughts is another fantastic way to save energy because when your home stays warm, your heating doesn’t have to work so hard to compensate. This can be as easy as fitting draught excluders to your doors and letterbox, filling in gaps around windows or making sure there are no large openings around your pipework. If you know what to look for, you can make your home more thermally retentive in a day without having to spend too much money; or, if you want professional advice, you can always speak to a builder or draught-proofer for more in-depth guidance.
7. Insulate your home
Along with reducing draughts, insulating your home can go a long way towards helping to reduce energy usage. It’s an efficiency measure that’s on the costly side but it’s well worth it if you have the resources. Loft insulation is usually the cheapest and easiest route to go down in terms of increasing heat retention and you can either do it DIY, or get a professional in to save you the trouble. Depending on the method you choose, it could cost as little as £100 or up to around £400 if you have an expert handle it for you. Other measures such as under floor or cavity wall insulation are more expensive but they will provide long term benefits overall.
8. Fill your kettle up the right amount
This little appliance is one of the worst offenders for using excess amounts of energy because all too often we overfill them, even if we just want to make two cups of tea. Take heed of those fill lines on the side of your kettle because they can help you shave up to £19 off your yearly energy bill and reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Kettles are high wattage appliances because they need to bring water up to temperature quickly, so next time you’re making a cuppa, only fill up with what you need – your bank balance will thank you.
9. Spend less time in the shower
Did you know that spending just 2 minutes less in the shower can save up to £20 per year for the average household? Turning the temperature of the water down just by a small amount can also save energy without impacting on your overall comfort, and maybe, just maybe, you might even learn to enjoy the odd cold shower. They’re not huge changes to make to your lifestyle but if everyone in the family makes an effort to cut back a little, it can be an easy and cost-effective way to make a difference.
10. Take up some old school hobbies
This is a suggestion that might sound strange but hear us out. A great way to save energy during the evenings is by taking up hobbies that don’t use any electricity at all. In the past decade, there’s been a huge revival in pastimes like board games and jigsaws because they offer a fun break away from our phones and computers. Winding down the evening with some crafts or a family card game can be a great way to unplug, and the cumulative hours you spend away from your electricals all adds up. Just think about how much it costs to run your TV, your sound system or your consoles for a week, then think about how much you’d save if you only did it a third or half the time. Sometimes going back to basics can really pay off.
Maximise your efficiency with our electric radiators
As you can see, there are lots of ways to save energy in the home and heating is one significant way to make a positive change. If you’re considering upgrading to something more efficient, Electric Radiators Direct is on hand to help. Browse our range for inspiration or call our Sales team on 0330 300 4444 for expert advice we can tailor to your property.