How to make your home more energy efficient
Making your home energy efficient is good for your pocket, but it is a great way to contribute to the health of the environment. Whatever motivates you to make your home more energy-efficient, you don’t have to invest a lot of money to make it happen. With some simple steps, you can save money and the planet and help the UK reduce reliance on fossil fuels, encouraging energy independence.
Start by defining your goal. For instance, reducing water usage might require some systems that will help you minimise water volumes. However, if you want to reduce heating bills, you will probably want to check your boiler is working efficiently and have adequate insulation.
It might be a good idea to get in an expert to review your energy consumption in its entirety. A consultant would be able to come in and see points of improvement and offer you an action plan for making these happen.
However, if you are more interested in doing the DIY, you can undertake a host of jobs in the home.
Insulation helps heat escape from your home. You will find the most insulation in your roof as heat rises, which is where the majority is lost. There will likely be insulation in your walls, too, depending on the age of your home. With the proper insulation, your home will heat up quickly and retain this warmth, keeping the need for your heating to be on to a minimum.
There are government grants available for the improvement of insulation, especially in the older housing stock. You might want to look into the Green Homes Grant Scheme to see if you qualify.
Replace insulation in your loft space will cost you approximately £400 – £500, but the difference to your heating will soon return this investment.
Putting insulation into cavity walls is now standard practice in new homes, and most homes pre-1985 have been retrofitted with insulation. If you have solid walls, you will not have wall insulation.
Retrofitted insulation can degrade quickly. Replacing it can cost up to £700 but will reduce your heating bill by a massive 35%.
Service your boiler
In the summer, when the last thing on your mind is heating, you should get the engineer to service your boiler. An efficiently running boiler can save you a significant amount of money and prevent the risk of a breakdown in those chilly months when you need it to work. A service will cost you about £80 a time and the cost of any parts.
As explained by Heatable.co.uk the average lifespan of a boiler is between 10 and 15 years. The older it gets, the more inefficient it will be. There is also a chance for carbon monoxide emissions, which can be poisonous. Therefore, there are many reasons to replace the boiler at the end of its natural lifespan, which will cost you up to £5000, according to Which magazine.
Use your smart meter
Monitoring the use of your energy is one way to take control of your energy bills. The roll-out of smart meters was free and an attempt by the utility companies and the government to help us manage our energy usage. You can walk around your home, switching appliances off and on to see their impact on your demands.
For instance, most of us are unaware of the impact of leaving the heating on when you are out of the shops. Do you know how much it costs to keep your TV on standby the whole time? What about the forever charging device? In other words, by knowing how much it costs us, we can make the decision to switch them off and change our behaviours.
Saving hot water
Saving hot water has the dual benefit of saving metered water and reducing the need to use your boiler to heat this water. You will be surprised how much energy you use boiling the kettle each day or when you choose to take a bath. Your household fixtures, fittings, and accessories can massively contribute to high utility bills.
One way to make this work in your favour is to invest in a water-saving showerhead. Take showers is always better than taking baths for energy conservation, but a more efficient showerhead can save a further 60% per year in your water usage.
Equally, a small purchase of an energy-saving kettle can reduce your energy bill by about a fiver a month. On average, British households boil the kettle 1500 times a year, so you can see why the proper kettle will serve you well.
From turning off lights to hanging curtains to washing some of your clothes in colder water, you can take control of your energy usage, save money, and protect the environment.