The goal of any homeowner is to keep their homes warm and comfortable year-round while at the same time keeping energy bills as low as possible.
Amazingly, there are many reasons why a home may waste energy or require more energy to perform an everyday task, such as heating or lighting.
Making a few simple changes such as switching electricals off after use or using a lower washing machine temperature can increase your energy efficiency as larger improvements like upgrading your boiler or insulation.
Check out these top tips from out industry expert on the best ways to turn your home into an eco-powerhouse (and save some money at the same time).
Install loft & wall insulation
If your walls or roof lack adequate insulation, it means that heat is lost from your home at a much faster rate, in fact, a quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home.
Installing loft and wall insulation in your home means the heat is kept inside your home for longer and takes much longer to be transferred to the outdoors.
This simple step means that less energy is wasted and less energy is used and according to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save as much as £225 a year by insulating your home.
Upgrade your boiler
If you have an old combi boiler, specifically a boiler that is older than 10 years old, it is likely to be G-rated and only have an efficiency rating of around 70%. This means for every £1 spent, 30p is being wasted.
Modern boilers are 90%+ efficient, meaning that the majority of energy is converted to heat, with only 10p wasted.
Therefore, it’s certainly worth upgrading your boiler, not only will it reduce energy wastage, but according to Boilergrants.org.uk could save you as much as £340 and a whopping 1,500kg of carbon emissions a year.
If you’re unsure on what type of boiler you should buy, you can find out more here to help you make the right choice.
Install double glazing
Similar to installing insulation, double glazed windows help prevent heat loss from your home, helping to trap heat in your home for longer.
The upfront costs associated with double-glazed windows can be substantial, but the long-term savings you will make can easily cover the cost.
There are government grants available for double glazing if you meet certain eligibility criteria. It’s also worth looking for the ‘Energy Saving Trust recommended’ logo, as these have been accredited as the most efficient.
Use a water-saving showerhead
The consensus is that a shower uses less water than a bathtub, but exactly how much water does a shower use?
If you are having a quick shower, then it’s likely to use much less water and energy than a bath, yet if you’re standing under the shower for 15 minutes or longer then that may not be the case. It’s also true that some power showers use more water than a bath within around 10 minutes.
So, what can you do? Installing a water-saving showerhead can help you cut back on the amount of water and energy you use without causing any disruption to your morning routine.
Draught-proof your home
Draughts are simply currents of cold air and you will often feel them around windows, doors, floorboards, and pipework leading into your home. They can cause your home to become colder faster and lead to heat loss.
You can easily take care of draughts yourself by using draught-proofing strips and excluders for doors and windows.
The likes of small gaps around pipes and electrical sockets can be filled with silicone fillers. Larger gaps can be filled in with expanding polyurethane foam, which will expand and dry hard.
Replace your regular lightbulbs with LEDs
Replacing your home lighting with light-emitting diodes or LED light bulbs could help save your home energy and money without impacting the brightness in your home.
In fact, if you replaced all the bulbs in your home with LED lights, you could save a substantial amount since lighting is responsible for an estimated 15% of the average UK households electricity consumption.
Switch to eco-friendly appliances
By ensuring your home only uses the most eco-friendly and efficient appliances you can save even more energy and money. For example, by swapping to an eco-kettle, you could use 30% less energy with each boil.
The energy efficiency rating is displayed on every new appliance, so next time you are shopping for a replacement, look out for highly efficient models which are given an A rating.
Monitor your energy consumption
Do you know how much energy you are using? And how much energy you may be wasting? By using a smart meter, you can easily keep track of your household’s usage. The best part is that you can get them for free from your energy company.
It’s a good idea to place the meter in a location the whole family can keep tabs on, like the kitchen worktop.
This is a great way for everyone to see exactly how much energy they are using, potentially wasting and allows you to identify potential areas where you could cut back.
Switch to a cheaper energy tariff
One of the fastest and easiest ways to save money on your energy bills is to switch your current tariff to a more competitive deal. You could even opt for a green energy tariff to ensure your home is utilising electricity produced from renewable energy sources.
Install solar PV cells
Solar panels that have photovoltaic (PV) cells produce energy and don’t simply heat water like other types of solar panels. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that the average UK home could meet 40% of its energy demands this way.
Unfortunately, PV systems have a significant upfront cost, but in the long term what you will save on energy will help recoup this expense.
Low cost home improvement loan
If you need a hand with those bigger home makeover projects, our low cost Home Improvement Loan with rates start from as low as 3.2% APR Representative between £7,500 and £25,000