With energy bills at an all-time high, many homeowners are on the lookout for ways to bring their energy consumption/bills down. Making even the most straightforward updates (such as weatherproofing your windows, doors, etc.) to your home can help bring your energy costs down. This article outlines five simple and easy ways to make your home more energy-efficient, some of which will cost £20 or even less. You can find further ideas at Fourwalls.
1. Install Water-Saving Showerheads
The type of showerhead you use can have a significant impact on the volume of water consumed per minute, and the frequency at which the boiler or hot water tank has to be refilled. That said, it would be advisable to switch to showerheads designed to save water-draw, commonly known as water-efficient showerheads. These showerheads limit how much water comes out per minute, saving you both heating and water bills. This is, however, only applicable/recommended if using the regular showerheads, and not instant hot water showerheads. Instant water heater shower heads only heat water on demand, hence considered more efficient as compared to drawing water from a centralised hot water tank. Installing the efficient showerheads can see you save approximately £115 in water bills or £70 on gas.
2. Switch to Low-Voltage LED Light Bulbs
About 45% of an average home’s energy usage goes on heating and lighting. This is mostly the case if still using the traditional incandescent or filament bulbs. These bulbs waste up to 90% of the energy consumed in the form of heat, one of the reasons you should switch to the more energy-efficient LED bulbs. LED bulbs, according to research, convert 90% of the energy supplied into light energy, wasting as little as 10% of the energy provided. This is a sharp contrast to the incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs also have a longer lifespan (50 times more) than the regular halogen bulbs. Making the change could thus see you save more than £35 in energy bills.
3. Consider Smart Power Strips
Extension cables are some of the must-haves in an average home. These devices help keep several pieces of equipment/other devices powered at one go. Although considered efficient, the regular extension cables aren’t designed to turn off or switch to standby when not in use. Smart power strips, on the other hand, have almost similar functionality as the regular extension cable, but with a feature to turn all devices connected off at one go, at the touch of a button. Most smart power strips can be controlled remotely via an app or using a timer. This strip will cut off power to devices connected to it, and not in use, preventing energy drain in the long run.
4. Weatherproof Your Windows and Doors
Most older homes aren’t adequately weatherproofed, one of the reasons you will notice draughts. Draughts cause your HVAC systems to keep your home less efficiently heated, as most of the warm or cold air will be escaping through these gaps. Identifying these gaps, and sealing them off altogether can however improve its efficiency significantly. Spaces around windows, doors, the chimney, and even on the floor, can contribute to substantial energy bills. You can choose to do the weatherproofing yourself, or hire a professional if needed. All you need are plastic/metal proofing strips, self-adhesive foam, or silicone sealant. Silicone is incredibly efficient when sealing smaller gaps and spaces. You might also want to install letterbox flaps and covers, keyhole covers, and flexible silicone fillers between pipework and floorboards. Most of these are available at B&Q among other shops.
5. Insulate Your Attic and Eaves
The attic and loft hatch are two of the most notorious areas for draughts. Ensuring these are properly weatherproofed and insulated can thus help improve your home’s energy efficiency by a considerable margin. Attic insulation can oftentimes be done in a DIY, leaving you with more money in your pockets. Such simple insulations can save you more than £25 per year in heating and cooling bills.