Are your bills sky-high? Do you keep promising yourself that you’re going to make changes soon? Now’s the time! Don’t put it off any longer. A few small changes in the way you manage your home could make very real differences in your utility bills. Here’s a list of actions you can take today which will lower your utility bills, keep your home warmer and save you money.
If you’re building
If you’re building your own home, there are many eco-friendly materials and methods to consider before you even look at a plan. For example, pile foundations are a far more environmentally friendly choice than concrete. The cement industry is responsible for a huge portion of the carbon dioxide produced in the UK and elsewhere.
Other options include strategic window placement; placing windows only on the sunny side of the house ensures that heat is retained more effectively. Buying materials which are sourced locally is another tip.
Don’t ignore the boiler
It’s one of those irritating expenses isn’t it? But if you make sure your boiler is serviced every year without fail then you’ve a stronger chance of it lasting longer. Not only that but it will run more efficiently – simple problems such as the pressure being incorrect can cause boilers to run sluggishly or even malfunction.
Save the heat you’re paying for! Trap the heat you’vegenerated with your radiators or other heating systems with insulation. That includes loft and roof – up to a quarter of the heat in your home could be disappearing through the roof! Proper insulation will keep it in.
Cavity insulation matters too – a massive third of all your heat could be escaping through your walls. Keep it inside! Insulation on your pipes, tanks and radiators can also help.
Seal up the cracks
In walls, floors, doors, windows and letterboxes. So much heat disappears through these spaces that it could be costing you significantly. Check your chimney too.
LEDs are more efficient
LED light bulbs are more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs by far. They might cost a bit more when you buy them but they save a lot on electricity.LED bulbs have a lifespan of around 20,000 hours whilst incandescent bulbs only last around 1000 hours. LEDs use far less power – it’s a no-brainer!
Free the radiators
Don’t block them up with furniture. Beds, sofas and even tables mean that the heat can’t circulate. Keep them free!
Another good idea is to fit reflector panels behind the radiators. This means that the heat is fully redirected back into the room.
Don’t hang clothing or other laundry to dry on your radiators. Your room will feel colder and condensation can form, causing mould.
Get smart about energy
Smart plugs, switches and thermostats can be controlled via your phone. Turning appliances on and off when you’re in or out of the house could save a tonne. You can also programme things to turn on right before you enter the house – walking in to a warm, lit room is much nicer than walking into a cold and dark one.
Be sensible about oven usage
Ovens use a massive amount of energy but of course, they’re a necessary thing in most homes.
The trick is to be clever about how you use yours.• Don’t open the door too often to check on food that’s cooking.• Don’t preheat the oven – use a thermometer to test food at the end of cooking.• Turn off the oven before the food is finished and the heat that’s left over will complete the job. This also works for stovetop cooking. Just put a lid on that pasta and let it cook in its own heat.• Ceramic pots and pans retain heat more effectively than metal.• Slow cookers often use very little power and can be a great alternative.
If you can manage to make some or all of these changes, you will see a reduction in your bills. The effort is worth the gain.
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