There were so many ideas floating through my head last week when I was writing about Energy Awareness Week that I decided not to overwhelm you, but rather do two posts on energy efficiency. You can read our tips on heating efficiency here.
This week I’ll be focusing on insulation and lighting.
1) If you don’t already have wall cavity insulation, look into whether this would be a good idea for you.
2) If you’re going to renovate a room, look into adding an additional layer of insulation to your walls for extra warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer.
3) Insulate your attic. Hot air rises, and there’s no point in heating your attic space while you’re sitting cold downstairs. You may find you’re eligible for a grant to help with this through your local council, electricity board, or a stay-warm scheme.
4) Insulate around you electrical sockets. This is a new one to me, but it makes sense. Be sure you get the right stuff. Ask at your home supply shop for directions.
5) Use heavy curtains during the winter months. Keep them open during the day to let the heat of the sun help warm the house, but close them at sun-down to hold that heat in. Here in the UK we also use a curtain across the front door. This helps with privacy, as well as with heath retention.
6) Having a sealed home is nice, but be sure you also have some ventilation. We noticed we had a problem with mold when we were both working full-time away from home as we only had the heat on a couple of hours a day, and everything was closed up tight. Now we keep a window or two cracked open to let the air circulate. Mold can cause all sorts of lung and health problems. Health is definitely more important that a few pence extra spent!
1) Do the obvious and turn off lights when you’re not in the room. If you’re concerned about security while you’re away, use a timer or two to control your lights.
2) Use low-energy light bulbs. These have definitely been improving over the past few years! When they first came out we couldn’t even see enough to read in bed, but now we use them around the house where we can.
3) Unplug your appliances when they aren’t in use. Even standby uses up to 80% of the energy of a turned-on appliance! Here in the UK the electrical sockets each have a switch next to them and you first turn off your tv, kettle, blender, etc., and then you also turn off the switch so that the electricity doesn’t continue to be used. Unplugging your appliances will do the same thing. I admit, it’s a bit of a pain to begin with, but it does become a habit, and it saves money, too!
4) Use a little automatic night-light for your children if they need one (and teach them to turn it off if they leave the room in the night and won’t return) instead of leaving the hall light on.
5) If you do need a hall light in the night to see where you’re going, consider installing a motion-detector on them so that they’ll automatically come on, as well as turn themselves off again. I once experienced this in a building when I was looking for a place to live. It was an interesting concept, though in that case the timer wasn’t set long enough, which can be a danger.
If you have any additional tips for energy efficiency, please share them in the comments below as there’s always room for improvement!
If you’d like to learn other ways to save, see our posts on how to save money on fruit and veg, and how to save on your food bill, or have a look through our frugal living page for more ideas on ways to save.