This is energy awareness week, and thus I thought it would be the perfect time to share some tips on energy efficiency. And of course, by being energy efficient, you will not only be helping the earth, but SAVING MONEY as well! That’s my favourite part!
I’m currently living in the United Kingdom, and some of the systems here are much different from my homeland of North America, or those of Japan, where I’ve also lived. But no matter where you are living, I hope that you’ll be able to find something here that will be useful to you. If you have any other tips that you’d like to share with us, please leave a comment at the end of the post. You may even see your suggestion in a future post!
1) Have your boiler checked for efficiency and safety. If you have an older boiler, you may be eligible for a grant to replace it for a newer, more efficient model.
2) Lower your boiler temperature. But be mindful not to keep it too low as this could be serious. There have been cases of Legionnaires’ Disease associated with water tanks that have been set too low. You can find out more information about it here.
3) Check your radiators for cold spots. A cold spot could mean that there is a build-up of rust or sludge, or maybe there’s an air pocket. To fix these problems, you may have to bleed your rads, or use a system cleaner that is available at the big diy stores.
4) Use radiator reflectors behind your rads to reflect the heat back out into the room instead of being absorbed by the wall. You can purchase packets of heavy reflectors, or you can make your own simply by using tin foil.
5) Use a timer on your thermostat so that you will have warmth when you need it, but not when you’re out at work, or cozy in bed. A good timer with several settings will mean you won’t turn your heat on and then forget to turn it back off. Also make sure you’re set up that your radiators and hot water taps can be set to different times. Some systems are set up that you must have your rads on to get hot water. Who wants their rads hot in the middle of summer, just to wash a load of dishes?
6) If you have a draft coming through your door, use a draft excluder. There are some cute ones you can buy, but if you’d like to help the earth (and your account), cut the leg off an old pair of jeans or trousers, tie some ribbon around one end and stuff more old clothes into the leg. Tie off the other end, and you have your own draft stopper at no cost!
7) Insulate your pipes. It’s easy to do, and will help keep your water warm, as well as prevent them from freezing should the winter be harsh.
8) Don’t heat the areas of the house that you don’t use. Close the heating vents, lower the radiator setting, and close the door.
9) Don’t place furniture in front of radiators or hot air vents, let the air flow freely to heat the room.
10) If you’ve used the oven for making dinner, leave the oven door open when you’re done (but be sure that you’ve turned the oven off). Use the residual heat to help heat the kitchen.
11) If you only need to warm a small area, consider using an energy efficient space heater instead of heating your entire home.
I have had so many ideas flying through my head, I will stop here, but I’ll be sharing my insulation and lighting tips with you in about a week. Sign up for our email subscriptions to have it delivered direct to your inbox when it goes live.
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.