7 Energy saving tips to improve your Energy Usage

7 Energy saving tips to improve your Energy Usage

There’s plenty of ways you can save energy, from purchasing energy efficient items such as bulbs and electrical equipment, as well as turning the thermostat down and replacing it with a warm jumper. But if you want to go the extra mile (or don’t own a jumper) here’s 7 more ways you can save some energy in the home

1 – The first step is to understand how good your home is at energy efficiency. Most of us don’t have the knowledge to so this ourselves, but luckily the Energy Saving Trust has some helpful advice as well as a Home Energy Check tool on their website. By answering a few questions you can find out not only how good your home is at energy efficiency, but also what steps and investment you can make to improve it further.

2 – Keeping your fridge & freezer organised, and preferably as full as possible, will help reduce energy consumption. Why? When you open your fridge or freezer, the cold air escapes immediately and drops to the floor. This creates a gap behind that is filled by the air in your kitchen. If you are cooking, have the heating on or it’s the midst of summer that air can be pretty warm. The appliance now has to cool that air back down, and all the while it does this, it’s burning energy.

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Keeping your food organised means less time looking around the back for the spread, and less time losing the cold air. Keeping your appliance full, or at least tightly packed, means there’s less room for warm air to get in there to cool back down again. Also, cold things help keep other cold things cold, so keeping them together will improve the speed at which the appliance gets the temperature back down.

3 – Keep your radiators clear. This is a basic layout consideration that can make a huge difference to your heating efficiency. Think about where your radiators are: do any have a bookcase, cabinet or sofa in front of them? If so, it might be worth thinking about a redesign to ensure that all the heat is coming into the room, rather than warming up the back of your Billy. For the more adventurous (and perhaps qualified) amongst you, consider where the radiators are. Many are placed beneath windows, which means if you have inefficient glazing, much of the heat is lost as soon as it’s created. Even having radiators on internal rather than external walls can make a huge difference to your bills.

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4 – Unplug EVERYTHING when you aren’t using it. Even though most of us know that a TV on standby is still using energy, we are less aware when it comes to phone chargers, DVD players, laptops etc. It’s a simple thing, but makes a big difference.

5 – Go green in the kitchen. We don’t mean only eating what you’ve grown in the garden (in my case a patchy lawn and suspicious looking mushrooms) but about how you use what’s in your kitchen. Try matching the size of pot to the size of the burner, only boiling as much water as you need to, and keeping the lids on to speed things up.

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If your oven has a self-cleaning function, try to pop this on just after you’ve finished cooking, as it will clean better and faster if it’s starting from warm.

Finally never overlook your microwave oven for when you need to defrost a variety of foods – running things under hot water uses a lot more energy.

6 – Get your boiler serviced. Regularly getting a service engineer out may be an added expense in the short-term, but in the long-term will save you more money on your bills as your boiler will be working less to achieve the same temperature. Most of the main energy companies offer a boiler servicing contract, as well as your local gas or boiler engineer. Annual services are generally sufficient, and there are also additional insurance cover agreements that will include services.

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7 – Avoiding your dishwasher because you think doing the washing up manually is more energy efficient? Probably not – you’ll use more water than the dishwasher, this needs to be heated and so your boiler is working to do this, rather than your dishwasher that will likely have a thermostat built in and will heat cold water internally

Also, if you’re the type that rinses dishes before putting them into the dishwasher thinking that this will allow it to work better aren’t helping. The dishwasher will work just as hard regardless of how dirty the plates are, so remove large chunks of food yes, but don’t use water twice by pre-rinsing before putting them into the washer.

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