Budget-friendly energy saving measures for your home

More of us are mindful of the energy we are using in our homes and businesses, especially since energy costs increased significantly over the last year or so. Finding ways to save energy and reduce costs has become more important for many of us, which in turn is helping to reduce our households carbon emissions.

Fortunately, there are several wallet-friendly measures you can implement in your home and business to make a positive impact on both the planet and your finances.

1. Seal the leaks: Gaps and cracks in doors and windows can lead to significant energy loss. Invest in weatherstripping and caulk to seal these gaps. This simple step can prevent draughts, keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. You could also use a simple draught excluder against the base of doors. The Get Energy Savvy website has some useful guides on doing this and the Energy Saving Trust website has a list of different areas in your home you can draught proof .

2. Upgrade to LED bulbs: Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. These bulbs, which on average cost between £2 and £10 per pack, use less energy, last longer, and can significantly reduce electricity bills over time.

3. Unplug electronics: Many electronic devices continue to use power even when turned off, contributing to "phantom" or standby energy usage. Unplug chargers, appliances, and electronics when not in use to cut down on this hidden energy consumption.

4. Smart thermostats: Invest in a smart thermostat to make the most of your heating. A programmable thermostat allows you to set specific temperatures for different times of the day, minimising energy use when it is not needed.

5. Maximise natural light: Take advantage of natural light during the day to reduce reliance on artificial lighting. Keep curtains open during the day and close them to help keep out the draughts at dusk.

6. Insulate your home: Proper insulation can significantly impact your home's energy efficiency. Insulate attics, walls, and floors to minimise heat transfer, keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer without overtaxing your heating or cooling systems. You can get insultation from all good DIY stores with prices starting at around £22 for a roll.

7. Use energy-efficient appliances: When it's time to replace old appliances, opt for energy-efficient models with energy labels. These appliances are designed to consume less energy, contributing to lower utility bills over time. The Energy Saving Trust has a good article on the different energy ratings of appliances.

8. Wash clothes at a lower temperature: Heating water for laundry can use a lot of energy. Switching to cold water for washing clothes not only conserves energy but also helps preserve the colours and fabrics of your clothing. According to the Energy Saving Trust washing clothes at 30 degrees rather than higher temperatures will save around 40% of the energy used each year. Modern washing powders and detergents work just as effectively at lower temperatures.

9. Limit hot water usage: Install low-flow taps and showerheads to reduce the amount of hot water you are using. If you have a hot water tank, consider insulating it to help retain heat, minimising the need for frequent reheating.

10. Do an energy audit: Conduct regular energy audits to identify how much energy you use and in what areas of your home and business. The Act On Energy website has a guide on how to do this.

Small changes and adjustments add up and, by incorporating some of the suggestions in this article, you could reduce your carbon and also enjoy the financial benefits of a more energy-efficient home or business.

Categories: Low cost energy saving advice
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