Most of us are thinking about how to improve energy efficiency at home and how to cut back on energy consumption this winter. A cost of living crisis has seen energy costs more than double. There’s a real emphasis from many households to use every trick and tip to keep their house warm without racking up high energy bills. That’s the purpose of this guide, which features ten handy energy-saving tips for more efficiency around the house.
1) Don’t cover radiators
Radiators are your primary heat source, so it makes sense to maximise their capabilities. One way to do this is to keep them clear and resist covering them with anything. For instance, you might be tempted to put the washing on the radiator, so it dries faster. But all this does is block the heat from the radiator, which delays how long it takes to heat the home. Keeping radiators clear will make your house nice and toasty much faster. You can turn them off when the home’s reached a pleasant temperature.
2) Move sofas away from radiators
Keeping radiators free from things like clothes will help warm your house faster. So will removing any nearby obstacles, such as sofas. It’s not uncommon to see a couch pushed up against the radiator in a living room or spare room, but this only blocks the heat coming out. While you might like the sofa’s position in front of the radiator, it’s not an efficient way to save energy at home. Instead, channel your interior designer and find a new place for it during the winter. You’ll have a fresh look and a warmer home.
3) Get thicker, lined curtains if possible
Around 18% of a home’s heat loss comes from the windows. They’re a primary way for heat to escape a house. Double glazing is one way of preventing heat loss, but it’s also expensive. For a more cost-effective option, swap your blinds or any sheer, lightweight curtains for ones made from heavier materials. Wool and velvet curtains, for example, restrict airflow and stop rooms from losing heat. It also helps if they have thermal lining. Thicker curtains can keep up to 4% more heat in your home than blinds. Closing them at night stops up to 17% of heat escaping the property.
4) Turn off the lights
We’re not suggesting that you live in darkness, but it might be worth turning the lights off in rooms you’re not using. Leaving on lights in empty rooms is one of the primary ways to rack up higher energy bills. Being more efficient and only using the lights in the room you occupy can keep the price down.
5) Switch your lighting and go LED
Replacing your bulbs with LED options will help keep costs lower as they consume far less energy than a regular bulb. Even better, LED lights are inexpensive, so you don’t need to spend a small fortune swapping the bulbs out in your home. Beyond that, LED options lower your carbon footprint and make the home light and bright for less. Go one step further and get battery-powered fairy lights to create cosy and ambient lighting in your rooms without impacting bills.
6) Maximise blankets and throws
As the weather cools down, many households head to the cupboard to find blankets and throws. Placing a blanket or throw on your bed or sofa makes the space feel cosier while also being a smart and practical way of keeping warm during the winter. They offer an extra layer of heat, especially if you’re using thicker blankets made from wool or cotton fleece. There’s also the option of heated blankets, which cost around 5p per hour to run on full power.
7) Set about draught proofing
Gaps underneath the doors allow air to pass through the home, especially in older houses. This leads to heat escaping and plenty of wasted energy as your radiators need to work extra hard to heat the home. One way to combat this involves closing doors to stop air from escaping, but there’s still the issue underneath the door. Using a draught excluder, which sits at the bottom of the door. Will block any gaps and keeps the heat in the room. You can also use draught seals and tapes for windows that usually allow heat to escape.
8) Avoid the tumble dryer
If there’s one accessory in the home that will send your energy bills skyrocketing, it’s the tumble dryer. It’s probably not worth using this winter, as tempting as it can be to load it up and dry your clothes nice and quickly. Instead, hang clothes on a washing rack. They might take a little longer to dry in the winter, but you’ll save on your energy bill. Just make sure you’re well prepared with your washing, and don’t leave anything to the last minute. You don’t want to get ready one morning only to realise your favourite top is still damp on the hanger.
9) Shower instead of bath
A long soak in the tub after a hard day is often seen as the perfect way to relax. But if you’re someone who has regular baths, it’s worth swapping some of them out for a shower. Having a shower consumes less energy than a bath, meaning you won’t spend as much on your bills. Try and limit the time you spend in the shower, too. Doing so will bring your bills down even further.
10) Use rugs instead of underfloor heating
Underfloor heating has become increasingly popular in homes, especially new builds. But it’s a surefire way to rack up expensive energy bills. Therefore, it’s worth leaving the underfloor heating switched off and buying some thick rugs instead. They will help to keep heat escaping from the floor. Instead of putting a carpet down, which is expensive, rugs are a cheaper option.
Being more energy efficient at home
The increase in energy bills has plenty of households worrying about keeping their home warm this winter. And while the government energy cap will help, it doesn’t allay fears about rising bills. Yet, there are ways to make your home more energy efficient this winter and save on bills without spending hundreds or thousands of pounds making your home more energy efficient. With these how to improve energy efficiency at home tips, you can reduce consumption and keep your home warmer this winter.
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Last Updated: August 22nd, 2023