Being more energy efficient isn’t only all about saving the environment, it’s also a brilliant way to save yourself quite a lot of money. Becoming more energy efficient doesn’t have to mean making massive changes such as installing solar energy panels on your home, as there are a number of simple changes you can make in order to improve your efficiency – helping the environment, and your wallet. Read on to find out how!
Insulate Your Home
If you don’t have insulation in your home, you could be wasting a lot of energy and money when you turn on your heating system. Installing new, or even adding more, insulation to your walls, ceilings, and pipes will help to prevent any leaks of air and cold drafts, meaning that warm air will be trapped inside when you heat your home during the winter. Insulation will also serve as a way to trap cool air from the air conditioning during the hot summer months, saving extra energy and money if you choose to install an energy-efficient air-con system. If you’re unsure about the cost of installing insulation in your home, check with your local government as many areas may have schemes offering free or reduced insulation for those who qualify.
Change Your Windows
Although refitting or revamping your windows can be quite an expensive investment, doing so is often an effective way of saving you a lot of money on your energy bills in the long run. If you have aluminum window frames, these can let heat out very quickly, so replacing them with vinyl frames is a great step towards making your home more energy efficient. Investing in multiple panes is also a great way to help insulate your home – double, or even argon-gas filled windows with triple panes are a great way to keep out the cold and trap the heat in. Keeping your blinds and curtains open is also a really simple yet effective way to become more energy efficient – natural sunlight costs nothing!
Be Efficient with Appliances
The electrical appliances you use at home such as the washing machine, tumble dryer, refrigerator and dishwasher may be essential to your everyday life, but they also have the potential to use up loads of unnecessary energy if you don’t know how to use them efficiently. For this reason, it’s always a great idea to refer to your manufacturer’s handbook each time you purchase a new appliance, which will show you which is the most energy efficient way to use it. As the refrigerator is the only appliance in the home that will need to stay on all the time, you should ensure that it’s switched on to the most energy efficient setting. If you take a vacation, you should always unplug your appliances – even if they’re switched off, still being plugged into the mains power supply can use up unnecessary energy.
Switch Light Bulbs
The type of light bulbs that you use to light your home can have a significant impact on how energy efficient your home is. Although incandescent light bulbs are cheaper, they can often use more energy and don’t last very long. Switching to fluorescent light bulbs can save a considerable amount of energy, as even though they are more expensive to purchase initially, they last around 8-10 times longer than their fluorescent counterparts, meaning that you’ll save energy – and money – in the long run. You can also buy specially designed energy saving light bulbs which will have a great overall impact on how energy efficient your home is.
Plant a Tree
If you have a garden or a yard that’s big enough to plant a tree, doing so will help your home become more energy efficient naturally. Planting a tree – or trees – on the side of your home that gets the most exposure from the sun during the summer months will help to provide shade during the hottest time of the day and naturally keep your home cooler, creating a lesser need to install air-conditioning systems. As the tree will be bare in the winter, it will also act as a way to let sunshine and warmth into your home during the warmest time of the day in the winter months, meaning that your home won’t lose any heat during colder weather.
If you’ve got any helpful tips or advice that you think will be useful to those wanting to make their home more energy efficient, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.