eco friendly home

Due to the constant evolution of new, innovative technology promised to make our home just that little more environmentally friendly, we are now overwhelmed with fantastic ideas to help every home to reduce energy consumption. Not only is opting for energy reducing alternatives ideal for improving your carbon footprint, but also ultimately contributes towards saving a considerable amount of money on monthly bills.

8 Ways To Reduce Energy Consumption

Year on year, energy bills continue to rise in value with the overall price of electricity thought to have increased by up to 15% in 2017 alone. Luckily, alongside the ever-growing price of supplying a home with water, gas and electricity come many different tips and tricks which will help to save some extra cash. In some cases, simply behavioural adjustments are required, and for others, you will need to consider making worthwhile, long-term investments to improve your home.

If you are noticing an unexplained rise in your energy bills and hoping to make some lifestyle and property changes to reduce your spend, we have devised a list of our top eight ways to reduce energy consumption.

1. Unplug Appliances When Not In Use

It can be incredibly easy to pop your appliances onto standby mode while not in use, in particular, televisions, computers and game consoles. On average, each home includes approximately 40 different electrical appliances, so you can imagine how much energy is being wasted running all of these at once.

Although it is important to unplug inactive appliances to save money, it is also imperative to guarantee the safety of all family members within the property. Allowing any electrical device to have a constant supply of power unattended is a huge fire risk. It can be as simple as an overheated cord or circuit board failure, and your device is up in flames.

If you are particularly conscious about ensuring that all appliances are unplugged when not in use, we suggest the use of power strips, to make the job easier. A power strip is a block of sockets which allows you to plug in multiple appliances, all of which are powered by one single electrical wall socket. All you will need to remember is to unplug the power socket, and all devices have been cut off from their electricity supply.

phones plugged into power strip

2. Annual Boiler Service

An annual boiler service is vital in helping to detect not only whether your boiler remains fully-functioning, but also whether all components are using energy efficiently. Unless you are a landlord, an annual boiler service is not a legal requirement; however, is always highly recommended to ensure that you do not end up faced with a complete boiler breakdown in the future.

Boiler servicing must only be carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer. Those who offer the service unqualified are not only untrustworthy but are also risking the safety of those living in the property. During an annual service, the boiler casing will be removed to ensure that all internal components can be thoroughly inspected. Each aspect will then be checked for any damage or wear and tear, along with overlooking the condition of pipework.

RA Heating & Plumbing are both Worcester Bosch accredited and Gas Safe engineers, specialising in boiler servicing in Milton Keynes. If you are approaching your annual service, please feel free to contact our experienced team!

3. Replace Lightbulbs

No matter the time of year, all lighting in the home is used, which means that a considerable percentage of energy bills is due to fuelling lightbulbs. In more recent year, the popularity of LED light bulbs has continued to rise, and the cost-effective alternative has now been named the most energy efficient type of bulb. An LED bulb only requires 5 watts of power as opposed to the 40 watts required for a filament bulb.

Unlike many energy-saving alternatives, opting to fit LED lightbulbs will not require an additional upfront cost. They will help you to save money both at the purchase stage and when powering in the home. On average, one LED lightbulb is capable of having a 20,000 hour lifespan, compared to just 1,000 you will have when using a traditional-type bulb. During this lifespan, an LED lightbulb will only cost a total £19 whereas a traditional lightbulb will cost a huge £152.

replacing lightbulbs

4. Use A Smart Thermostat

One of the biggest culprits for wasted energy in the home is your central heating system. While there is nothing worse than a home that is too warm or too cool, constantly running your central heating, even when you are not around, begins to waste a huge amount of valuable energy and money.

Opting to invest in a Smart Thermostat will allow you to programme your central heating system to automatically turn on and off when it is needed, along with setting the ideal temperature. This means, that no heat energy will be lost throughout the day while your family are at work or school, yet the home will know to begin to heat up to the perfect temperature just in time for when you all arrive home. The same concept also applies during the night. There is nothing worse than waking up during the Winter and trying to convince yourself to get out of your warm bed into the cold air. A Smart Thermostat allows you to set the heating to switch on and begin to heat up just before your alarm goes off, so you will wake up to a cosy house.

If you’re hoping to fit a Smart Thermostat in your home, we suggest taking a look at Nest.

5. Draught-Proof Your Home

Any areas of your home, whether this may be windows, doors or even cracks in the walls, that are allowing a draught in, are wasting energy. A draught in the home cools the air, which means that you will be turning up your central heating to counteract the lost heat, therefore, using up even more energy.

Hiring a professional to draught-proof your home could cost you up to £200, so it is often easier to turn to DIY methods. It is a simple task to draught-proof your home and only requires a few initial, low-cost expenses to stop any cold air making their way in. Any windows that are allowing a draught in do so due to a gap between the frame; this can be resolved through adding self-adhesive foam strips around the edges to fill the open gaps.

There are many different reasons as to why a door can begin to allow a draught to seep into your home, including the letterbox and keyhole, along with gaps at the bottom and around the edges. Similarly to windows, gaps around doors can be excluded through wiper strips. On the other hand, a letterbox and keyhole both require tailor-made draught excluders in the form of a letterbox brush and a metal disc that covers the keyhole.

foam strips on windows

6. Insulate Loft & Walls

Insulation plays a key role in maintaining a steady temperature in your home. During the Summer, it prevents the hot air from getting into your property and in the Winter, retains all of the warm heat and stops cold air from seeping in. It is thought that failing to insulate your home will lead to approximately a quarter of your energy being lost.

Both your walls and loft require insulation which, due to the technicality of the job, will often require the help of a professional. Even if you have converted your loft into a bedroom, you will benefit from adding insulation before you begin the renovation process, as it can save you over £100 a year on energy bills.

The age and type of your home will dictate whether your home will require a solid wall or cavity wall insulation. Older homes tend to have solid walls rather than cavity and means that there are no gaps between the bricks to insulate. This means that if you hope to insulate a solid wall, it must be done internally or externally rather than inside the wall, making it a more expensive job. On the other hand, a cavity wall is cheaper to insulate because there is space between the laters of brickwork which can be filled with insulation.

insulating loft

7. Purchase Energy Efficient Appliances

You would be surprised how many of the appliances you use daily can be swapped to energy efficient alternatives; this includes anything from your fridge to the washing machine. On average, energy-efficient appliances use up to 25% less energy than their traditional options.

When purchasing appliances, always look at their energy rating as this categorises them in order of energy efficiency. An energy rating classes appliances from grade A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient.

8. Reduce Water Usage

A constant supply of water is one of the key components in a home and is used throughout the day for anything from cooking and drinking, to heating the home. There are many small lifestyle changes that you can make to help towards reducing your water usage, saving both money and energy in the long run.

If possible, try to wait as long as possible when putting a load into the washing machine to avoid small washes which could have been combined. No matter whether you put a few items of clothing or a full load into the washing machine, the same amount of water will be used. Therefore, it is always recommended to cut out unnecessary washes and wait until you have enough to fill the drum.

Making slight changes in your daily routine will also help cut down water usage. When brushing your teeth, turn off the tap and do not allow water to continuously run; it wastes around 6 litres of water a minute. We are also all guilty when we are filling a glass of drinking water, of leaving the tap running for a few seconds to allow the water to turn cold. Instead of leaving the cold tap running, invest into a large jug, which you can fill each morning and place in the fridge to cool. It means that you will always have access to cold drinking water without having to waste any running the tap waiting for it to turn cold. Last, but not least, always fix any dripping taps in your home. Not only is it incredibly annoying, but a dripping tap also wastes up to 15 litres of water a day. For more information on how to fix a dripping tap, take a look at the AXA website.

dripping tap

Reduce Your Energy Consumption Today!

Through making a few simple lifestyle changes to your daily routine and making some efficiency improvements to your home, you will be able to actively begin to reduce not only your energy consumption but also your energy bills. It may require extra initial expenses along with conscious thinking throughout the day, but we can guarantee that it will be worth it in the future!