Easy ways to create an energy efficient home

We all want to lower the amount of energy we use to save money and help the environment. Try to do as many of these as you can.

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Change your habits

Little things make a difference. When boiling a kettle, fill it with only as much water as you need. On the other hand, don’t use your washing machine or dishwasher less than full – two half loads take more energy than one full one.

If possible, hang washing to dry. Tumble dryers eat energy at an incredible rate, so if you have the weather to dry your clothes outside or space inside, you can save. Also, don’t hang damp washing on the radiator: it can’t do its job efficiently, so any energy saving is lost.

Mobile phones and other gadgets should not be left charging. Even when the battery is full, the charger still uses electricity. Also, unplug appliances when not using them and never leave on standby. Some use 75% as much energy on standby as switched on.

Make sure you dust your light bulbs to get the maximum out of your lighting.

Invest to save

Sometimes it’s necessary to spend money to save in the long term, such as buying a jacket to fit over your hot water tank to increase efficiency.

Energy monitors are relatively cheap devices that help to show how much electricity you’re using. Research by British Gas found that some families saved as much as £110 a year using an energy monitor to show where they were wasting money. Some energy suppliers provide free monitors but otherwise they start at about £20.

Check doors for draughts. Keyhole covers and draught proofing strips can help to stop your heat escaping.

A bigger investment is double glazing but it can make a big difference to energy bills and add value to your home. Take time to find a reputable company and visit their showroom to see what they have on offer. For instance, if you are looking for uPVC windows in Dublin, you could check out Keane Windows http://www.keanewindows.ie/uPVC-windows.html.

Other important ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency include loft, cavity wall and floor insulation and solar panels. Visit the National Energy Foundation’s website for information.

Finally, when replacing any appliances, check the rating to get the most energy efficient model.

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