Running a household is a busy and stressful job at the best of times. Add in the daunting prospect of making your home energy efficient and many of us wonder where we’ll get the energy from ourselves to start making changes. But it really is easier than you think to implement a greener attitude at home. Even making small changes to everyday tasks will have a positive affect in minimising your energy use – good for your green conscience and your wallet too.
Take a look at our top ten quick fixes for the home and see how many you can adopt with minimal fuss. Once the basic groundwork’s in place saving energy through more long-term solutions won’t seem so unnerving.
Switch to Energy Saving Light Bulbs
When you next need to replace a light bulb, do so with an energy saving one. Contrary to popular belief, energy saving light bulbs aren’t as expensive as you might think, and are similarly priced to traditional light bulbs. In the long term, each light bulb that you switch will save you £9 a year on your energy bills, making them a worthwhile investment.
Switch it Off
Nearly all of us have forgotten to turn off the TV when we’re not watching it once in a while, or have walked out a room without turning the light off. It’s easy to do, but the energy wasted in the process all adds up. Make these common-sense tasks part of your daily routine, and make everyone in the household responsible for switching off whatever they turn on.
Fix Leaky Taps
Leaking taps are not only irritating to hear drip-dripping, but they also waste an extraordinary amount of water. A dripping tap will waste over 2,000 litres a month, so enlist the assistance of someone able to deal with the problem.
Only Boil as Much as You Need
A watched kettle never boils – and neither does one boiling more water than you need. It’s an obvious one, but overfilling the kettle when making a cup of tea or preparing a meal will waste electricity and take longer to boil. Get into the routine of only boiling as much as you need.
Switch Off at the Mains
Another big energy waster is failing to full switch off appliances in the home. According to the Energy Saving Trust, leaving items on standby accounts for enough wasted energy to power 2.7 million homes a year. When you’re switching off, make sure it’s at the plug socket.
Close and Open Curtains
Before you turn up the thermostat, consider how effectively you’re keeping the heat you’re paying for inside your home. A major source of energy loss is through the windows, and curtains can help keep heat inside rather than escaping out. And before you turn on a light during the day, make sure that you’re letting in as much natural light as you can through the windows by fully opening the curtains.
Turn down the thermostat by 1C
Reducing the temperature by a degree or two has a surprisingly big effect on how much energy you consume. You can expect around a 10% reduction in your energy costs, and probably won’t even notice the difference in temperature.
Wait for a Full Load
Get into the habit of filling your washing machine, or switching your machine to a half load setting if you’ve only got a few items to wash. This will use less water and less electricity per load. Try and adopt set times in the week for washing so everyone knows when their favourite t-shirt or blouse needs putting in the laundry in order to avoid last minute, one item washes.
Put on Extra Clothes
Instead of switching on the central heating as soon as you feel a bit chilly, warm up the old fashioned way by putting on an extra layer of clothing or using another blanket in bed.
Try and use free, natural energy resources as much as you can. If it’s a sunny day, hang your washing out to dry in the garden rather than using the tumble dryer. And instead of using a hosepipe to water the garden, collect rainwater in a water butt or an old dustbin.