Free ways to save energy in your home – Nicks Energy Saving Tips!

Over the next six weeks I am going to share an energy saving guide with you each fortnight. This content will combine some of our favourite energy efficiency tips from TheGreenAge readers and ones that we think will make the biggest difference in your home to lower your energy bills. With the big energy suppliers now announcing their seasonal energy price increases – now is the perfect time to fightback against these spiralling costs.

And better still – not many things in life are free, but I am pleased to say that if you take on board the tips explored in our first guide it will not cost you a penny. Carrying on the thrifty theme, our second guide will explore measures you can undertake for under £100 and finally if your pocket can stretch a little further, the last guide shows you how to make some smart energy efficiency improvements that will have the biggest impact on your utility bills.

If you have any thoughts on our recommendations or have tips of your own to share – please comment at the bottom of this blog.

You may think that in order to become energy efficient and help the environment requires high upfront capital costs; however if you read on, the 5 tips in this guide actually demonstrate you can do pretty simple things that make a big difference and all for free. There are savings to be made everywhere in the home if you know where to look – so follow our pointers below and see how much you can save on your energy bills!

Check your heating controls

Turning your thermostat down by just 1°C can save you as much as £60 per year on your heating bill. The reason? Your boiler does not really need to work as hard when it comes to heating the home and to be completely honest – turning it down 1 degree shouldn’t really be noticeable.

Thermostat

A lot of people also have thermostatic valves on radiators, so if you have them – use them! If you have rooms in your home that don’t require heating, turn the valve down to zero (or at least down very low). This means the not wasting heat on unused rooms, which will also save you on your energy bills.

Finally – it is more than likely you will have a programmer with your boiler – make sure that you have this on in the most efficient manner.  For example if your house is really well insulated and you have a fairly new boiler, leaving your timer on 24/7 and using the thermostat to determine the temperature of the home is the best way to go.

Conversely if you have an older house with solid walls that gets cold very quickly your best bet is to use the timer so the house gets warm twice a day – as you wake up and when you get home from work / school.

Unplug appliances when they are not in use

Stand-by mode

This may come as a surprise, but when appliances are left in standby mode they actually still use a significant amount of energy – so try to get in the habit of turning them off at the plug when you are not using them. If you have an entertainment system, plug it into a strip adapter so you only need turn one plug off and it will cut power to everything.

Also once items like phones and cameras are fully charged – remove the plug from socket completely. If you manage to start unplugging everything religiously the savings on your electricity bill will become noticeable very quickly.

 

Use your oven to heat your home

I’m not talking about switching the heating off and solely relying on your oven to heat your home here! However if you do choose to cook with your oven (remember a microwave is quicker and therefore cheaper) leave the oven door open when you are done.

This will help heat the house so you don’t need your boiler and radiators to work as hard – but obviously remember to turn the oven off!!

It costs more and it shrinks your clothes…why wash above 30°C

Washing at low temperature

As much as 90% of the energy used by a washing machine is spent on heating the water. As you can imagine the savings that are there to be made are vast, especially if you lower your wash temperature down to 30°C. Most modern detergents are designed to operate at these lower temperatures – so follow the guidelines!

In addition if you only want to wash a half load – see if your washing machine has an eco function or a half load function. This means less water will need to be heated to get your clothes clean – so big energy savings!

 

Avoid baths (+ lengthy showers!)

A full bath will need about 80 litres of water to fill it, while a normal 5 minute shower will need about 35 litres. Obviously the water needs to be heated (normally with your gas boiler) – therefore the less hot water you need to produce the better.

A power shower will use about 60 litres every five minutes – so do try and keep these short!

So there you have it – 5 ways to save energy in the home that don’t cost you a penny. Come back in a couple of weeks to see our next guide!

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