Saving money and helping to protect the environment are two major concerns facing pretty much every household these days. In recent years the importance of doing everything possible to reduce our carbon footprints and slow down global warming has been recognized by a rapidly growing pool of people.
Homeowners are in a position where they can take decent action and change their habits and their home in order to make a real difference. Below is a listing detailing how simple and inexpensive changes can help boost your green credentials and help to reduce your property's energy bills.
Have you seen the light?
It's something that your mother probably told you when you were young but is still something you forget to do! Turning off a light when you leave a room is such a simple thing to do, but it can make a real impact on your home's electricity bill. There's no benefit to having a bulb on when there's no one in the room, so switch it off.
Installing energy saving light bulbs across your home is also a sensible idea. Although old, filament bulbs are being phased out in retail outlets across Britain, there are still plenty of them left in homes across the UK. The Energy Saving Trust says a home that replace all of its inefficient bulbs with energy-saving alternatives saves £ 55 a year on average, or £ 3 per bulb per year.
Start saving water
As with turning lights off, saving water is equally as straightforward. Opting to take a shower rather than a bath and cutting down the amount of time spent in the shower each morning are great ways to start saving water. A cheap way of collecting rainwater for the garden is to purchase a water butt which can collect the surface runoff from your gutters – just make sure you do not have any missing sections or cracks!
Stop! Heat thief!
In many homes, heat loss happens through conduct – it escapes through the walls, the roof and the windows. The latest eco homes are designed to be as efficient as possible when it comes to heat retention, but there are steps owners of older homes can take too. Loft and cavity wall insulation is great for stopping heat from disappearing and now thanks to schemes backed by the UK's largest energy companies, it is possible for households to get insulation fitted for free if they meet certain criteria. EDF Energy estimates that it's possible for homeowners to save up to £ 135 a year by installing cavity wall insulation and as much as £ 175 a year by putting in loft insulation. These approaches ensure generated heat remains within the home and therefore less additional heat is needed to keep the property at the required temperature.
Other inexpensive ways to stop heat disappearing from your home include installing radiator shields which sit next to the wall and reflect generated heat back into the room. Heavy curtains are a great way to prevent heat from being lost through windows, while draughts excludes stop wind from getting into a property and heat escaping under the doors.
Do not pay for energy you're not using
Electricity bills have risen for homes all over the country, and there is one thing worse than having to fork out for the energy you have used, and that's forking out for the energy you've wasted. Making your home greener by cutting out waste is simple when it comes to energy use. Never leave appliances on stand-by for starters. Also, stop charging electrical goods overnight as the likelihood is that they will not take that long. Even doing something as simple as not over filling the kettle when you're making a cuppa can help – why boil water you're not going to use. Just remember that boiling a liter of water in a kettle uses the same amount of energy as the average fridge will in about seven hours.