Efficient homes and energy saving in general is often viewed as an expensive hobby. With ever-advancing technology, reams of building work and fancy products to boot, the energy savings market is full of expensive ideas and products aimed to help you save energy in the long run. But, have you ever stopped to think how quickly these investments will pay for themselves? Or how much they will actually save you in a single year? Do they actually save you money quickly?
Many energy saving products have huge payback times, or expensive initial costs which makes them a huge investment for your average working Brit. Plus with the rising cost of electricity and gas, any investment is a big one at this time.
Because of this, we’ve put together a few cheap and cheerful ways to help you save energy, heat and money – ones that won’t cost you potentially a months wage or more.
Cheap ways to save on your energy bills:
- Insulate your hot water system. Loads of UK properties have dated hot water tanks and metal pipework systems. Most of which aren’t insulated. This means you’re losing heat throughout the entire system. That’s warmth that should be heating your rooms rather than the walls or outdoors! Thankfully, this issue is very easy to fix with some simple to use foam pipe lagging and a hot water jacket. Pipe lagging and hot water tank jackets combined can come in at less than £40.00 for the pair and could save you up to £50.00 per year. So, with payback time of less than a year and a very small initial expense, insulating your heating system is a no-brainer in our eyes – it really is such a quick way to save money.
- Draught proof! Draught proof! Draught proof! Whether that’s with a chimney draught excluder, door draught blocker or other draught stopper ensure you’re stopping those awful cold air leaks in their tracks. Draughts have no place in modern homes. Chimney draughts alone cause the average house to lose up to 5% of their energy, which these days equates to upwards of £125.00 per year. A staggering amount! Other smaller draughts equate to around 2% of energy loss – that’s £50.00. So with initial costs of draught excluders coming in at as little as £5.00 for a keyhole cover, get draught proofing on your to do list this winter. It’ll leave your home feeling much more warm and comfortable (as well as save you some pennies in the long run).
- Maintain and improve your existing heating systems! Most properties in the UK have standard hot water, or oil radiators. Both of which need regular bleeding to ensure air bubbles are kept out of the system as much as possible. Bleeding radiators is simple to learn, or you can contact your local heating engineer who would be happy to do it cheaply. The other thing with radiators in the UK is that not all of the heat emitted by said radiators is radiated out into the room. Some of that lovely infa-red radiation is actually emitted back into the wall, heating up your plaster. You can easily remedy this by fitting some purposely designed radiator foil. This will bounce the infa-red radiation back out into the room, helping to keep you that little bit toastier.
- Change your laundry habits. Laundry can be one of your biggest energy expenses in the home. If you wash and dry multiple loads of laundry, using both your washer and dryer you’re spending upwards of £3.00 per hour on energy! This really adds up over multiple loads a week. You can significantly reduce your energy expenditure just by ditching the drier. Air drying your clothes costs nothing, plus if the weather permits you’ll get the delightful scent of air dried washing! Just ensure you dry your clothes in a well ventilated area to reduce the risk of condensation. We recommend doing larger loads only when you need to, air drying where you can and minimising the use of your drier. If you can’t ditch the drier use it as efficiently as possible – dry on eco and consider using some wool dryer balls to help keep things as efficient as possible. In fact why not check out our sister company – Chimney Sheep Ltd for all your energy saving laundry needs
- Behaviour changes are free! Build some new habits. It’s so important to actively look for ways to save energy at the moment, with the costs of electricity and gas being so high. Building habits such as always turning off appliances, ensuring lights are knocked off when you leave a room as well as making sure no electricals are left on standby are great building blocks to generating a more efficient lifestyle. Things you may not have thought of include: reducing the amount of time spent in the shower, boiling only the water you need for cooking or your cuppa’s, changing the settings of your TV to eco or reducing the contrast, swapping out all your lights for efficient LED alternatives – these little behaviour changes are truly an excellent way to save money.
In the current environment it’s more important than ever to take steps towards becoming more energy efficient. With the rising energy prices, cost of living hikes and the ever ongoing climate crisis any changes we can make will have a positive impact in multiple ways.