If you’ve somehow managed not to notice the amazing worldwide downturn in the past 4 or 5 years, then it’s probably best you keep on doing what you were. However, if you haven’t been living in a cave without a TV or radio, you’ll know that times are tough for many. Economies have been faltering, and growth in many countries has all but stopped, so now is the time to make your household more efficient and asve some money. Here are some easy tips to help you out:
1 – Install an Energy Monitor
As the world slowly becomes more aware of the need for energy saving, energy monitors are getting cheaper and cheaper. Some companies now give them away at reduced rates or even as freebees, so see if you can get one on the cheap. They are quite easy to install usually, and allows you to easily monitor your home usage.
2 – Reuse Your Water
Showering or using the bath takes a lot of water, and a lot of energy to heat all that water. If you leave the water in the bath when you’ve finished it will stay warm for most of the night, helping to heat the house. Once it’s cooled you can use it to water the garden, or invest in a grey water recycling systems, and use it to flush your toilet.
3 – Be Frugal
As boring as it sounds, being frugal is the best way to save money and become more energy efficient. Put on another jumper, turn the heat down, turn lights and appliances off and bask in the savings you’re getting
4 – Heating Controls
Heating controls work most efficiently when they can be controlled in individual rooms. This can be simply turning radiators off in rooms that you don’t use, or more complicated heating systems that will allow you to program a schedule. Make sure also that you’re not using the timer to keep the heating on for longer than you need.
5 – Turn Things Off
It seems silly, but not enough people do it. Manufacturers have built standby systems into many different electrical items because of our innate laziness, but they use a lot of power over time. Simply getting up and switching things off can save you a whole load of power over the course of a year.
6 – Check The Levels
Read through the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you’re not using electrical items such as fridges and freezers, heaters, boilers and thermostats on a higher setting that you need. Many people unwittingly run appliances at higher levels than needed, constantly costing them money.
7 – Insulate
If your home is well insulated, more heat will stay in, therefore meaning you need to spend less on heating. It’s simple but it works. Try and target roofs and walls first (especially if you live in older houses), as they tend to be the places that lose the most.
8 – Rechargeable Batteries
As a country, we discard over 600 million batteries per year. They’re costly to purchase in the first place and tricky to recycle. Why not replace all the batteries in the house with rechargeable ones, the electricity costs from recharging them will be far less than the cost of new ones.
9 – Energy Efficient Lighting
Compact fluorescent lighting has become more and more popular in the past 5 years, especially since government directives to phase out filament bulbs has begun. The technology has improved vastly, and now there is little noticeable difference between them and the old style products.
10 – Draught Proofing
Along the same lines as insulation, there are often many places in a house where air can escape. This acts as a heat drain, and hinders the good work you’ve been doing in the rest of the house. Make sure that doors and windows don’t have gaps, and if you can afford to fit new ones look into draught excluders and secondary removable glazing panels.
Image courtesy of: www.flickr.com/photos/jwthompson2
Rob is home energy specialist working for a electricity price comparison site www.electricityprices.org.uk. He is passionate about ecological matters, and loves finding easy ways to save money.