If you’re looking to save money and do your bit for the environment at the same time, consider making some quick and cost-efficient changes in your home. In this blog we show you five easy ways to save energy (and money!) with some low-cost kit that you can easily find at your local hardware store or online – search around and they can be found for under £20.
Water-saving shower heads
You might assume that taking a shower is more efficient than a bath, but it’s not always the case. High-volume power showers, for example, can use more water than the average bathtub. If you have an electric shower, this one isn’t for you as they are configured to only heat the water you need – but if your shower takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank, try fitting a special water efficient shower head. The specially designed shower heads reduce the amount of water used – from around 22 litres per minute to nine litres per limit or even less with the newest designs. Fitting a water saving shower head can save as much as £70 a year on gas, and £115 a year on water bills.
LED low voltage light bulbs
Changing your light bulbs to low-voltage LED bulbs is one of the easiest and quickest ways to save energy. You can get most kinds of LED bulbs in the supermarket, so you can pick them up alongside your normal weekly shop. LED bulbs have advanced in years and are now as bright as standard light bulbs, so the only change you can expect is a reduction in your electricity bills. LED bulbs use around 90% less energy than halogen bulbs and last 50 times longer. Making this change could save you about £35 a year.
Change regular extension cables to smart power strips
We all use extension leads – our lives involve many devices, many of which need charging regularly or are designed to be kept on standby. You can now buy ‘smart’ power strips, which look very similar, but are designed to allow you to turn all your standby devices off in one go. It’s also possible to purchase smart strips with a timer, so you can choose them to go off while you’re sleeping. Smart strips cost from around £15 for a basic model and can ensure that your standby devices aren’t draining your energy (and cash) when not in use.
Seal gaps around doors and windows
If you live in a period property, you might notice draughts – new build homes are often well draught proofed. If you’re feeling the chill, you’re also losing heat and money. As well your doors, you should check gaps around windows, floors and the chimney. Professional draught excluding can be expensive, but you can also use self-adhesive foam, metal or plastic strips – with or without brushes – to fit in particularly large gaps, or silicone sealant for smaller draughts. Other easy wins include keyhole covers, letterbox flaps and covers, and flexible silicone fillers between floorboards and pipework. All of these can be found in shops like B&Q.
Insulate your eaves and attic
Hot air rises and gets lost in the cold space in your loft or attic – about a quarter of heat is lost through the roof of an uninsulated home. The first place to start is by blocking of draughts around your loft hatch. You can do this with low-cost strip insulation as you would on a door, or sealant; just head down to your hardware store. Don’t forget to insulate your loft, attic or flat roof too. It’s simple and effective for around 40 years – it should pay for itself many times over and can often be done ‘DIY’, rather than calling in the professionals. Rolls are around £20 each, so you can do areas in stages if you’re counting the pennies, or you may be able to get a grant from the government. Either way, you could save up to £250 a year on your heating bill.
Feeling inspired to create change for the better? Read our blog on the best ways to make your home more energy efficient – some longer term projects and quick wins in this one.
Statistics: Energy Saving Trust.