2022 has been a difficult year for many people, so there’s no surprise that there’s been a change of mindset in many aspects of life.
Energy bills may not be the most important thing we have to deal with, but we still need to pay them to keep heat and light in our homes. The trouble is the cost-of-energy crisis has caused prices to go through the roof.
The good news is that there are several inexpensive ways to take a chunk out of our monthly energy expenses.
In this article, we’re going to look at five of the best.
Energy efficient lighting
We lose a lot of energy via old-fashioned lightbulbs that are often not much cheaper than their eco-friendly alternatives.
Investing a little more in LED lights makes a big difference. They save homes a large chunk of their annual energy bill by using up to 90% less energy than regular lights. Before long, you’ll find that you’ll have saved the cost of them in the difference in your monthly bills!
You can also reduce your need for lighting by maximizing the natural light your house has, particularly during summer months. That means moving any furniture that may be blocking light, as well as curtains or half-closed blinds.
Finally, when you do have to use artificial lighting, make sure that it is well-positioned. This may be difficult for ceiling lights, but lamps can be moved around rooms to maximize the lit-up space and possibly cut down on the number of lights switched on at once.
Unlike grand old buildings that might house a cinema or casino, although both are getting less common these days thanks to Netflix and online casino sites, houses are able to trap heat much better with a routine installation of insulating material.
While you might think this would involve investing a lot of money in attic insulation, there are actually several inexpensive ways to stop energy escaping from your home. Here are a couple of them.
The first option actually helps you keep your house cool, reducing the need for air-conditioning. Installed in the attic, it absorbs radiant heat coming in from the sun, cutting down on the heat transfer from the roof to the house.
This means you can cut your cooling costs by up to 10% in a short period of time.
Also known as mineral wool, this has three big advantages.
The first is that you can install it yourself easily in the interior walls, meaning you don’t have to worry about labour costs.
The second is that it’s non-absorbent, so if it gets wet or your home gets a leak, you don’t have a water problem to worry about.
Finally, it’s made of a higher R-value than fibreglass, so it does a great job of trapping heat and is fire-resistant: in fact, it might even help control the spread of flames in case of an emergency.
You may be wondering what conserving water has to do with energy, but if you can control your water usage around your home, you’ll actually reduce your energy bill.
Why? Well, think of hot water. Every time you heat it, your boiler or water heater needs energy to power it. If you’re conscious of this, you’re more likely to take steps to control it.
These might include:
- Turning off the taps while brushing your teeth or soaping up your body in the shower.
- Collecting rainwater for certain menial tasks, like mopping the floor.
- Lowering your shower pressure.
- Installing a low-flush toilet.
Not all of these might be achievable but doing just one or two can make a noticeable difference.
Upgrade or seal doors
Did you know that we lose almost a third of our home energy through windows? The main culprits for this are drafty windowsills and linings around the edges of doors and windows.
The best option is to install energy-efficient windows, but this costs a lot of money and may not be realistic.
However, you can take simple steps to improve existing portals’ efficiency by doing several small tasks. Weather stripping, caulk or glaze material are all great for sealing up the gaps where air escapes through. Door snakes, too, are a cheap, easy way to seal up a draft.
It’s been repeated a lot in the past, but not many people associate reusing or recycling products with energy savings.
But when you think about it, the creation of new products to replace the ones you’ve thrown away requires a great deal of energy – something which a homeowner can offset through using repurposed products in their house.
Repurposed or reclaimed materials, including doors, beams and flooring, is a great way to upgrade your home’s efficiency, and there’s a huge range of online material to help you do this.