More and more people are now showing an interest in sustainable living. Energy-efficient living enables you to reduce the cost of spiralling energy bills, contribute to a better, eco-friendlier world and reduce your reliance on finite resources including oil and gas.
If you’ve been wondering how to save energy at home, read on. Learn about eight things you can do to make your home more energy efficient below.
1) Reduce your electricity usage
This step may seem an obvious solution, but you’d be amazed to see just how much energy you can save by simply making a few changes to your day-to-day life.
Valuable steps you can take include switching appliances off at the wall when you are not using them, using energy meters to see how much power you are using, arranging an energy audit, only washing full loads and opting for lower temperatures when doing so, simply boiling minimal amounts of water and improving the insulation of your home.
You can also keep oven doors closed and lids on saucepans when cooking, cleaning appliance filters, taking showers instead of baths and investing in energy-saving light bulbs.
2) Eat less meat
You may be surprised to learn that eating meat can have a substantially negative impact on your carbon footprint.
A great deal of power is needed to raise animals before they are slaughtered, with the energy costs of packaging, processing and transporting meat also being substantial. Cows also produce a vast amount of greenhouse gases.
We also lose vital water, soil and trees when we use land to raise animals rather than crops, with untreated animal waste being linked to pollution. The Worldwatch Institute claims more than half of all greenhouse gases are the result of animal agriculture.
3) Reduce, reuse and recycle
The benefits of reusing and recycling goods are vast. Recycling bottles and other everyday waste can help us reduce our carbon footprint substantially.
Recycling reduces our reliance on finite resources, protects our wildlife, ecosystems, rivers, forests and communities around the world and saves energy. Much less energy is required to recycle goods than to manufacture them from scratch.
When we recycle used goods, we reduce landfill waste, carbon emissions and incineration. It is also cheaper to recycle goods rather than send them to general refuse. What’s more is that the more we recycle, the more jobs we create, which is vital for a thriving economy.
4) Insulate your home efficiently
We can save a great deal of energy by investing in quality insulation for our homes.
Sufficient insulation enables us to reduce our dependence on the electrical systems we use to heat and cool our homes. When we have reliable insulation in place, we can spend less on keeping our homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Insulation can be added to various parts of your home, including your roof, walls and floors. You can complement your insulation and heighten comfort levels by carrying out additional measures such as covering cracks near windows and doors.
5) Purchase an A-rated boiler
The boilers of today are remarkably more energy-efficient than older systems. If you are still using an old boiler, you could be wasting far more energy than you need to be, paying out more than required for fuel in the process.
Modern condensing boilers can offer efficiency rates of up to 98%, compared to older conventional boilers which often provide as little as 70-80%, costing you – and the planet – more. These boilers extract heat from fuel burning as well as thermal energy from water vapour condensation to supply the affordable heating we depend on.
6)Install solar panels
There are many benefits attached to investing in solar panels. These panels have become an increasingly common sight on the roofs of homes and other buildings for several good reasons.
Solar energy is a renewable power source that we will be able to utilise for as long as the sun is available to us. You can expect to see a notable drop in your energy bills once solar panels are installed as you will be sourcing much of your household power from them, and you may even receive bonus payments if you generate more electricity than you use.
Solar panels require minimal maintenance, and you only need to change the inverter after a minimum of five years. Once you have invested in the panels, maintenance will cost very little.
7) Replace old appliances
There are many appliances other than boilers that you can replace with modern, more eco-friendly alternatives to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Energy-efficient appliances have been helping customers across the world to cut their energy bills and reduce their reliance on oil and gas. The appliances of today need to meet stringent tests when it comes to energy-efficiency.
Appliances that you can upgrade can include refrigerators, freezers, televisions, washing machines and dishwashers, to give just a few examples. You could also book a home energy check or survey, in which an experienced professional will study your energy use and make recommendations on how you can reduce your fuel consumption, providing you with an Energy Performance Certificate.
8) Buy energy-saving light bulbs
Energy-saving light bulbs can help you save a substantial amount of power throughout the year.
Lighting your home can account for a stunning 15% of your overall electricity bill, but you can reduce this by purchasing solutions such as CFLs and LEDs. Dimmable lights and spotlights can be incredibly expensive, so consider opting for eco-friendly alternatives.
Remember to turn off your lights whenever you leave a room and place switches in places where it’s easy to turn them on and off. You can also use timers and sensors to control your usage.
Whether you wish to reduce your carbon footprint, make your bills more manageable or both, there are all sorts of advantages attached to making your home more energy-efficient. Simply by changing the way you use heating and hot water, household appliances and lighting, you can achieve a more affordable and environmentally friendly way of life.
Why not start making changes right now?