Affordable ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency

In the current climate, with the astronomical rise in energy prices, everyone is looking for ways to be more energy efficient. Many people have not been putting their heating on at all, trying not to put as many lights on, not using tumble dryers and so on.

One of the first things to do I think is to take the time to understand your energy bill. These can be horribly confusing, I’ve always felt that they are deliberately confusing, but that’s just my personal opinion.

See if there’s an option to have a smart meter fitted at your home. We had one fitted a few months back and I feel much better about it as we are able to pinpoint exactly what’s using energy and how much. Ever watched the smart meter rocket when the kettle and toaster go on? Thank goodness they aren’t on for long at a time!

Whilst we all want to save money, we still have to live don’t we. It would be great if we could all just get solar panels fitted or share a wind turbine between a few homes, but the reality is that many people need affordable things they can do now. I’ve popped a few thoughts below:

Switch off standby

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I know this might seem really annoying but you’d be surprised how much of a difference this can make overnight for example. When we went away in the summer, we turned everything off except our fridge freezer. This left the smart meter reading £0.03 per hour for the time we were away. As we went around the house switching more and more things off, we watched it drop and drop.

Draught-proof windows and doors

This can be a game-changer if you live in a draughty home. The good news is as well, there are plenty of cheap ways that you can reduce draughts in the home yourself. The Energy Saving Trust has some top tips, which you can find here.

Add shutters to your home

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If you are up for investing long term, but not able to stretch to solar panels or your own wind turbine just yet, you could consider adding shutters to your home. In other countries, like France, shutters are common place.

Shutters are a good way to improve the energy efficiency of a home as they stop the draughts from escaping and keep the warmth in, therefore improving heat retention. You can of course get these fitted by a professional, but there are also really good DIY options too. Just measure up and order your shutters and then fit them yourself when they arrive. This is a really cost effective way to add shutters to your home. The Shutter Store UK offer plenty of easy to follow guides and videos to guide homeowners through every step, including measuring up windows, ordering bespoke shutters and tips on installing them DIY-style! They also have a number of energy saving tips, so do check them out.

Like with other aspects of home improvement, you can find shutters to fit with all styles and tastes and of course budgets. These shutters are made from quality materials, meaning they are built to last.

Turn off lights

I’m aware how basic this sounds, but you’d be surprised how many people return home to find lights have been left on. The more people you have in your home the more this seems to happen and it’s most certainly worse in the winter months. Despite myself and my husband constantly turning off lights, I return from the school run every morning and have to go around switching lights off before I start work.

Alter your washing machine setting

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Around six months ago I decided to experiment with the settings on my washing machine a bit more. I became aware that I was in auto pilot, just using the same setting without really thinking about it. The setting I used to use took 2h32 for the full cycle. I now use a setting that spins at the full speed still but only takes 30 minutes to complete a cycle. The clothes are still clean and smell fresh but we are using much less power and in a family of six with masses of washing due to sporting activities as well as the norm, it’s been a game-changer.

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