As trends of an eco-friendly nature gain momentum in 2017, you may be thinking about the changes you can make in your own home to make it more energy efficient and eco-friendly. Whether you have a big budget or small one to make these changes, there are many things you can do that will save yourself money in the long run. Here are just seven of these ideas, and what better time to implement these changes than in January, getting yourself off to a good start in the New Year!
Update your appliances
Often old or out-dated appliances use up a substantially larger quantity of energy to run and could be losing you money. There are many energy efficiency tests that can be run to show you which appliances consume the most, and this might help you to evaluate what should be replaced first. Devices are available to purchase, or your energy provider may even offer one to you for free. When looking to buy new products, you should ensure to look carefully at the energy efficiency label to gauge the amount of energy the appliance would use. Bear in mind that larger products will inevitably use more energy, so look to downsize where you can on items such as fridges/freezers.
Invest in thick curtains
A great way to add some extra insulation to your rooms is to take a look at the thickness of the curtains you hang. Thin net curtains are unlikely to do anything to insulate the room, however, replacing them with thick curtains will help to keep the heat in the room. This is a quick and easy fix that will allow you to also update the décor in your room!
Turn appliances off
There are some obvious appliances that will need to be kept running 24/7, however, others can waste a large amount of energy when left on standby. You can save yourself a little money a year and increase your energy efficiency by ensuring that these items such as TV’s are turned off at the plug so that they are not wasting energy when they are not in use.
Look at alternative heating options
During the winter it can be all to tempting to simply whack the central heating up to full as soon as you feel a chill, however, this is not energy efficient at all. Some energy providers suggest leaving the heating on a low setting at all times to keep the rooms at a constant temperature, which can be energy saving! However, you may want to look at other heating options such as electric fires, these are a great addition to any room, and offer a high-energy efficiency rating as well as warmth! They not only work to heat your home, but also look wonderful, creating a focal point to a living space that will be loved for many years to come. If you spend a large quantity of time in just one room of the house, this will also save you money as it heats the one room, rather than the rest of the empty house.
Switch your light bulbs
Something as simple as changing the light bulbs you use can affect your energy consumption levels. These don’t necessarily have to all be changed at once, but as each bulb runs out, think about switching to compact fluorescent alternatives. Although these cost more initially, they can last between 8 and 12 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use much less energy; so in the long run, they will certainly benefit your savings!
Review your insulation
One of the main sources of energy loss is in poor insulation. Whether you’ve not found a solution to that draft that comes in from the kitchen; you’ve not managed to update your windows to double glazing; or you’ve not looked at getting some loft insulation, these are all things that you should look at when reviewing your energy efficiency. Heat rises, so the amount of heat that will be lost through a poorly insulated roof is surprisingly high! Wall and loft insulation is probably cheaper than you think, and can be a great quick way to keep the costs of heating the house down.
Having a thorough de-clutter can give you peace of mind over the state of your home. Get rid of all the things that you haven’t used in 6-months or longer, unplug everything that doesn’t need to be out all of the time and tidy things away. Pair this de-cluttering with redecoration and your home will be left feeling refreshed. Adding warmer tones to rooms either wallpaper or soft furnishings such as rugs can mean that the room overall seems more inviting and cosy. This works on more of a psychological level, making you think that the atmosphere is warm and reducing the amount you’ll need to turn the heating on/up. Don’t forget to look at adding an electric fire to the room as well to form a homely focal point!