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How to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient in Five Simple Steps

» Windows


Published: 02/23/2015 by David Baker


Follow our tips today and save yourself some money on your energy bill tomorrow.

Many of us feel that we should make the effort to reduce our carbon footprint, yet the prospect of the initial outlay and the time and effort involved in transforming our homes is often enough to put us off. Well, no more! When you cut back on the energy you use, you save money too, and that should be motivation enough for anyone to think green and implement a few small changes.

Here are a few ideas to get you started…


Step One: Improve Your Insulation


Ensuring that your installation is up to scratch is one of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your energy bills. It’s not the hardest task, and many people are able to do it themselves. Take the time to go around your home and add some new or additional insulation to your ceilings, attic and walls. Don’t forget to take care of the doors and windows too, adding caulking or weather-stripping to prevent cold drafts and air leaks. These measures should save you money all year round, helping to trap warm air inside during the winter, and cool air when it warms up come summer. 


Step Two: Upgrade Your Windows

One of the main sources of heat loss in our homes is substandard windows, but luckily there are a few things that you can do to help. Firstly, if you have aluminium frames, consider replacing them with vinyl - aluminium transfers heat very easily, whereas vinyl is much more resistant. Secondly, make sure that you upgrade to multiple panes. Many older homes feature original windows, and these have very low-grade heat retention qualities. Double or triple-paned glass is much more effective when it comes to trapping heat and keeping the cold at bay. Many retailers will sell new windows that are specifically designed to be energy-efficient, and these are well worth looking at when you’re considering upgrading.    


Step Three: Use Your Appliances Efficiently

Many of us use our home appliances unthinkingly, never stopping to consider whether there’s a more energy-efficient way to make the most of them. In fact, there usually is, and you can often find it via a quick perusal of the operator’s manual. Your refrigerator, in particular, is likely to have a special energy-efficient setting that you can switch it to. Of course, you can also minimise your energy usage simply by decreasing the frequency with which you use these appliances: that means making sure that you have full loads of clothes and dishes before you set off a wash.


Step Four: Switch to Fluorescent Lighting

Many homeowners continue to use incandescent light bulbs, as they’re often a lot cheaper to purchase than their fluorescent alternatives. However, although the initial outlay is higher, the latter is much more energy-efficient and will usually deliver significant savings. Fluorescent bulbs last eight to twelve times longer than their traditional alternatives too. 


Step Five: Turn Down Your Water Temperature

Newer, more energy-efficient water heaters often restrict water temperature to 55 degrees. However, older models don’t share the same limitations. As a result, many of us continue to turn our water temperature as high as it will go, even though this is completely unnecessary. Warm water is between 45 and 55 degrees Celsius; any higher is too hot. If you have an old boiler, make sure that you keep temperatures between this range, and over the course of just a few months you could make a tidy saving.