The cost of living is still on the rise in the UK and one of the most significant increases is the cost of energy. Homeowners have already seen a sharp increase in prices which are set to rise further. With that in mind, we have put together some tips on how to reduce your energy bills with a combination of habitual changes and home improvements.
1. Understand your energy bill and usage
The first thing you should do before you start making any changes that require a financial investment is to understand your energy bill and usage. This will allow you to work out where you are spending the most money. For example, is your bill high because you are leaving lights and appliances on, or is it because you need to have your heating on regularly because your house gets cold?
2. Switch off, not standby
Appliances in standby mode still use energy. It may be less than they use when they are functioning properly, but for most devices, leaving them in standby mode is a waste of energy. Items like your TV, games consoles, kitchen appliances, chargers and more will not, in most cases, have their programming affected by turning them off at the plug when they are not in use and this could help to reduce your energy bills.
3. Draught-proof windows and doors
When it comes to home improvements, the first thing you should look at is whether you have any draughts. Gaps around your doors, windows, floors and chimney could be allowing the heat to escape from your home, meaning your heating bills will be much higher than they need to be. Depending on your DIY ability and the extent of the draughts in your home, you may be able to draught-proof your home yourself, but if you are at all unsure, you should hire a professional.
4. Turn off lights when not in use
It may seem like an obvious tip, but turning your lights and appliances off when you are not using them can help to reduce your energy bills. Switching lights off as you leave a room will help, as will switching your old bulbs with energy-efficient ones such as LEDs.
5. Be mindful of washing and drying
Using your washing machine and tumble dryer contributes significantly towards your energy bill. Some good practices are to wash your clothes at 30 degrees, try and reduce the number of loads you wash and avoid using the tumble dryer where possible, drying clothes either outside or on a rack instead.
6. Replace your windows
You will be using a lot of energy to heat your home if your windows don’t have a good u-value, which is why you should consider upgrading, either to triple-glazing or to Pilkington K-glass, which has the same energy efficiency as triple glazing.
7. Improve your home’s insulation
The biggest change you can make to your home to reduce your energy bills is to improve your insulation. Most homes have loft or roof insulation, but adding insulation to your walls can drastically improve your home’s thermal efficiency and reduce your energy bills. External wall insulation retains heat so effectively that it can reduce your annual heating bills by up to 50%. It will also make it much easier to dry your clothes indoors if you’re trying to stop using your tumble dryer!
We are all going to face higher energy bills but it is possible to reduce them with a combination of habitual changes and home improvements. If you are interested in external wall insulation, loft insulation or glazing, then please get in touch.