One of the most direct steps you can take to reduce the impact your lifestyle has on the environment is reducing the amount of energy that you use in your home. Along with making your home greener, saving energy has real, tangible benefits on your life in that it can save you money. Although some energy-saving techniques require some initial financial outlay, in the long-term the money you save can really add up.
Some energy-saving home improvements you could consider include the following:
- Use low energy light bulbs: Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) save energy and money – typically they use one-third to one-fifth electricity compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, and last eight to fifteen times longer. This is a no-brainer – get them fitted today!
- Switch off appliances when they are not in use: Leaving electric items such as computers, audio-visual equipment, and kitchen appliances on “standby” uses electricity. If you are not using these appliances, you should switch them off completely.
- Unplug your charger when your phone, laptop or tablet is fully charged: Similarly, when your phone is fully charged, unplug the charger to conserve power.
- Insulate your home: Insulating your home properly can make heating much more efficient. Some local authorities offer insulation schemes so it is worthwhile to take the time to investigate whether you are eligible for free home insulation.
- Lower your thermostat: Reducing the temperature on your heating system’s thermostat by a few degrees will, over the course of a year, reduce the amount of energy and money you spend on heating.
- Wash your clothes at low temperatures: Much of the energy used in washing laundry is expended on heating the water, so always opt for a lower temperature when possible.
- Line-dry laundry: Tumble drying clothes uses large amounts of electricity, so use a washing line or drying rack to dry your laundry more naturally.
- Cover pans when cooking: Whenever you cook on the hob, always try to cover the pans – this reduces the amount of energy that escapes from open pans, plus the amount of time it takes to heat up food and boil water.