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The effects on the ongoing energy crisis are far-reaching.
With winter on the horizon, it’s not just important – it’s going to be crucial for many households to limit their energy consumption.
Whilst a solution is needed from the government, it’s also important that we as individuals do our best to limit our usage and keep our bills as low as we possibly can.
Of course, many households are dependent on energy-draining devices and in some circumstances, that can’t be helped.
But by arming yourself with knowledge of how to conserve energy and making your home as energy efficient as you possibly can, you are best preparing yourself for the financial impacts of the energy crisis over the coming months.
How Can You Conserve Energy at Home?
In this modern day society, we are very reliant on energy consumption.
Whatever the task, there is probably an appliance that can do the job for you.
And whilst that’s great for efficiency and convenience – it’s not great for our pockets when bills are constantly rising.
So how can you conserve energy at home?
One of the main things when it comes to saving energy is being self aware.
Consciously notice when and what appliances are using energy and when that energy is being needlessly wasted.
Turn appliances off when not in use, keep your appliances running efficiently when they are and make energy saving swaps where possible.
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5 Ways to Conserve Energy at Home
Insulate Your Home
Central heating is probably the biggest cost during the colder months, so it’s important that when it’s turned on it’s not just escaping outside.
- Seal up draughty windows and doors – if you can’t afford complete replacements you can buy draught excluders fairly cheaply (or even make your own!).
- Close doors to trap heat in the rooms you’re using.
- Install thick curtains to reduce the cold air coming in.
- Lay extra rugs down on cold floors.
It might also be worth looking into the cost of loft insulation. Heat rises so if your loft space isn’t adequately insulated your money is effectively escaping through the roof!
If you’re in receipt of certain benefits and own your own home (or have permission from your landlord) you might be entitled to a loft insulation grant.
Utilise Natural Light
It becomes more difficult to make the most of natural light in the UK during winter. Particularly once the clocks change.
But there are still some ways you can utilise the few hours of natural light before you need to turn the lights on.
- Regularly clean your blinds, window coverings and windows. A chore we often forget. Freshly cleaned windows, dust free venetian blinds or vertical blinds that are no longer tinged grey with dirt can make a huge difference to the amount of light entering a room.
- Hang mirrors – not only do mirrors make a space feel bigger, but they reflect light too making a space feel much brighter.
- Install solar lights – instead of switching on electric lights in the garden, install solar lights. Even on a dreary day they can run for a few hours after dark.
- Light-coloured soft furnishings can help a space to feel lighter too.
Air Dry Laundry
Another one that gets tricky during the wet UK winter but that isn’t entirely impossible.
Many people assume that cold weather means that you can’t dry your washing outside.
However, as long as it isn’t raining – any temperature is clothes drying weather. It’ll just take longer than during warmer months.
Here are some tips for getting clothes air dried during winter:
- Check the weather forecast before putting clothes outside.
- Hang clothes on a drying rack that so that you can quickly carry them inside if it starts raining.
- Alternatively, hang clothes on clothes hangers on the washing line – this makes them easy to carry indoors quickly if the weather changes.
- If it’s raining hang clothes indoors near an open window to avoid condensation.
- If possible, dry in a room that gets the most sun.
- And if all else fails heated airers or dehumidifiers are more energy efficient alternatives to using the tumble dryer.
- Remember to NEVER dry clothes directly on the radiator – condensation is not an issue you want to create for yourself.
Ditch the Appliances
Following on from the last point, ditching energy guzzling appliances where possible will really help to reduce your usage.
Here are some ideas:
- Air dry instead of using the tumble dryer (an extra spin cycle on the machine will help get as much water out as possible).
- Only boil the kettle once and retain the extra boiling water in a flask for use during the day.
- Use cold water to wash dishes (as long as there isn’t any grease/oil on them).
- Sweep hard floors instead of vacuuming.
- Use a traditional mop and bucket instead of a steam mop.
- Defrost food overnight in the fridge or during the day at room temperature instead of using the defrost setting on your microwave.
- Switch appliances off completely when not in use and unplug – think TVs normally left on standby, phone chargers plugged in when nothing is charging etc.
Use Alternate Heat Sources
The lower the temperature on your thermostat, the cheaper your gas bill will be.
So if possible, consider turning the heating down a few degrees and try some of these tips instead:
- Swap out your duvet for a thicker tog during winter.
- Have extra throws and blankets on your sofa for during the evening.
- Put on an extra layer of clothing before cranking the heating up.
- Thermal socks and under-layers can be bought cheaply (check the middle of Lidl/Aldi for some bargains).
- Leave the oven door open (if safe to do so) to warm the room after cooking.
- Pop a hot water bottle in beds to take the edge off before going to bed.
Unfortunately there is only so much we can do to limit our energy usage. But by implementing some of these ideas you’ll hopefully be able to conserve energy and make some noticeable savings on your energy bills.