Many existing houses could be more energy efficient. Adding better insulation, using alternative fuel sources, or creating smarter exposure to natural light will all add to efficiency. But these structural changes can be expensive. But there are options. The following tips will ensure that energy savings are possible without spending more money.
HEATING 1. Lower your thermostat by one degree C and save 240 kg (529 lb) of CO2 per year. If you feel cold, put on another layer. A cooler temperature is healthier and makes you more active.
2. Turn the heat right down at night. Use warm beds with hot-water bottles not electric blankets.
3. Turn off your heating when you are not at home. Dont heat an empty house.
4. Keep furniture and curtains away from radiators to prevent them from blocking heat.
5. Keep curtains closed at night and ensure that the curtains dont hang over the radiators. Lined or interlined curtains are more insulating.
6. Place foil panels behind radiators to reflect heat into the room.
7. Fit radiators with thermostatic controls so that you can control heat levels in each room.
8. Fit hot water cylinders or tanks with thermostats and make sure the temperature is no higher than 60C (140F).
9. If you have gas central heating and your boiler is coming to the end of its life, install a new condensing boiler, which is highly efficient.
10. Take short showers instead of baths to save the energy that goes into heating water.
11. Sign up to a green energy provider that invests in renewable schemes.
12. Have your boiler regularly serviced so that it operates as efficiently as possible. If your home is heated with a forced air system, change the filters regularly.
13. When buying heaters, make sure that they are the right size for the rooms they are to heat, and that they have thermostatic controls.
14. Remember that electric heaters other than storage heaters consume electricity at the most expensive charge rate.
15. Use a space or portable heater instead of the central heater, if only one room needs heating.
16. Heat bedroom areas to less than 18 degrees C
17. Twenty degrees C is an ideal room temperature. Turning down thermosats by 1 degrees C can reduce annual space heating energy consumption by 10% with an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
18. Open fires are wasteful of energy with more than 70% of the energy going up the chimney.
19. Heating hot water account for 64% of energy consumption in the home: you should be thrifty in its use.
INSULATION 1. If replacing the hot water cylinder, a cylinder with factory applied insulation should be considered. Such insulation is more effective at retaining heat than a lagging jacket, is less easily damaged and cannot be pulled out of place.
2. A lagging jacket on your hot water cylinder will keep water hotter for longer and pay for itself in 2-3 months