You could possibly ask this question in an even more stark tone – how much money do you fritter away? The answers to the first question can help make the second much less relevant. Obviously, you can spend valuable time in considering gas and electricity prices, then compare energy suppliers and perhaps examine a dual-fuel comparison. All these can help you make sure that you have the cost of your energy full examined, but that’s really only one part of the story.
Now, let’s take a few minutes to walk around your home and look at some ways that you can be using more energy than is necessary or are allowing heat, and cash to escape…
Examining your Insulation
Depending on the age of your home, consider the possibility of adding new insulation in the roof space or attic floor, and in any walls or basement areas. Next, form the family into an “air-leak-hunt” team. Look for gaps around both window frames, and connecting to garage, or outside, doors.
Take time to examine any plumbing work, satellite lead holes, spaces around ceiling fittings. Where you do find a gap, look to seal it with spray foam insulation, or another product of your choice. In outside walls, you can also find that roof corners have been knocked away by birds to allow them to build nests in the eaves, if you are kind-hearted, do wait until this year’s breeding season is over and the fledglings have flown. Incidentally, if, when the wind blows, your windows rattle, it may be time to replace them. These are a range of actions that help you improve heat retention.
Controlling the Heat
A simple action, such as turning the central heating thermostat down a degree or two as spring days warm up, sounds obvious. Many folk simply forget to do so, and then even open a window to let the heat out! It’s also wise to make use of the timing facility, keeping the house at a cool but acceptable level at night and then making sure the heat is available when the inhabitants actually need it.
Make use of the sun in the early months of the year. Many folk leave blinds shut, yet, even in winter, the low sun blazing into a room for an hour or two does add a little to the heat. Then, close the blinds when it dies away to retain that extra warmth for a short while, after all every little helps.
Appliance of Science
Does your old fan oven cough roughly and then wheeze reluctantly into life? Has your freezer been around long enough to actually experience a genuine ice age? Is that your aged washer-drier dancing across the floor as it fails to really dry anything? Upgrading such appliances can seem like a costly outlay, but modern models are much more energy-efficient. It is worth considering the statistics and work out how long it would be before you are actually in profit from such purchases.
A lot to think about, as well as making sure you are making the best choice in your gas and electricity suppliers. The possible financial savings available make the effort worthwhile.
Sam Travers is an eco-warrior of sorts. He works for a green charity and blogs regularly with help and advice for those looking to make the planet a better place.