We're in October 2022 and facing the highest energy prices we have ever seen - whilst they are capped for two years at £2,500 for the annual consumption of an average household, they have still increased by 120 per cent compared to this time last year. With these high prices and the general need to save all we can on the way to a net zero future, learning how to save energy at home has never been more important. In view of the colder months incoming, we have compiled some simple, cost-effective tips on how to save energy in your home.
1. Layout your space for better circulation When choosing layouts for your rooms, try to allow consistent airflow throughout and to avoid blocking any air vents, so that your heaters won't be using as much energy to heat up the rooms. If your space is prone to drafts, opt for furniture that is more dense, or chairs with high backs, or skirting.
2. Be clever with paint colours
Not only can colour choice affect your wellbeing, but it can also make your home more efficient. Lighter, brighter colours will decrease the need for excess lighting as these colours reflect light, whereas darker colours absorb heat and light, decreasing the need for heating.
3. Flooring for hot and cold weather
Following on from the above, the same concept regarding colour applies to flooring and rugs. It's also worth noting that carpets and rugs are better at absorbing heat. The great thing about rugs is that they are flexible, so you can remove them in the summer months when you'll want your home to be cooler.
4. Invest in ceiling fans Newer ceiling fans have the function to rotate in both directions. In the colder months, use the reverse switch so the fan pushes the warm air trapped air near the ceiling down towards your living space.
Did you know...
Turning down the thermostat by just 1 degree could save £85+ and up to 360kg carbon dioxide each year?
5. Use LED Lightbulbs When choosing light sources, always try to opt for LED lights. They may be slightly more expensive on one-off purchases, but they last approximately 25x longer than traditional lights, and save an estimated 75% of energy costs per year! [energy.gov]
6. Windows In colder seasons, thermal curtains are fantastic at keeping in heat, while airy drapes are great for letting cool air in. Thermal blackout blinds or curtains are also good if you tend to have a lot of warm light flowing into your space, which can heat up a room drastically. Make sure to keep these closed in the night to keep the hot air in! If you want to go the whole hog, consider window treatments. There are now options to have a reflective side in warmer seasons, and a heat absorbing side in cold seasons - these can usually be reversed and can ultimately save money on your bills.
7. Replace your boiler
According to British Gas, new boiler models can save you up to £580 per year! If you cant afford to do this, Homeserve is a great resource to find cheap boiler insurance to save you money on repairs. If you're aiming to make an even bigger impact, explore options including air source heat pumps.
If you haven't done so already, one of the most effective measures is to invest in better insulation, as this can greatly improve heat regulation and retention and reduce your energy bill significantly. Please note that while loft insulations is a simple and effective methods, other forms of insulation may require consulting an architect or an experienced contractor if you decide to do this!
We'll always sneak plants in the list somewhere! Did you know that by having several plants inside your home, can have a beneficial impact? Plants release moisture into the air which can reduce the temperature on a hot day and warm it up on a cooler day. Now we have another reason to fill our homes with plants so they not only look beautiful, they can also save you money!
Did you know...
Overfilling the kettle is making us waste £68 million worth of energy per year as a country?
- British Gas
10. Natural Lighting
There are many instances where you should utilise natural lighting when designing your home, and here's another. It's a no brainer that when more light fills your space, the less requirement for artificial lighting, so in turn, saves electricity. If this is not possible, then consider light tunnels - it's surprising how effective these are. Another clever idea is to use mirrors to reflect natural light near windows, making the space feel brighter during the day.
10. Phantom Load
Nope, it's not a new Star Wars movie, Phantom Load is a term for when energy is invisibly drained without users necessarily knowing about it. The Energy Saving Trust revealed that the average UK household could be wasting £140 a year through their Phantom Load! If we all were to make an effort to switch off collectively, it could make a saving of almost £4 billion across the UK.
Don't let it go to waste!
Once you've finished cooking or baking, why not try opening the oven door and let the heat add some warmth to your kitchen.
11. Bath vs. shower
We assume that showers use less water than baths, but it seems we could be wrong! According to npower, four in five of us (81 per cent) believe this to be true, yet our power shower could be using a whopping 50 litres of water more than what we'd put in a bath. The Energy Saving Trust predicts that a water-efficient shower head could save one household up to £195 a year.
Vivus is an interior architectural design company based on the Isle of Wight. We hope you have found these tips useful! If you need any assistance designing your interior spaces or reconfiguring your layout, then please get in contact. In the meantime, take a look at our portfolio to view some of our previous projects.
For more useful information regarding energy, visit Energy Saving Trust, https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/