Is your home an energy leak? Even if you consider yourself something of a Scrooge of the electricity and gas world, there is still likely to be a whole bunch of bad habits you have picked up – and need to quit.
We all waste an incredible amount of power in our homes, through a variety of different ways. Some you might not even be aware of – so take a look at this list of energy wasting bad habits and ensure you are doing your bit for the environment – and your bank balance.
Love of light
Leave a room, turn the lights out. It’s such a simple thing to remember, yet so few of us do. Not only does turning off the lights save you energy, but it also preserves the lifespan of the bulbs you are using. While we’re on that subject, have you changed your old bulbs to eco-friendly alternatives yet? You could save anything up to £50-60 a year just by making the switch, and they use up to 80% less energy than standard bulbs.
Never switching suppliers
How long have you been with your current energy supplier? If you haven’t switched in the past few years, maybe it’s time to do so now. Changing your supplier can save you around £300 a year – just by making a phone call or filling in an online form. It’s also possible to get cash back for switching, so take a look around and see what sort of deals you can find. That money you save could go towards a holiday, Christmas, or straight into your savings.
Stop hitting the heating to the max when you get home, and try wearing warmer clothes, instead. If you drop the average temperature in your home by just a couple of degrees centigrade, you could save up to 5% of your heating costs. Try doing the same for your water temperature, too. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your hot water isn’t scalding when it runs out of the tap.
All the devices we carry around with us all day can certainly help make our lives easier. But how much do they cost you to run? We’d like to think that everyone knows that leaving TVs and computers on standby all day and night wastes energy and costs money – but there are a lot of other things around the house that do, too. Wireless routers, hi-fis, iPad chargers, smartphone chargers – and even the oven and microwave. All of them cost money, and while each item won’t make your bank manager start sweating, when you combine them together it comes to a not insignificant figure. Turn everything off at the mains when you aren’t using it, and you might find that you save a three-figure sum every year – with ease.
If you want your heating and air conditioning systems to work efficiently, they need to be regularly maintained. So, if the last time you had your HVAC system checked was back in the last millennium, perhaps it’s time to book an appointment soon. Air con units have filters that need cleaning and checked, or they will start blocking up and trapping air particles. You will need to replace them, too – every three months or so should suffice. Failure to do so will result in higher electricity bills and more chance of causing anyone in your home with asthma a few breathing problems.
Slow decision making
Fridges and freezers are at their most efficient when they are closed. So, every time you open yours and start blankly into the compartments, wondering what to take out, you are making your fridge work harder – and burning money. Sure, it doesn’t sound like a big deal – until you realise the statistic that we spend almost 10.5 hours every year standing in front of the fridge freezer with the door open. And that accounts for approximately 7% of the cost of running your fridge – again, not an insignificant sum of money when you add it up across the year. So, be more decisive when using your fridge freezer – it will pay off.The lazy dishwasher
Finally, do you have a dishwasher? While it’s true they are one of history’s greatest inventions; they are capable of wasting a lot of energy. Only use your dishwasher when it is full, and you can expect to save a considerable sum. While we’re on the subject, stop using the drying setting, too. Turn the washer off and open the door – nature will take its course and dry your dishes naturally within minutes.