For many of us who are battling the snow, the urge to turn up our thermostats or leave on our radiators for longer periods of time can be an easy solution to follow, unaware that our use of energy has a dramatic impact on both our energy bills and of course the environment. It is little wonder why ‘Blue Planet’ became 2017’s most watched programme, drawing attention to how our use of plastic was affecting the oceans and the fishes and mammals habitat. And while it is great that more people are paying attention to their ‘plastic consumption’ we should also take into account how our use of energy sources like ‘heated showers’ or radiators are also having an impact on the environment. In fact did you know that fossil fuels that are used to heat our homes such as coal, natural gas and oil release toxic chemicals that not only pollute our air and water but also produce the vast majority of global warming emissions too?In other words the non-renewable energy sources like natural gas are ‘unsustainable methods’ of energy because they will run out one day and we need to seek more renewable, sustainable ways of creating an energy efficient home.
Fossil Fuels are damaging our planet, but it is not just our heating that is releasing greenhouse gas emissions; from how much time we spend in the shower, to what we are we using to heat our food, all these activities that we carry out in the home, contribute to how much energy we are using and its impact on the environment. In fact many of these fossil fuels that we use to heat up our home will run out in our lifetime, with oil expected to run out in as little as 50 years and natural gas in 70 years. It’s a daunting fact knowing that what we have relied on for heat and warmth for so many years will run out. And while there are more sustainable, eco-friendly renewable sources of energy like ‘biomass’ (made from animal waste or plant extraction like ‘rape seed’) and ‘wood’ , many activists would state that these renewable sources of energy might be sustainable but they are having an impact on the environment nevertheless. Despite the politicization of ‘climate change’ and how our actions in the home have a direct impact on the state of our environment, there are still simple changes that we can obtain to create a more energy efficient home.
- Turn Down Your Thermostat By 1° : You Can Save £60 Per Year
It goes without saying that how much energy we are using in the home, especially during harsh winters or the ‘Snowmageddon’ that we are currently facing, will prompt us to switch our radiators on to the max, because let’s face it, we are freezing cold. But by turning down our thermostat by 1°, not only can we save £60 a year but we also can prolong how much time we can use non-renewable energy sources like coal, in an attempt to not ‘stop climate change’ but to reduce the amount of poisonous greenhouse gases that are being emitted into the atmosphere. In order to understand how we can reduce our use of unsustainable energy sources and keep warm in the process, we need to understand the way that central heating works. Of course making sure that you layer up and wear as many warm clothes as possible will help, but sometimes it is looking at how your house is structured that can determine how you can make your home warmer without using fossil fuels.
- Turning Down Your Thermostat will make you feel colder so make sure you wear as many warm layers as possible. My home is frightfully cold, so I will quite literally wear a onesie, a coat, two fluffy blankets, slippers, a duvet and still be cold, so make sure you wear as many items of clothing as possible in the home.
- Learning to understand how heat is loss can be a great way of renovating your home to make it more energy efficient so you won’t have to rely on fossil fuels to heat your home quite so much. For example heat is lost through the roof, the window, through the walls and through gaps around the door. In order to combat this you can fit carpets, curtains and draught excluders, alongside installing double glazing to prevent heat loss through the windows.
2. Installing A Central Heating Pump Or Shower Booster Pump Can Reduce How Much Water And Energy You Are Using
While critics have claimed that ‘power showers’ are not eco-friendly, because they use twice as much energy as a regular shower or bath, for those who do use showers like myself, there is a very handy solution that can enable us to enjoy our showers whilst respecting the environment. According to energy experts, a domestic circulator like a ‘central heating’ or ‘shower booster’ pump can eliminate critics concerns about power showers as this system is not only responsible for moving hot water from the boiler to heating devices such as radiators and showers but is also energy efficient because unlike power showers-which can take a while to warm up- the increased pressure and ‘warm water’ is available instantaneously. Unlike its competitors whose hot water recirculation pumps take 60 seconds to heat up, their pump heats up within seconds, meaning that less water is wasted.
And if you are looking for alternative ways to create an energy efficient home that cuts down on your ‘energy bill’, you could also try an energy-efficient, A-labelled heating circulator courtesy of Grundfos from Pump Sales Direct which uses up to 80% less energy than a conventional D-labelled model, cutting around 10% off an average household’s annual electricity bill.
3. Use Up All The Space In Your Fridge So That It Doesn’t Waste Energy
Now this might sound like a strange tip given that we don’t tend to think of fridges too much, apart from what we are going to eat. But did you know that having an empty or half full fridge is not only a waste of space but also a waste of energy too, as the fridge has to work twice as hard to power energy for space that is not being used? And if you are worried about food going to waste or having a fridge that is too large, consider either buying products that have a ‘long life’ sell by date, or stocking the items that need to be used first at the front and the longer lasting items at the back. You could also cut back on your fridge size by buying a smaller fridge that is equipped to your needs, meaning less energy used and less space wasted, to create a more energy efficient home.
4. Decrease Your Energy Expenditure By Washing Clothes At 30°C
Sometimes it is all too easy to put our clothes on ‘quick wash’ at 90°C, but what we don’t realize is how 90% of a washing machines energy expenditure is spent on ‘heating the water’ when it comes to washing your clothes. And as we know water is a precious commodity so it is important to use as little as possible to be kinder to our earth. By washing our clothes at a lower temperature, not only do they reduce your bills, but they also mean that we are using less non renewable energy sources as well. And this is the same with a tumble dryer, try to use them as little as possible and use your home as a ‘mock washing line’ during colder days. For example using the steam of the bathroom after a shower to warm your clothes, will not only create a more energy efficient home but as an added bonus ‘steams the clothes’ meaning less time to iron.
5. Unplug Appliances That You Are Not Using/Switch Off Plugs To Reduce Energy Used
We all guilty of leaving plugs on when we are not using them and lights on in rooms that we are not even in and that’s ok, change is gradual and something that we learn with time. I only turn lights on when it is pitch black and I can’t see and try to use energy efficient bulbs that will reduce my impact on the environment. I also switch off plugs when I am no longer using them, and will only charge my phone when it has ‘completely died’ to reduce how many times I am using energy to fuel it. You should also note that it is important to turn devices ‘off’ and not on standby, as having a device on standby wastes unnecessary energy.
What Are Your Top Tips On Creating A More Energy Efficient Home?
Please note this is a collaborative post with Pump Sales Direct but all thoughts are my own.