How to avoid these energy wasters in your home…
We rely on appliances and machines every day. From smartphones and transport to preparing meals and keeping clean, it’s difficult to imagine life without gas and electric appliances.
But there’s a reality to this reliance. Electricity and gas use is not only a monthly expense, but it’s a huge factor in our carbon footprints. While it may not be practical to cut-out these appliances entirely, we can make sure we’re responsible and limit energy use wherever possible.
Get to know the hidden energy wasters in your home
It’s tricky enough to consciously reduce energy consumption in the home, never mind all the energy we use without even realising it.
Looking to reduce your energy consumption? Tackle these hidden energy wasters as a place to start:
1. Washing machines and tumble dryers
While modern washing machines are built to be more economical than older models, it’s inefficient usage that causes them to be some of the worst wasters of energy in the home.
Not filling loads up and washing on too high a heat are the most common mistakes. Detergents provide perfectly clean results at 30° and there’s no reason to wash higher, unless it’s for sanitation reasons. Equally, if it’s possible to air dry clothes, always do so. This helps your clothes last longer as well as conserving a huge amount of electricity.
2. Standby devices
Entertainment devices are perhaps the biggest waster of energy in the home. But this isn’t because of their overuse, but rather all the electricity they are using when not in use.
Leaving devices on standby or not turning them off properly (i.e. turning the TV off but not the set-top box or console) uses a constant supply or electricity that you never even see.
Biggest standby energy-wasting devices:
- Wireless routers
- Set-top boxes
- Hi-Fi/ radios
- Phone and laptop chargers
- Games consoles
- Alarm clocks
The answer? Simply turn them off when not in use! You can make this easier by having multiple items plugged into an extension lead, so you only have to switch this off at the wall.
For things like your internet router and alarm clock that need to be on all the time, try to at least remember to switch them off when you go away.
3. Inefficient fridge-freezers
How old is your fridge-freezer?
Having an A+++ rated fridge uses approximately 80% less energy than a D-rated fridge. So, upgrading is a great place to start if you’re wanting to reduce your electricity bill and limit wastage.
It’s also important not to leave the door hanging open while in use and to defrost your freezer whenever ice starts to build-up. This seriously harms its efficiency.
4. Draughts and poor insulation
This one mainly applies to the colder months, but the financial impact can be felt all year round. Having a draughty and poorly insulated home means you’re fighting a losing battle when it comes to heating your home, with much of what you pay for sneaking out before you’ve felt the benefit.
5. Old or inefficient central heating
An old boiler and central heating system is another huge culprit of wasted energy. The best performing A-rated boilers turn over 90% of the energy they use into heat, whereas a G-rated boiler can waste more than 30%. This equates to a loss of £30 for every £100 energy bill you receive. Since 2010, it’s been a legal requirement that every new boiler installed should be A or B rated.
Checking your boiler rating is a good indication of how efficient your current central heating system is. But the best way to understand how to make heating your home more efficient is to have a free survey with a central heating expert. They will be able to tell you how your current system is performing and recommend any improvements.
We hope this has been useful and you understand some of the hidden energy wasters in your home – and how to fix them. If you’d like any advice on your central heating system and how it can be improved, arrange a free survey and one of our engineers will visit your home to advise.