Saving energy and reducing your carbon footprint has never been as easy as it is today. With these relatively quick and super simple home improvement projects, you can implement one or two projects simultaneously and begin saving immediately.
Although potentially eye-opening, these projects do not involve any significant changes in lifestyle, and collectively could almost halve you family’s energy consumption and degree of greenhouse gas emission.
1. PC Power Management
Many computers use a lot of peripheral devices; printers, scanners, monitors etc. – which cumulatively become significant power drains in the home. By putting all these auxiliary devices on a power strip and unplugging the strip when not in use, you can begin making instant savings. You can also adjust your computer’s energy-saving settings – to hibernate if it has been inactive for 15 minutes or more, to stop using power for instance.
By adopting this simple habit, it is estimated a family with two computers can save as much as 1,780 kWh totaling to over £110 GBP annually.
2. CFL Bulb Installation
These days there is a huge variety in the range of CFL and LED lights available relative to the options that we had a few years back. You can get energy saving bulbs for almost any light fitting in the home, including down lighters and decorative lights. Many bulbs even work with dimmer switches which was not the case just a couple of years ago.
For an initial outlay of between £30-£50 and an average of two hours to replace every light bulb around the house – allowing for a tea break or two, you can save as much as £80 GBP every year and reduce your carbon emissions by 2,330 pounds per year on average. In addition, many utility companies offer rebates when purchasing CFL or LED light bulbs, making the investment even lower.
3. Resealing Ducts
At school, we all learned that heat can be lost though conduction, convention and radiation. Given the fabric of the typical house in the UK, the greatest mechanism for heat loss in your home is likely to be convection, or draft. These tend to sneak in around extract fan ducts in bathrooms, kitchen utility rooms and other ventilated areas. You could call in a professional to check this for you, or do it yourself – if you know what to look out for. You should budget around £20 pounds in duct mastic to seal off duct joints and insulate ducts with linear ducting.
If on the other hand, you are not sure what to do, you can have a professional look over your home, and make the necessary changes. While there, get them to check that the house has adequate insulation so that it will not tax your cooling or heating system any more than is necessary.
While this project may not have as massive an effect on your savings as the previous projects it can contribute a modest saving of around 940 kWh of energy. It adds up in the grander scheme of things; plus it’s inexpensive and easy to do.
4. Put double glazing film on windows for insulation
This is a great DIY idea that can help to make great savings, especially considering the initial outlay. Consider applying Double Glazing available on Amazon and hundreds of other stores to any window in the house that it is practical to do so. Speaking from firsthand experience, this takes minutes per window and allows daylight in while keeping heat in the house. The film can stay put for the whole winter – or if you are like me, indefinitely.
5. Join the millions of consumers and switch suppliers
Given the current climate, it’s no surprise that more than two million customers have ditched their energy supplier in favor of a smaller rival over the past four years. But millions more are yet to be convinced about the benefits of switching from one of the big 6 energy firms to a company they know little about. These smaller firms include Utility Warehouse, First Utility, Ovo, Co-operative Energy, Ecotricity, Flow Energy, and Good Energy. Spend some time checking out reviews on Facebook or Google and see if by switching to the smaller firms, you could save some money. For example, we checked out the Review Centre for some impartial Utility Warehouse Reviews and the Utility Warehouse Complaints process to get a feel for how this company compares to the bigger firms and were pleasantly surprise. There is an abundance of reviews for all these smaller firms.