With rising utility bills and increased awareness of our environmental impact, lots of people are looking for possible ways in which to conserve energy in the home, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the reasonably simple steps we can all take to do just that.
Most people are aware that using traditional incandescent light bulbs is not an energy-efficient choice.
With the sale of these bulbs now restricted and being phased out, people are gradually switching to energy-saving bulbs. However, for a small investment you can actually save significantly more energy by switching to LED lighting.
LED lighting uses far less power than regular energy-saving bulbs, known as CFLs. It does cost a little more, but when you consider that it can slash your lighting costs by as much as 80%, you stand to recoup your investment very quickly indeed. Take a look at our range of AR111 LED and GU10 13w Dimmable bulbs.
If your home appliances are quite old, it may be worth investing in newer, more energy-efficient ones.
The investment should be reflected pretty quickly in your energy bills, but if you don’t have the money or inclination to replace your white goods, there are still steps you can take which will help to conserve energy.
For example, some simple maintenance on fridges and freezers such as defrosting regularly and vacuuming the dust off vents and filters will help them to work more efficiently, prolong their useful life and reduce your energy bills into the bargain.
By far and away the biggest culprit for wasted energy, and therefore money, is items left plugged in or on standby when they’re not in use – a phenomenon known as “phantom power drain”.
Get into the habit of switching off TVs at the mains, shutting down computers, unplugging chargers and any other appliances when you don’t need them and it will go a long way to helping you conserve energy and reduce your electricity bills.
If despite all good intentions, you tend to forget to power off electrical items, then smart power strips could help you. These are multi-socket extensions which power groups of appliances, for example, TV, DVD and digital receiver, or computer, monitor and printer.
When the primary appliance in the group is powered off, the device will automatically switch off all the other items in that group, so this is a really easy way to conserve energy for a very small outlay.
Of course, it’s not just electricity that is wasted in the home. You can save on your gas bills by ensuring that heat isn’t leaking unnecessarily from your home.
Grants are available in many cases to bring insulation up to current standards, and you can also take some simple DIY steps such as draught-proofing windows and doors, lagging pipes or installing reflector panels behind radiators to direct heat back into the room instead of into the walls, all of which will help to conserve energy and have a positive impact on your pocket.