Small Changes That Can Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

window looking onto green countryside - small changes to make your home energy efficient

Everyone should want to make their home more energy efficient. By making your home more efficient, you can cut down on the cost of utility bills and help the environment. Sometimes, the government will even offer to help foot the bill on changes to your home that will make it better at conserving energy.

So really there is no reason not to try to make your home as green and as energy efficient as possible. While we all know the big changes that make an impact on home performance, changes such as: insulating your roof, fitting double glazed windows and installing a new boiler, you should know that there are other options which require less money and work to put in place. So what are some of these smaller changes?

Get Thicker Blinds To Insulate Rooms


Insulating windows is one of the easier changes to make. While you can upgrade your windows to double glazing, you can also make the cheaper change of simply buying thick blinds from a retailer that offers solar reflective fabric.

Thick blinds insulate your rooms during summer and winter. During winter, they’ll keep heat from escaping through your windows and stop cold from leaking into your rooms through the windows, thus allowing you to have your heating on a lower temperature and for less time to achieve the same level of warmth.

During the summer, thick blinds with solar reflective fabric will keep you cooler. As light rays from the sun come through your window, they’ll be reflected back off by the solar reflective material. With your blinds closed in the summer, your rooms will be a lot cooler and not require air conditioning or cooling fans to keep you comfortable.

Wash Your Clothes On A Lower Heat


clothes on washline between apartment buildings - small changes to make your home energy efficient

Most people don’t pay attention to the temperature of their washing machine when they wash their clothes. If they do, they tend to think that a wash on a higher heat is a better wash. Well, the average temperature for a washing machine is usually well above 50 Celsius.

According to confused.com, simply putting the temperature for your clothes wash down to 30 degrees Celsius will use around 40% less energy or around £50 a year in bills. Washing at 30 Celsius will still give you the same results as washing at a higher temperature, and it won’t damage and fade clothes like very hot water will. Just make sure that whatever laundry detergent you use will work at lower temperatures (most can), and you’re good to go.

Swap Baths For Showers


Swapping baths for showers is another really easy change to make at home to cut down on your water usage and make your home more energy efficient. While baths have long been the standard for washing, they are a woefully inefficient way to wash. 

According to Social Change UK, filling an average bath with warm water can have a carbon footprint of 2.6kg CO2e, whereas a 5 minute shower will only have a carbon footprint of around 500g CO2e. South Staffs Water explains that baths use about 80 litres of water, while showers use around 45 litres.

So making the switch from baths to showers is a great change to make. For a family of 4, having a shower every other day rather than a bath would save 25,550 litres of water a year and reduce their yearly carbon footprint by 383.25 CO2e. According to United Utilities, 1,000 litres of water will cost around £3.19, so the 25,550 litres of water that is saved by the swap, could end up cutting the cost of your water bill by over £80 a year.

Turn Off Electronics When They Aren’t In Use 


There are many electronic devices around the house that will still burn through electricity even when they’re on standby mode. This includes computers, televisions and games consoles. If a device isn’t being used, make sure to turn it off properly rather than just simply putting it on standby or sleep mode.

Turning things off seems like a very basic change, but this is a huge way to reduce energy use and become more energy efficient. E.ON tells us that a standard desktop computer left on standby could waste around £62 a year on your electricity bills and, according to Polygon, 40% of power usage from modern games consoles comes from them being left on standby mode. Correctly shutting down your devices can save you a big chunk of your electric bill and reduce your impact on the environment.

So when you think about decreasing your carbon footprint, remember the small things – they add up to a more energy-efficient and better performing home.

Image credit: Rob Wingate; Image 1: Marco Secchi

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