How to make your home more energy efficient in 2023
Weather withstanding, the current financial climate and its various pressures are forcing the issue of energy efficiency into everyday life. While it may seem daunting to be responsible for adapting your home to be more energy efficient, there are a variety of ways you can improve energy efficiency at home. In this article, we look at simple ways you can adopt an energy-conserving attitude at home, small steps you can take to increase efficiency, and structural measures you can take long-term to seal in heat and your monthly outgoings.
8 Easy Steps to take to improve efficiency in your home
Before tackling the major maneuvers that may require a hefty budget here are a few steps to consider in changing your domestic habits to conserve energy around the home.
- Once your appliances have charged disconnect them from their power source.
- Consider changing your kitchen appliances to efficient electrical ones which reduce the need for gas cooking
- Fit radiator valves so you can set the temperatures in each room according to usage.
- Use the timer on your heating system so that you can be more efficient in the long run.
- Old fashioned traditions like hot water bottles and draft excluders have their place in every home.
- Defrost your freezer regularly so it is more efficient.
- Decrease the temperature settings on your washing appliances where possible so each wash is more economical
- Seal up thermal gaps under doors with insulations strips
Introduce energy-saving fixtures
As the government moves towards carbon-neutral goals, many appliances which are not efficient are being phased out. This can be seen most evidently with light bulbs, as LEDs supersede the market. Switching to LED light bulbs can make a big difference to your energy consumption. Smart meters and smart sensors are designed to help you monitor energy use and smart sensor systems can be set up in the home so that lights turn off when rooms are not in use. Phasing out power hungry appliances in your home and replacing them with more efficient ones makes good use of all the technological advances that are bringing efficiency to the fore. Similarly, you can make small alterations in the bathroom with low-flush, water-saving showerheads, and reduced flow taps. Minimizing resource loss all around will help reduce the sense of financial drain.
How to make an old house more energy efficient
Victorian and Edwardian homes have the period charm but now come with horrifying heating costs. Heating inefficiencies can be tackled in various ways. Solid wall insulation involves fixing insulation boards to the internal walls, and or fixing insulation materials to the external walls. It may seem an overwhelming prospect to draft proof and insulate an older building but there are guidelines out there. For example Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings – Insulating Solid Walls can give specific guidance to period home owners. In the case of suspended timber floors, it is possible to easily insulate the floor by lifting the floorboards and adding mineral wool insulation below a layer of netting. This also affords you the opportunity to seal any gaps in the floorboards as you fix them back. Guides to sealing in the heat in older homes suggest these five steps.
- Upgrade your boiler to a more efficient model
- Insulate loft, walls, and floor where possible
- Install renewable energy sources
- Install a smart meter to monitor energy usage
- Consider double and triple-glazing windows where necessary
Renewable energy sources
Learning more about renewable energy sources and how they could benefit your house is important. Government grants have been set up to assist low-income households improve their Energy Performance rating and reduce their carbon footprints. Energy Performance ratings range from A- G and are necessary for renting and selling properties. They give you an indication of how much you may have to spend a year on utilities if you take on that property. These grants focus on insulation, upgraded boilers, and the use of solar panels and heat pumps. Households can do a postcode check to see if they are eligible for these new grants. While solar panels have become a familiar sight in the UK over the last decades, heat pumps are a new household name.
As part of government grant schemes to improve energy efficiency air source heat pumps are becoming more widespread. Electricity is a low-carbon energy source as more and more sources of renewable energy are connected to the grid. As part of the push to reach zero carbon emissions heat pumps are being prioritized and are easy to install. An air source heat pump (ASHP) captures heat from outside and then directs it into the heating system in your home. The government aims to install millions of heat pumps in the UK over the next years. Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) work in a similar way but the pipe is buried in the ground. To evaluate whether a heat pump will work for you get a quote based on the size of your house.
Changing energy consumption habits
Houses built before 1930 are from a completely different era, and so making them energy efficient is a process, but a worthwhile one. For all homes, there will be benefit into looking into what options are most suitable for your particular house. In this new time where energy conservation is a domestic priority adaptation is key. Until the energy crisis arose and climate change became a pressing concern it was possible to continue to live liberally with the resources of power, water, and heat that we were fortunate to develop in homes since the 1950’s. Now a different approach is required, but with a change in attitude, habit and some investment in renewable energy and insulation, it is likely that the energy crisis will not be such a critical one for some households in the United Kingdom.
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