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Make your home energy efficient this summer

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It’s time to switch your home into summer mode!

Now the bright mornings and summer afternoons are here* it’s time to get our homes into summer mode! Here’s a quick checklist of things that could make your home more energy efficient this summer and hopefully save you a few pounds here and there.

–       Time to stop using that tumble drier

The sun is shining and there’s a slight breeze in the air, now is the time to get that washing back on the line. Don’t have a garden? Invest in an air drier to hang your washing on. Leave it in front of a sunny window and the chances are your washing will be dry by evening! Here’s a useful insight into how much your tumble drier costs in a year.

–       Keep rooms naturally cool: no need for electric fans

Now the sun is shining, our homes will begin to get warmer as we crack open our blinds and curtains and let the ‘feel good’ sunshine in. If your rooms are getting too hot, especially your bedroom when it comes to an evening (no one likes going to sleep in a sticky humid room), try keeping your blinds closed or at least tilted during the day. Doing this will prevent the direct sunlight from heating your room. Likewise, leaving a window open at the same time allows fresh air in. If you can, try opening windows on opposite sides of the house to allow the circulation of air. If you really feel the need for an electric fan, make sure it’s placed by an open window, this will allow cooler air to be drawn into the room.

–       Check your fridge temperature

During the winter when our homes are cooler it’s likely we’ve knocked down the dial on the fridge to prevent the likes of our cucumbers becoming frozen.  Now’s the time to check things are still being chilled. A fridge thermometer is a really good way to make sure your food is kept below 5 ºC (41 °F). Although moving this setting costs a little more on electricity it will prevent you wasting money on your weekly shop that’s perished in the higher temperatures. Whilst we’re talking fridges, try to ensure a there’s a good circulation of air around the inside of your fridge. A tightly packed fridge will be pretty inefficient due to the lack of room for air circulation. On the other hand, a tightly packed freezer will operate more efficiently, so get those ice cube trays filling up the gaps! You’ll thank me when you’re relaxing with an ice cold drink!

–       Human radiator and hot sockets

Ever went to remove a plug and found that it’s pretty warm? Things like laptop, tablet and phone chargers all produce heat when plugged in. If you sleep with your windows and doors shut you’ll find your room gets pretty hot in the summer come morning, this is because whilst you’re lying there fast sleep, your body is effectively a radiator heating your room. In addition to your human radiator, your plugs add to the room temperature even if it’s only a tiny amount. The smaller your bedroom is, the more significant this will be! Try getting into the habit of removing or switching off these plugs when you’re done, in addition to opening your bedroom door and/or window to allow air to circulate your home. It will save you money as well as keep you slightly cooler. Check out our blog post for more information on how much can be saved through your plugs!

–       Check your boiler settings

If like me you have an electric boiler and in the winter you found that your hot water wasn’t getting hot enough on the cold mornings or lasting the whole day, resulting in cracking up the heating duration, have a quick revisit and see if there’s any room to reduce it. The same can apply to your gas boiler too. You’ll find that in the summer the water going into your boiler isn’t as cold as in the winter, so you might be able to save a little here. Take a couple of days to try this out, reduce the time it’s on gradually and see if you have enough hot water to last the day – but don’t blame me if you end up with a cold shower on an evening…. it’s a balancing act!

– Do you really need your heating on?

Now the shorts are out, and the summer dresses are on, it can feel quite cold when you return home to your nice cool house having followed all the helpful tips above. Don’t be tempted to reach for that thermostat, just because you’re wearing less clothes! Reach for that jumper or pair of trousers first!

Over to you now, what things have you changed in your house now it’s summer? Which areas do you need help on now heating it’s your primary energy cost? Let us know Tweet us @TheEnergyCom  or post on our forum!

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*please don’t hate me if it rains constantly the week after this post is live!

  • Nicola Lazenby
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    Nicola Lazenby
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