Most of us are trying to save energy in our homes - both to cut down on rising energy bills, and to do our bit for the environment! And the good news is it's very easy to start saving energy when you put your mind to it - and encourage your family to join in!
Five very easy tips include the following:
Turn your central heating down - simply dial the thermostat back a notch, and see if anyone even notices! Encourage your family to wear jumpers when it gets cold, rather than wearing t-shirts on a cold day and automatically putting on the heating. A good rule is to ask yourself whether the thrifty post-war generation would flip the boiler switch on, or simply add an extra layer - and be guided by their sensible good-practices.
Install energy saving light bulbs to knock off around £7 a year, per bulb, on your electricity bill - and reduce accidents too when replacing the bulbs. Old fashioned glass bulbs were very easy to break. New halogen and LED models are robust, last for longer, and emit a beautiful clear light.
Opt for a cooler wash - and pick a detergent that is designed to wash clothes at 30 or 40 degrees. This is particularly useful for clothes that are only lightly soiled, and modern formulations are designed to be effective at low temperatures. You'll find that short washing cycles are good for light loads too. Save the high-temperature, longer cycles for bedding, heavy washing and grubby sports kits that are discovered festering at the bottom of PE bags after an entire summer holiday!
Stop automatically using the tumble dryer - these eat up energy, and money. Embrace the good weather - whilst it's with us - and line-dry your clothes. You could also invest in a drying rack, which can be sited outdoors on a bright and blowy day, or inside by a radiator when the rain comes along. Some models also self-heat, and come with covers, to create a handy drying environment, that costs far less to run than a traditional tumble dryer. Look at Lakeland or John Lewis for inspiration.
Finally, only buy A or A+ rated appliances when replacing your kitchen oven, tumble dryer, fridge and freezer. These will reduce the amount of running energy required, cut your carbon footprint, and save you money from your energy bills.