Christmas is a time of fun and goodwill, but afterwards that goodwill can fade rather quickly when the not-so-fun energy bills drop onto the doormat. The winter can certainly get through some gas and electricity, but there are a number of things you can do to reduce your Yuletide energy usage and keep the following month’s bills under control. The expert team at Pump Sales Direct share their top tips for home energy saving;
Cooking is, however, one of the most energy-intensive activities in the average home. To save, try cooking food in batches to avoid wasted oven space and reduce the overall time that cooking appliances spend in use. Avoid opening the oven door more than necessary, as this wastes heat. Also, while cooking on the hob, use the correct-sized pans, complete with lids, and don’t use more water than you have to when boiling.
2. Washing Up and Laundry
After the delicious home cooked meals, it’s time to wash up. Laundry isn’t quite so closely related to cooking, except for the messiest eaters, but many of the same principles apply, so the two can be considered together when it comes to energy saving. For both dishwashers and washing machines, it will take less energy to wash a full load than two smaller loads, so hold off if possible until you can fill the machine.
3. Water Usage
A dripping hot water tap will not only waste water but also the energy used to heat the water, so this should definitely be fixed. If you wash up in the sink, you can save water and energy by applying a similar principle to that described above for dishwashers: wait until you have a bigger load to wash up all at once.
4. The Basics
Christmas is no time to forget about the basics of energy saving. Turn off lights that are not in use, let phones and other gadgets run down almost completely before charging them and turn off electronics when you are not using them rather than leaving them on standby.
5. Central Heating
The coldest months of the year may make you generous with the heating. Keep your hot water tank thermostat on 60 degrees and remember that turning the heating down by just one degree can noticeably reduce costs. Having your heating on a timer can also reduce energy usage. If your bills are consistently high, you may want to consider more drastic steps such as investing in an energy-efficient heating pump or boiler.
6. Keep Heat In
To keep warmth in your home and therefore reduce your heating energy usage, avoid unnecessarily opening doors and windows. Close your curtains at dusk to help trap warmth inside, and try to eliminate draughts. If your home is not well insulated, improvements in this area can reap dividends over the next few years’ energy bills.
7. Going Away
If your solution to January blues is a getaway, you will want to balance energy usage with avoiding the risk of coming home to pipe damage. Leave your heating on about 12 degrees or so to prevent freezing, insulate exposed pipes and leave your loft hatch open to minimise risks without excessive energy usage.
It gets dark early and light late at this time of year. Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs can make a big difference to the impact this has on your bills, especially if you are still using traditional filament bulbs at the moment. Make sure you also turn off lights when not in the room.
9. Rechargeable Batteries
If a lot of battery-powered toys were unwrapped on Christmas morning, consider stocking up on low self-discharge batteries and a good charger. This will actually increase your energy bills, but will be vastly cheaper in the long run than buying disposable batteries for a net saving on energy usage costs. It will also eliminate the risk of running out of batteries altogether.
What are your energy-saving plans for 2016?