Easy ways to save energy at home
7 minutes to read
With greater flexibility when it comes to home working, along with a global pandemic, we’re spending more time in our homes than ever before. You’ve probably noticed your energy bills creeping up if you are at home more than usual. So to help save you some money, and preserve some of the Earth’s precious resources, here are our tips to save energy at home.
Save energy at home and see the benefits
Saving energy is great on many levels. Here are some of the reasons you might want to start reducing your energy consumption at home:
- Reducing your carbon footprint. This is arguably the biggest benefit. Saving energy at home can help reduce your impact on the environment. Even the smallest of changes can make a huge difference.
- Saving money. If you know you’re helping the environment and saving money, it feels even better (and is more likely to keep you motivated).
- Personal gratification. Everyone likes to feel good about themselves – and actively saving energy is a great way to get that satisfied glow about doing your bit.
- Inspiring the next generation. By teaching your children you’re preparing the next generation of advocates and planet protectors. Children are notoriously good at reminding us when we’re forgetting to do what we’ve committed to doing, as well – they love being involved and can help motivate us as adults.
Ideas and examples to save energy at home
Here is our easy-to-implement list of energy saving ideas for your home. When it requires a habit change, try to pick one per household member and take ownership for your choice – remind other members of your household when they forget to do things the energy-saving way!
Unplug appliances and switch off lights
As approximately 75% of electricity consumption comes from appliances when they’re turned off, unplugging them at the wall is a great first step.
A phone or device charger can use the same amount of electricity when charging your device as when the device is fully charged but plugged in. So try charging your phone during the day rather than overnight, so you can unplug it as soon as it hits 100%.
Switching the lights off any time you don’t need them is also one of the easiest ways to save energy and reduce your electricity bill. Also, switching to more energy-efficient bulbs can make a big difference.
Habit building tip: Stick a post-it note somewhere you’ll see it just before bed, to remind you to do a sweep of your home and switch off any appliances you’ve used during the day.
Reducing draughts can help you save energy in your home
Gaps around doors and windows will let your precious winter warmth escape or the heat of summer creep in. Using a draught excluder, sealing any gaps around your doors or windows or hanging thick curtains will help you keep that warmth inside. Curtains are also a great way to easily brighten up a room or hallway.
Know the best temperatures for your heaters and coolers
Did you know that the best temperature to set your thermostat to in winter is 19 degrees? Or that your air conditioning, if you have it, should be set no lower than 24 degrees in summer? This allows your appliance to work at its most efficient and allows the body to be at a comfortable functioning temperature. Turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree can save approximately 10% on your home energy bill.
Reduce water consumption
We all love to have a hot and steamy shower after a long day and sometimes find ourselves losing track of time. The average shower uses 10 litres of water per minute so every minute counts.
Try to keep your showers under 4 minutes – maybe try showering to your favourite song in a quick, in/out routine. Remember that you’ll not just save on the water use, you’ll also save on the energy it takes to heat that water.
Run your washing machine or dishwasher on full loads only
How often do you find yourself doing ‘a quick load’ just to get it done and out of the way?
Whether it’s dishes or the never-ending pile of clothes, it’s time to think twice before running a half load.
Even with an appliance that has a half-load function, it’s handy to be aware:
- A single full load may use more water than a half load but a single full load uses far less energy AND water than 2 half loads.
- As an added savings bonus, wash your laundry and dishes in the coldest water possible. You’ll save on heating the water, too.
If you want to see even more tips for saving water, our post on saving 1,600 litres in a week is a great place to go next.
Reduce single-use plastics
It may not feel like it saves energy, but removing as much single-use plastic from your home as you can makes a huge difference to your household’s overall energy consumption.
This is because the energy it takes to create single-use bottles, along with the additional resources and energy it takes to process them for recycling, means that reducing the number you use can have a big positive impact.
With plenty of options including fabric coated with beeswax to replace cling film, along with silicone, canvas and aluminium replacements for all your daily household items, there should be something to suit most people.
Habit building tip: Start small and work through your single-use plastics slowly, using up anything in your cupboards before you replace it with a more sustainable option.
Reuse scrap paper
We all have those pesky bits of paper lying around the house – so why not make use of it? Collate all of the un-official paper in your house and create fun notepads for the kids to draw on, to write your shopping lists on, or even have some fun making origami.
The UK population consumes around 95 million cups of coffee per day and one clever company has decided to make their stand and try to reduce the amount of coffee grounds that are disposed of.
Coffee logs are compacted coffee grounds that can be burnt on a fire or woodburning stove. The logs result in 80% fewer carbon emissions than if the grounds went straight to landfill. They also burn 20% longer and 20% hotter than wood logs.
There are a few quick and simple ways to reduce your energy consumption in the kitchen:
- Use the right size pan for your meal to avoid unnecessarily heating a vast expanse of pan that’s not being used.
- Use the right size pan for the hob you’re using – the edge of the flame (gas) or the outer ring of the hob (halogen, ceramic or induction) should not pass the edge of your pan.
- Avoid opening the oven door to peek at food while cooking. You’re letting out a lot of heat and the oven needs to work harder to bring it back up to temperature.
- Cooking in the microwave rather than heating the oven can save energy too so if something can be microwaved that’s usually your best bet.
- As a fridge runs on an internal thermostat, pre-planning and defrosting food in the fridge (instead of on the counter) means that while your food defrosts it’s helping to keep the fridge cool.
- Repurpose glass jars and bottle into storage containers (replacing plastic) in your fridge, pantry, bathroom, bedroom or even shed! You can then refill them at your local refill shop or buy in bulk to save buying more plastic.
Let the sunshine in
You want to make the most of those sunny winter days (especially in the UK when they’re few and far between!). So throw your curtains or blinds wide open and let the light in. This will help heat your home naturally and elevate your mood.
Save energy at home – bigger steps
Saving energy around the house can be simple and cost-effective like the points above, or advanced and considered an investment. Some longer-term ideas could include:
- Good insulation
- Installing double or triple glazing. This can make a huge difference to older houses.
- Solar panels for electricity or a solar hot water system
- Landscaping the garden to make it more water wise.
These are all major renovations and may not be within reach for those of us just starting on our energy-saving journey, but could be good to add to the list of future aspirations.
Which energy-saving tips will you choose for your home?
As you can see, whether you’re in the advanced stages of energy saving, or you’re dipping your first toe in the water, there is still plenty that we can do to reduce our energy use at home.
If you’re ready to take on your energy consumption head-on, you can download the Ailuna app today by clicking the links below.
Why not start with one of the following dares:
- Switch the lights off
- It’s cool to turn the heating down
- Save water, save energy