Spring may not be the time that we pay too much attention to energy efficiency around the home but we can make small changes now that will help our efficiency all year round.Here are a few energy saving tips on how to improve energy efficiency around our homes over the spring and summer;
A spring clean
A good spring clean can de-clutter our homes and gardens. This in itself won’t improve efficiency but old, unused items such as books, furniture, clothing and toys will sell really well at a carboot sale or online, funding any home efficiency improvements.
Open your windows
Using a fan or air conditioning in your house to cool the air will cost you money. Try to leave windows and internal doors open wherever possible to allow natural ventilation throughout the house. Most modern windows have the facility to be locked open during the night when the air is much cooler. Blinds and window coverings will block out the heat from sun whilst still allowing the breeze in.
Keep cool and save money by eating outside. In an insulated home, using your oven during warm periods will increase the temperature. You will then use more energy to reduce the heat. And anyway who doesn't love a BBQ!?
Let the sun do what it does best. With longer days, we don’t need to use our lights as much. Always switch off a light if it isn't being used. External security lights may be on timers or the wrong setting, switching themselves on during daylight hours.
Hang out the washing
As efficient as the modern tumble dryer is, it still remains the most energy intensive household appliance. Hanging clothes out on a washing line is free and a very effective way of saving you cash. Remember to only wash full loads of clothes.
Bath or shower?
Contrary to popular belief, showers aren't always more energy efficient than baths. According to a study by Waterwise, the average eight-minute shower used 62 litres of hot water, compared with an average bath's 80 litres but some power showers can use up to 136 litres over the same time period.
Switch it off
A tip that lasts the whole year is to switch appliances fully off (not just on standby) when not in use. This tip is even more appropriate during the warmer months as heat will be generated from TVs, computers, stereos and game stations.
When we talk about insulating our homes we tend to think of keeping the cold air out. During the warmer periods insulations actually trap cooler air in. If you haven’t already, consider loft and cavity wall insulation as an all year round efficiency improvement.
Replace your old boiler
Advancements in technology mean that boilers have never been so efficient. While the weather is warm, it might be the perfect time to go without heating and warm water for a day, while your new A-rated energy efficient boiler is installed. Don’t leave this until the winter when demand for engineers is at its peak. If you own a fairly new boiler, see that it is serviced and that your radiators are bled before they are needed.
Capitalise on the sun
A long term investment would see you generating your own electricity. You could save up to £135 on your annual electricity bill by installing solar panels. If your system is eligible for the Feed-in Tariff scheme, it could generate savings of up to £770.