We all know it’s getting a lot colder and a lot darker, which means one thing – bigger bills! Where it’s getting darker and we are losing that natural light we are having to turn more lights on than we usually would. It’s also getting a lot colder which is resulting in blasting the heating all day or at regular intervals, all of which cost a lot of money and use a lot of energy! So to help you save some money this autumn, here are some Eco-friendly tips which will still let you keep yourself warmer.
- Replacing light bulbs – Try and replace your standard lamps with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. These may cost a bit more to buy but they are far more efficient and last up to ten times longer. 1 CFL bulb can last up the same amount as 13 incandescent bulbs and use 75% less energy!
- Add foam gaskets to electrical outlets – Electrical outlets and light fixtures are prime places for cold air to come into your home. The air coming in should be reduced if you add foam gaskets behind covers and switch plates, and use safety plugs in unused outlets. Before you do this be sure to shut off the power at the fuse box or circuit panel.
- Using lighting controls and dimmers – rather than having your light on full notch the whole time, try lighting controls, they will save money and use less energy.
- Crank timers – these are spring driven and similar to old oven timers, limit lights to short duration's where the need for light is brief.
- Check doors for weather stripping – If you feel like drafts are coming through under your doors then you should replace the threshold or block the drafts with a rolled-up towel or blanket.
- Occupancy sensors – these activate your lights when you enter a room and turn off after you leave. This saves wasting lighting when you are not in the room. We all know how easy it is to forget to turn a light off after leaving a room. These are also great for rooms that you don’t use regularly.
- Don’t overuse kitchen and bathroom ventilation fans – if you leave these on for too long they can pull out much of your heated air.
- Open your blinds in the day – doing this will attract the warmth in day giving you that extra bit of heat without needing the heating. Close them at night to retain the warmth.
- Keep your walls clean – if you have dirt on the walls it will make the room feel darker due to the light they reflect.
- Clean and test the furnace – Your furnace needs to be cleaned as it collects all kinds of dust and debris which can affect its performance and could cause a fire.
- Using a thermostat – why not install a programmable thermostat and set it for 20°c, it’ll save you money and it will use less electricity.
- Moving furniture – Try move any furniture or obstructions from vents, baseboard heaters, registers on the floor or radiators so that the air moves freely.
- Have a ceiling fan? – If you do, reverse the direction, the fan should run in a clockwise direction, reversing the direction pushes the air up against the ceiling and down the walls, this will gently re-circulate the warm air without creating a cooling effect.
- Do you have a fireplace? – If you do, check the vent systems and get the chimney cleaned.
- Check windows for caulking – If you have single-pane windows, add storm windows. Even a plastic film over windows will reduce heat loss.
- Get a blanket! – It’s a lot cheaper to warm yourself in a blanket or onesie than it is to be heating your whole house!
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