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Increase Your Energy Efficiency During The Cost Of Living Crisis

Friday 05 January 2024

Our experts at Lincolnshire Radiators Direct have a guide to boost energy efficiency and save money. Simple home changes, from smart tech to fixing draughts, can help you capture those elusive savings. With the global cost of living crisis, cutting energy costs before the New Year is a celebration-worthy goal.

Layer up

In these challenging times of soaring living costs, it’s crucial to boost energy efficiency. Making small changes in our daily routines can have a significant impact.

Before cranking up the heating, consider dressing warmly with thick socks, long sleeves and a jumper. Many stores also offer thermal base layers, fleece pyjamas and fluffy socks at affordable prices. Simple adjustments, like adding an extra layer, can delay turning the heating to the maximum too soon.

Similar to the above, more layers equal more heat. If you have laminate, hardwood, tiled or lino flooring, it can be cold underfoot. This can make you feel colder than your home actually is. Investing in a good quality pair of slippers with thick soles will ensure a toasty layer between the cold floor and your feet – a much cheaper option than underfloor heating.

Extend layering to your home by investing in heavier thermal curtains to prevent draughts and trap heat.

Thermal curtains

Thermal curtains, including thermal door curtains, are a brilliant way of blocking unwanted draughts coming through your windows and doors. They’re also a great way of keeping out the sun’s rays in summer, helping eradicate the need for air conditioning units and electric fans – an all-year-round money saver. You can also get thermal curtains in an array of colours and styles making them the perfect option for those wanting to update their rooms. 

Bleed radiators

Although radiators are a home essential, their efficiency can decline without proper maintenance. Bleeding your radiator eliminates trapped air, enhancing its effectiveness by ensuring even heat distribution and preventing cold spots. It’s free and simple. However, if you’re unsure on how to bleed your radiators check out our blog, ‘How to Bleed a Radiator: Step-by-Step Walkthrough’.

Invest in new radiators

Radiators are designed to last between 15 and 20 years depending on maintenance. However, once your radiators have seen better days, we would recommend upgrading. Modern radiators are designed to maximise heat output while minimising energy consumption. They will keep your home warmer and save you money on your energy bills.

Towel radiators are ideal for heating smaller bathrooms as well as drying towels between uses. This stops you from having to get dry with a damp towel and reduces how often you need to change your towel.

While radiators are practical additions to your home, it doesn’t mean they have to be plain. Create a style statement with our stunning cast-iron style radiators. Perfect period radiators that won’t break the bank, they can be seamlessly integrated into any aesthetic.

If you’re looking for sleek, stylish radiators that will be the envy of all your guests, look no further than our range of designer radiators (available in white, black, chrome and anthracite to suit all styles).

Turn down radiators in rooms you’re not using

Zoning your heating system is an effective method. If you have a larger home, where you don’t use some of the rooms, you may wish to turn your radiators down in those rooms. If your house suffers from damp we recommend keeping the radiators turned up a little to reduce this.

By adjusting radiator settings or turning them off in unoccupied areas, you can save energy without sacrificing comfort. It’s a simple habit that can make a notable difference in your energy bills. You may also choose to install individual thermostatic radiator valves which allows for more precise control over heating. 

Wash clothes at a lower temperature

Using cooler settings not only conserves energy but also increases the longevity of your clothes by preserving their quality. Clothes can wash just as well at 30 degrees, especially if you’re using fabric conditioners and scent boosters to enhance your clothes’ freshness.

As well as washing your clothes at a low temperature, consider replacing old appliances with energy-efficient ones. Look for the Energy Star label when shopping for new devices, as they are designed to consume less energy without compromising on performance.

Replace lightbulbs with energy-saving ones

Lights are another aspect where smart technology shines. Traditional bulbs might be cheaper upfront, but they’re notorious power guzzlers and have shorter lifespans compared to LEDs or CFLs. Enter energy-saving lights. For a cost-effective energy solution, LED lights are the ideal choice as they consume 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. 

You’d be surprised by how much electricity – and therefore money – one can save simply by switching over. Moreover, many of these lightbulbs come equipped with dimming features so that users need only consume as much light as they require.

Beyond their longevity, LEDs offer other benefits too. For instance, they emit very little heat compared with halogen or incandescent bulbs – making them safer in lamps around kids and pets.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) also provide an efficient alternative when it comes to power consumption. These swirly light sources consume approximately one-third of electricity compared with standard incandescent bulbs.

They don’t quite match LEDs’ lifespan but still outlive conventional bulbs by nearly tenfold. So if you’re considering swapping out those old-school globes sitting pretty in your ceiling fixtures, CFLs are worth considering.

Alternatively, you could consider motion sensor lights for rooms that aren’t frequently used.

Take shorter showers

While a long hot shower or bath on a cold winter’s night is appealing, opt for short showers to conserve water and reduce the energy used for hot water production. Using water-saving methods, such as installing low-flow showerheads, can markedly decrease both water and energy consumption.

Dishwasher efficiency tips

Let’s head over to the kitchen sink where another major culprit resides – our dishwashers. Believe it or not, dishwashers can be made more efficient.

One simple trick is to ensure you’re running full loads. Also consider skipping the pre-rinse – modern machines are built to handle some leftover food particles. So why waste water washing dishes that your dishwasher was designed to clean anyway?

Get your boiler checked

Ensuring your boiler has regular checks is essential for its efficiency. Routine maintenance can ensure optimal heat production, preventing energy wastage and potential breakdowns. It also reduces the risk of unwelcomed and costly surprises if your boiler stops working in winter.

Home energy audits

Consider home energy audits, which can be DIY or done by a professional. If Sherlock Holmes isn’t your style, professional help can be valuable. Certified auditors use tools like blower doors and infrared cameras for more precise leak detection than homemade methods. Doubting the worth of an energy audit? It’s estimated that households can save up to 30% on their energy bill by implementing efficiency measures identified in an audit – cutting nearly a third off your bill.

Keep doors closed

Keeping doors closed will help keep heat in a room, especially if you also incorporate a draught excluder. Also, unused rooms should keep their doors closed, especially if you’ve turned the heating down in that room.

Long-term investments

For those considering long-term investments, exploring options like new windows, home insulation or solar panels can drastically reduce energy bills over time. These require a higher initial investment but offer substantial savings in the long run.

New windows

While new windows initially come with a large upfront cost, they can pay for themselves over time. A lot of heat can escape through old draughty windows meaning your heating has to work twice as hard to keep your home warm.

Insulation

For a substantial long-term improvement, consider insulating your walls and loft. This can significantly raise your home’s temperature, with potential increases ranging from five to 20 degrees, depending on the insulation you choose. Proper insulation is more than just fluff stuffed between walls – it works by slowing down the transfer of heat. Good insulation makes sure that warmth stays put when you need it most.

Different parts of your house call for different types of insulation. From fibreglass to mineral wool to cellulose – there are numerous options depending on what part needs insulating: loft, cavity wall or solid wall.

Solar panels

For a long-term impact, consider investing in solar panels, especially if your home faces south. Solar power, harnessed from the sun’s abundant energy, reduces reliance on fossil fuels and lowers bills by converting sunlight into electricity. Despite current weather, the savings accrued during sunny months alleviate concerns in colder, darker winters. Installing solar panels offers a sustainable way to generate clean energy for your home, diminishing dependence on traditional power sources.

Eat in the kitchen

Use the warmth of a range or AGA oven to keep your kitchen cosy. If your kitchen has space for a table, consider eating there after using the oven to maximise heat without needing to turn up the heating.

Updating appliances

Let’s have a look at some appliances we use daily that can be made more energy-efficient with a simple upgrade.

  • Dishwashers: a water-saving dishwasher could reduce annual water usage by 1,600 gallons compared to hand-washing dishes.
  • Fridges and freezers
  • Cooking ranges/ovens: you’ll be surprised how much heat (and money) escapes from inefficient ovens during cooking times.

Although energy-efficient appliances may have a higher upfront cost, the long-term savings outweigh this initial expense. It’s akin to investing in a hybrid vehicle – the initial extra cost is offset by fuel efficiency over time. Swapping old appliances for energy-efficient models could result in significant annual savings on your utility bills.

For more information on all things radiators and energy efficiency, please contact our friendly team on 01522 620190 or email us here.

FAQs in relation to becoming more energy efficient

How can I be more energy efficient?

Start by doing a home energy audit, using energy-saving appliances and smart technology. Consider improving insulation and using renewable sources.

How to improve the efficiency of energy?

Save on heating costs with efficient systems, swap old bulbs for LED ones and conserve water to boost your home’s efficiency.

How can energy be made more efficient?

Making sure you’re only using what you need is key. Turn off lights when not in use, unplug idle electronics and install a programmable thermostat.

What does it mean to improve energy efficiency?

To improve means cutting down wastage – using less power for the same tasks. It also involves shifting towards cleaner resources like solar or wind power.

Wrap Yourself in Warmth and Style, Where Comfort Meets Elegance

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