Many of us are looking for new ways to make our homes more energy efficient, in the interests of preserving the environment, to display our green credentials and also to save money on our utility bills. There are various actions you can take to improve domestic energy efficiency and it's always worth learning more about the services available from an expert. For example, you can see plenty of energy-efficient products such as solar panels, insulation, heat pumps and more which will allow you find out about the costs and benefits over the longer term.
Some of the measures you can take are very inexpensive and immediate indeed. For example, you could install insulation within your loft, which will keep the heat in and prevent evaporation. Insulation rolls can be bought very cheaply from your local DIY center and installed with the minimum of fuss. Another instant step is to replace old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs with modern energy efficient light bulbs. Just one change is likely to save you up to $12 a year on your electricity bill. Change all the lights in your home and front yard and you'll start to notice a real difference.
Look at making minor adjustments as well. These include shutting windows before turning on the central heating and turning the thermostat down. Consider moving around a little more and putting on a jumper rather than overheating the room in winter.
You may want to consider cavity wall insulation which needs to be installed by a professional. There is a range of incentives and grants available to help homeowners obtain subsidized cavity wall insulation at the moment and these are well worth looking into.
Other measures may be more expensive initially, but they will save you money and energy in the longer term. Solar panels are a classic example and are becoming increasingly popular. Other ideas include geothermic heaters, home hydro pumps and generators and other services for those who either need to be off-grid or who wish to become more self-sufficient and eco-conscious in their energy choices.
Remember too that energy efficiency extends to the usage of energy, such as turning off lights when a room is empty and not leaving appliances on standby. There is a variety of monitoring gadgets which can tell you how much energy your home is currently using and which can provide you with a useful baseline on which to predicate your improvements and targets.
Families worried about facing the ever-increasing cost of energy are looking to cut costs elsewhere within the home. By implementing just a couple of changes they could save cash and live more comfortably during the winter months even despite the frost and snow.
Lowering running costs
Reducing the cost of an electricity bill is simple but requires vigilance. Switching normal-light bulbs for an energy-saving variety saves the average household around $80 a year in electricity costs while ensuring lights are only switched on in rooms that are in use provides
Similarly, using kitchen appliances more wisely helps to save cash. Leaving appliances on standby wastes around 7kW of energy a day, while storing items on top of a fridge or freezer prevents these appliances from cooling down as efficiently, which means they cost more.
When it comes to replacing appliances, choosing an eco-friendly A+ rated model helps lower outgoings even further.
Preventing heat from escaping through walls and ceilings helps families stay warm during winter. A quarter of heat is lost through the roof of a house and the investment could save up to $225 a year. There are also schemes in certain areas that provide cut-price or free insulation depending on a family's personal circumstances.
Assess any outgoings
Homeowners could be paying over the odds for their mortgages, so it makes sense to reassess loans every few years in an attempt to make savings. Individuals could benefit from the low-interest rates by shopping around or asking a broker to scout the market for them. Additionally, examining the car, home and life insurance policies could highlight potential savings.