How to Make Cost-Effective Choices as a Homeowner
With the rising cost of energy, it is a good idea to make more cost-effective choices regarding your home. Energy efficiency is very important to homeowners, as it will reduce both energy consumption and energy bills. You have to know just how much energy your home and appliances are using, and where you can cut back on this consumption.
How Energy Effective Is Your Home?
To find out how energy efficient your home is you can go to the government’s Environmental Performance Certificate (EPC) register and look for your house’s listing. If your house’s listing is older than 10 years or doesn’t exist, you can arrange for an EPC assessor to conduct an energy audit. An energy audit is conducted to find out how much energy your house uses. It will indicate where your home uses energy, what it is used on, where it is wasted, and where you can save energy. The size of your house, and the level of assessment that you want, will determine how much you will have to pay for an EPC assessment. Energy audit reports also give advice on where you can save energy in your home and how you can make it more energy efficient. The EPC report will indicate the current and potential energy efficiency rating of your house from most efficient (A) to least efficient (G). An EPC is not only useful for energy efficiency purposes but also for when you want to sell your house.
If you don’t want to pay for an assessor to conduct an energy audit on your house, there are ways that you can do it yourself. You can do a walkthrough of every room in your house and take note of several elements. These include insulation, draught-proofing, heating, and lighting. If possible, with insulation you have to thoroughly examine the loft, external walls, and ground floor. Inspect insulation surrounding hot water cylinders and pipes. When checking draught proofing, look around the doors, windows, gaps, and any other openings, no matter how small. This included even the keyholes. With the heating, ensure that the boiler, radiators, and heaters are working properly. Make sure that controls, timers, and thermostats are in the correct settings. When inspecting the lighting, look at every light fitting and light bulb inside and outside of the house to make sure that they are energy efficient. You should also look at the lights in your oven and the extractor hood.
There are elements of your home that determine how energy efficient it is. These include the type and style of house that you have, as well as the time period in which it was built. The insulation in the floor, walls, and ceiling is also a big contributing factor. The type of windows and their glazing also matter, like if the glazing is single, double, or triple. Another factor that determines how energy efficient your home is, is your energy supplier. You have to make sure that you get the best energy deals for your home that you possibly can.
Appliances Using the Most Energy in Your Home
The energy consumption of appliance groups in your house can be sorted according to what uses the most energy. Wet appliances, which are things like washing machines, dishwashers, and tumble dryers, are at the top of the list due to having to heat water. Second, is the cold appliances like refrigerators and freezers. Because they have to stay plugged in and turned on to stay at a certain temperature the whole time, they use energy on a permanent basis. The third, fourth, and fifth places are very close in energy consumption. Third is consumer electronics, which include things like televisions, laptops, and video games. In fourth place is lighting. In fifth place are cooking appliances, like ovens, microwaves, and kettles.
Although, if you were to look at individual appliances and their energy consumption, the appliances will be in a bit of a different order. The appliances using the most energy are those that have to create heat as part of their function. At the top is the tumble dryer, as it has to create heat to dry clothes. Second are kettles, followed by washing machines, microwaves, and dishwashers. From there it is appliances like computers, gaming consoles, and televisions. Interestingly, fridges are closer to the bottom of the list.
Improving the Energy-Efficiency of Your Home
There are several ways that you can make your home more energy efficient. The importance of energy audits was already mentioned. Make sure that you have the best possible deal that you can get from your energy supplier. If you find a deal with better rates at a different supplier that you like more, you have the option to switch suppliers.
Insulate your loft, walls, floor, and ceilings to keep the heat from escaping your home. Double, or triple glaze your windows to keep UV rays out, keeping your house interior cool in the summer. Draught-proofing your house will keep cold draughts from entering and also from you having to turn the heating up. You can upgrade your house’s heating system to an air or ground source heat pump. Not only is it more sustainable, but it also cuts down on costs by using less energy. Insulating hot water tanks and pipes will retain heat for longer periods of time. Make sure that thermostats are in the correct settings.
Invest in an electricity monitor to keep an eye on your energy usage. When you’re not using an appliance, switch it off, and unplug it if possible. Turn off lights in rooms that are unoccupied. Replace traditional light bulbs with LED bulbs to save energy and reduce emitted heat. Install smart electricity and gas meters that will give you exact readings of your energy usage, and in turn, you will only pay for the amount of energy that you’ve used. Invest in alternative or renewable energy sources. These include solar panels, small wind turbines, geothermal power, and battery storage.
This article discussed how homeowners can make cost-effective choices by being more energy efficient. The importance of energy efficiency is briefly mentioned. Determining the energy effectiveness of your house is explained, including Environmental Performance Certificates and energy audits. Instructions on how to conduct your own home energy audit are given and discussed. The household appliances that use the most energy are listed. Tips on improving energy efficiency in your house are given as well.