Saving money on energy and heating bills has always been a concern for most households, with some worrying if they’re using too much. This concern has become an increasing worry due to the cost of living crisis and rising energy bills.
So what can be done? Here are some ways to conserve your energy…
Make Sure You Have the Right Boiler
One thing that could be costing you more money and energy than necessary is not having the right boiler for your home and/or needs. The key is understanding the different boiler types you can purchase. Obviously, boilers aren’t cheap, so you’ll want to get it right. But if your boiler is getting pretty old, now might be a good excuse to change or upgrade it if it’s not the right one.
Here are the different types of boilers explained:
Combination (combi) boilers are found in many UK homes, they are the most common and are highly effecient. Combi boilers are suitable for smaller homes and flats as they don’t take up much space. They can give instant hot water but their main drawback is that they can only provide this hot water to one place at a time.
Heat Only (Regular) Boiler
Heat only, also known as a regular or conventional boiler, are ideal for larger homes as they require space for a water tank. They can provide hot water to multiple locations at once, but the downside is that you have to wait for this water to heat up, you can also run out of hot water if the tank empties, the water can also lose heat if you don’t use it in time, meaning it’s less efficient.
System boilers are essentially an upgrade to heat only boilers, they don’t need as much space as they don’t need a tank, just a hot water cylinder. They have the same pros and cons as heat only.
You can also conserve your heating and get the most out of it by insulating your home. This may allow you to have the heating on lower and feel the full effect of it.
Insulate areas such as any gaps, holes in walls, doors, or windows. Get draught excluders, keep doors to each room closed to keep heat in, and even cover your pipes and hot water tank (if you have one) so you don’t lose hot water as fast.
Saving Electricity – Plugs and Wall Switches
Saving money on electricity can be as simple as making sure you switch things off completely. A plug with nothing in it will not use electricity, so you don’t really need to worry about whether the switch is on or not.
However, a cable that is plugged into the wall but not attached to a device, such as a charger for a phone, will still use electricity. So even if you aren’t charging your phone, turn off the switch at the wall when the cable isn’t in use.
Switch Off Standby
Devices on standby mode, so called “vampire devices”, are also a drain, and could still be contributing to a percentage of your total electricity bill – up to 16% in fact.
- Television – the most expensive as this could cost up to an extra £25 annually on standby mode
- Digital TV box such as Sky or Virgin Media
- Internet Router – though people commonly leave these on all the time as they automatically update themselves and this could affect other connected devices
- Games Console
Don’t forget kitchen appliances like your microwave, dishwasher or tumble dryer either.
Remote Control Plugs
It may be inconvenient to keep turning things off at the wall, especially if you’ve just gotten comfy in bed or if the plug is in an awkward place like behind a chest of drawers. So instead, try smart plugs or standby savers, these devices allow you to either use a remote control or connect over wi-fi with an app on your phone.
You can then turn off plugs without having to get up! Obviously these smart plugs will still use some electricity, but it will be minimal, especially when compared with a TV on standby. Smart plugs could be great to use with extension leads, so you can turn off multiple things at once. You won’t even need to be in the same room if you’re using an app, plus you can also set the device to a timer.
Other Smart Devices
As well as smart plugs, there are items like smart bulbs that are more efficient and can be controlled with Alexa and Google Assistant. You can also get motion sensors that will turn off lights if no movement is detected.
An important smart device to have is a smart thermostat so you can easily control your heating at any time. Alongside this is a smart energy monitor, so you can keep a close eye on your usage.
Investing in smart devices and knowing what boiler your household needs will be the keys to saving money in the long run, so look into purchasing these items if you need them and adjust some of your behaviours. You should hopefully see a difference without changing your routine drastically.