Heat loss is a problem which contributes to higher energy bills and losing heat in your home means that the energy you’re using isn’t being used in the most efficient way. This can result in higher heating bills and, most importantly, a colder, less energy efficient home. What can you do to change this?
1. Make sure all your radiators have smart valves with timers on them, so you don’t waste energy during the night or heat empty rooms.
2. A fully serviced and properly functioning gas boiler is essential to both saving you money (up to €150 annually) and making your home as energy efficient as possible.
3. Use sunshine to heat your rooms during the day and you can then seal in that heat using curtains.
4. Only warm the rooms you’re using and keep doors closed for extra insulation.
5. Use a portable heater rather than the central heating to heat the room you’re in or use multi zone heating controls to create dedicated heating zones.
6. Turn your thermostat down by just 1° and you could cut your overall heating energy usage by up to 10%!
Look into an SEAI home energy grant and upgrade your heating systems through a deep retrofit project.
Lighting can make up 11% of your annual energy costs, and there are many ways to save on electricity and make your home even more energy efficient. Including:
1. Let the natural light in and reduce unnecessary lighting to lower your lighting costs whenever possible.
2. Always remember to keep all your lightbulbs clean and free of dirt and dust to guarantee great performance.
3. Use lighting sensors and timers to help manage when and at what level your lighting will be switched on.
4. LED lightbulbs are a great energy efficient upgrade and last longer than normal lightbulbs: anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 hours!
5. Maximize your lighting system by painting your home’s interior predominantly light colours (off-white, beige, blue, light green etc.) as dark colours absorb light whereas light colour reflects and bounce it.
6. Fluorescent Light (CFL) lightbulbs may sound complicated but they are very easy to use and a whole 80% more efficient than standard bulbs. They’re just as bright, last ten times longer and could save you €60 over their lifetime! Plus, if you replace 3 regular bulbs with CFLs and use a comfy 3 hours of electricity per day you could save a whopping €43 a year! (SEAI).
- How to save on electricity bills with the right appliances:
Electrical appliances can vary hugely in energy efficiency. Always check the EU Energy Label before you buy as choosing the right appliance can have a very positive effect on your electricity bills! Other ways you can save money with your appliances:
Ovens use a lot of energy when cooking so try, whenever possible, to prepare more than one dish at a time to increase energy efficiency. It is important to keep the oven door closed as much as possible to seal in and make the most of the heat. A microwave is far more energy efficient than the oven so re-heat your treats in there.
Separate light items from heavy and dry them separately to ease the stress on your dryer’s motor. Improve dryer performance with regular filter cleanings and, if possible, air dry clothes outside.
Save on energy by washing your items at lower temperatures. Lighten the dishwasher’s load by cleaning off excess food in advance. Fully fill up the machine before putting on a wash. Whenever possible air-dry dishes rather than using the drying cycle.
Fridge and Freezer:
When your fridge or freezer is blocked with frost it will be extremely inefficient. Clean it every 6 months for normal energy consumption and always seal the door tightly to
trap the cold air. Try to keep your fridge and freezer in the coolest part of the kitchen as far away from the cooker as possible. Allow food to cool down fully before you put it in the fridge or freezer. Hotter food requires more energy to cool it.
Use a cold rinse to conserve energy and wash your items at lower temperatures. Always try to wash a full load rather than two half loads.
- How to save on water heating:
24% of all the energy we use is used to heat water. That’s why making sure your heating system is functioning correctly and that the water you have heated is used efficiently is incredibly important. With that in mind, here are some great ways to do exactly that:
1. Keep your hot water cylinder at 60°C — any hotter is a waste of energy… and money!
2. Showers are 5 times more energy efficient than baths.
3. Seal in your hot water cylinder heat by wrapping your hot water tank with good quality insulation.
4. When washing dishes remember to fill the sink rather than leave the hot water running and, whenever possible, use your boiler and not your immersion heater.
5. Fix any faulty or leaky taps or pipes to avoid wasting water. Even a small leak can have a massive negative effect both on your energy bills and your property.