The impact of cold homes is said to cost the NHS a whopping £1.3billion a year in England alone. That statistic is enough to give anyone the shivers.
We are all looking to find ways to be more energy efficient and keep our homes warm and cosy. The fact is, people want to do everything they can, not just because it’s kinder to the planet, but also because it helps to save cash.
If you can reduce unnecessary energy consumption, it makes sense that you’re going to save on your bills. The great news is, there are a few simple things you can do to make a big difference.
Here’s our five top tips to help you switch-on to energy efficiency.
1. Switch off!
Walk around your home and the chances are, you’ll see lights blinking everywhere. Laptop and mobile – as well as the chargers; microwave or the cooker displaying a digital clock – these are all using unnecessary power, but don’t worry we’re all guilty of not switching things off! Try to turn off any appliances or gadgets you’re not using and in no time, small actions like this will turn into big savings over the course of a year.
2. Consider replacement uPVC windows
If you’ve ever wondered why your energy bills are so high, it may come as a surprise to know most of what you’re paying for is going straight out of the window, quite literally. Up to a third of a home’s heat is lost through single glazing or badly fitting windows. Upgrading to technically advanced uPVC windows can save around 20% in energy use as they have high insulation properties, preventing cold air and draughts from entering your home and warm air and heat from escaping.
The BFRC (British Fenestration Ratings Council) system is designed to determine a window’s thermal efficiency. It is displayed on a colour-coded traffic-light style label with a scale from ‘A’ (the most efficient) – to ‘G’ (the least efficient). VEKA, in conjunction with one of the founder members from Independent Network created the UK’s first ever window to gain the prestigious BFRC ‘A’ rating.
Before any new product is launched at VEKA, it is put through a series of punishing tests. These include exposure to strong wind and extreme temperatures as hot as the Nevada Desert and as cold as the Swiss Alps. So you can be confident they will withstand anything the British weather can throw at them!
3. Look for energy efficient appliances
If you are shopping for a new appliance, look out for energy ratings label and consider the size of appliance you need.
Energy ratings are generally given to products based on their size category. This means that two differently sized appliances with the same energy rating may use quite different amounts of electricity. For instance, an A rated 180-litre fridge-freezer could cost only £39 a year to run, whereas a larger 525-litre fridge-freezer with a better A+ rating could cost £52 a year to run.
Look for the product with the best energy rating for the size you require. Even with energy efficient appliances, try not to over-use them. Wait for a full-load before putting the washing machine on for example and, wherever possible, use the lowest heat setting.
4. Chill out with new doors!
It’s not only people that come and go through the doors to your home. Front doors and back doors have a role to play in ensuring your home is adequately insulated against the weather.
Composite and uPVC doors are the perfect way to improve the energy efficiency of your home. They are made to an exacting process resulting in a robust, resilient high-quality product that not only keep the warmth in and the cold out, but won’t warp, rattle, or move.
When fitted by highly skilled, experienced, installers uPVC and composite doors feature technically advanced weather-proof seals – which means you can say goodbye to irritating draughts.
5. Improve insulation
When you’re venturing out on a cold day, you don’t think twice about putting an extra layer on. Do the same for your home by improving the insulation on your property.
During the winter months, energy bills and heat will be going through the roof if you’re loft isn’t sufficiently lagged. This isn’t just costing you, it could also be detrimental to the environment.
The key is to make sure that you have proper insulation, weather stripping and other advanced techniques throughout your home. You can do this yourself, or have an expert come in and do the job for you.
As you can see, creating an energy efficient home doesn’t need a degree in nuclear science – just a genuine desire to make a difference.
These are simple steps that you can take and see how quickly your bills come down. Small changes really do make a big difference.