Editor's note: this blog post was originally written in July 2014 and has since been updated for clarity and with the latest information. Enjoy!
If you're looking to save money around the home, one of the first places you should look at is your energy usage.
Whether it's accidentally leaving a light on, the tap running or the heating on all night, these extra expenses quickly add up costing you a fortune every year.
But it's not just about your pocket...
Being more energy conscious around the home is important for reducing your carbon footprint.
Start saving money & energy in your home today!
How to save money & energy in the kitchen
Buy a teapot
If you're a family of tea drinkers then this could save you hundreds! Instead of having your kettle being boiled on a continuous loop, invest in a teapot. It will save you energy, money, water and tea bags!
You could even use a tea cosy to keep the tea warmer for longer.
Clean your kettle
Regularly remove the limescale build up in your kettle to make it function more efficiently, saving energy.
Don't know how?
Check out this handy guide on how to Clean a Kettle.
Use the lid
Pop the lid on your saucepans while you cook as this helps to retain the heat, saving you money and cooking your food quicker. What a win!
Size it right
Use the correct sized saucepan for the correct sized hob and remember to turn down the heat once the water has been boiled.
How annoying is it when you take something out of the freezer to use straight away, and it says 'must defrost thoroughly'?
What's even more annoying is the energy you waste by defrosting in the microwave rather than in the fridge the night before!
Maintain your fridge
In our efforts to reduce energy, we often forget about the reliable fridge.
Cleaning the condenser coils on the back of your fridge/freezer can improve it's efficiency by up to 25% and ensures that your fridge stays reliable for longer.
Find out the best ways to Clean Your Refridgerator now.
Save time & money in the bathroom
Opt for the shower
It's no surprise that showers are more energy efficient than baths. But did you know that you use a huge 40-60% less water and energy?
Make that figure even higher by only showering for as long as you need to, and consider turning off the shower while you apply shampoo/conditioner.
This will save 6-8 litres of water every time you shower, resulting in nearly 3000 litres a year.
Get a helping hand with this Free 4-Minute Shower Timer.
Tap the turn-off
Always turn off the tap when you brush your teeth. Plus, make sure your taps aren't leaking so you're not accidentally wasting water this way.
Save money in your living areas
Put on a jumper
Remember moaning to your parents that you were cold and hearing 'put a jumper on' in response? They had a point.
Before you think about cranking up the heating, make sure you've got extra layers and thick socks on first!
Get crafty with your draft(y)
Check around your house for any unprotected openings causing a draft. Apply a sealant to these openings to stop that pesky cold air coming in.
Don't want to use a sealant?
If you're renting (or just don't fancy the DIY effort), use a long cushion to stop the draft.
Underneath doors is a common place for an unwanted draft to creep in. Stuff tights underneath to block the air and keep your room toasty!
Use your heating wisely
It might seem obvious...
...but don't heat the rooms that you don't use. Is the radiator on your hall or spare room? Time to turn that off!
And remember, your kitchen might not need heating as it gets hot by your cooker anyway.
That's not all!
Why not try turning your thermostat down by one degree? We guarantee your family won't notice and it will save you around £40 a year.
Invest in insulation
Insulating your walls is a simple (but effective) way to save both energy and money in your home.
First things first... wall insulation.
Cavity walls are more efficient than traditional solid walls at keeping heat in, but even more can be done to make your energy usage as efficient as possible.
If your house was built after 1920, chances are you have cavity walls.
Other ways to tell are by looking at the brickwork on your house: cavity walls tend to have a regular brick pattern whereas solid walls have an alternating pattern.
Effective wall insulation is well worth investing in - you can save up to £145 per year in heating bills.
What about the roof?
One-quarter of heat escapes through the roof in an uninsulated home. Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years, meaning it pays for itself many times over.
Check out the Energy Saving Trust's handy guide of Roof Insulation to help decide which type of Roof Insulation is right for you.
Wash your clothes energy efficiently
While washing your clothes is essential, it certainly racks up your bills. The washing machine alone accounts for 7% of your energy bills.
There are several ways to reduce your energy usage while washing your clothes:
- Wash your clothes on a 30°C cycle. Most washing detergents work just as well at this temperature and it uses less energy (and takes less time) than higher temperatures.
- Avoid using a tumble dryer. Opt to hang your clothes outside to dry, or if the weather is disagreeable then use a clothes rack.
- Only do full loads. Try to avoid halfway filling your machine by waiting until you have a full load to wash, saving water as you go.
- Remove stains before washing. If an item is particularly soiled give them a soak before you wash and also give your collars a rub. Avoid rewashing clothes and save money!
Final ways to save money & energy in your home
Following these tips should see you save money over the course of a year...
...but make them as effective as possible by sharing them with everyone in your household.
Switch off your electricals
Leaving a room? Make sure all the electricals are turned off (at the switch, not just on the appliance!).
Try to not leave your phone on charge overnight. It will be done before you wake up and wastes energy.
Install energy saving bulbs
While they may take a little bit longer to reach full light capacity, the energy (and more) they save is worth it.
Lighting accounts for around 15% of a typical household's energy bill, so by making small changes, you'll notice big differences.
So there we have it! My top ways to save both energy and money around your home. Have I forgotten your favourite? As always, please!