With gas and electricity prices at an all time high, home owners are looking for ways to save money around the house so that in the long term, their bills stay as low as possible. I am not suggesting sitting in a freezing, dark and damp house throughout winter, and sweating it out through the summer months. But learning to rely less on central heating and air conditioning can have several benefits. Of course your bills will be smaller, but it also gives you the opportunity to do a bit of decorating, make your home ‘greener’ and have fun with your friends and family.
My number one tip that I can give you to save energy and money around the home is to turn things off! Having lights and appliances switched on at the plug is a waste of energy and adds a significant amount onto your monthly, quarterly or annual bill. It may seem like a hassle to have to turn your TV off standby, especially if it means getting out of bed, but think of all the money you could save. On top of that, TVs are one of the leading factors in house fires at night, so you are protecting yourself and your home by pressing that big button! Lights, the kettle and phone chargers are all big energy wasters too.
You can save money when you have the lights on if you switch from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lighting (CFL). You could use between 50 and 80 percent less energy if you have installed CFLs, and they last up to ten times longer. Incandescent light bulbs have a lifetime of 750 to 2500 hours whilst CFLs have a minimum lifespan of 6000 hours, and can last up to 10000 hours.
There are other changes we can make to our homes which will have a green effect. Making the actual building and rooms more energy efficient will save money and be better for the environment. Hanging lined curtains up in rooms that face the sun has many advantages. Firstly, they will last longer than unlined curtains, blinds and nets as the lining stops the material from fading. Secondly, most lined curtains have thermal qualities and will help to control the room’s temperature by keeping the heat in when it is cold outside and stopping too much heat entering the space when the sun is blazing. Some lined curtains have noise reduction qualities which means that you don’t need to have the TV or radio on so loud, which will also save you money. You could choose curtains to match your room design, but if you fancy a change it is the perfect opportunity to redecorate and incorporate lined curtains into the room.
If you are looking for a way to keep the children entertained during the holidays, or you enjoy making crafts with your friends, you could start making quirky draft excluders. These will stop any drafts from outside the house or colder rooms from entering the most commonly used living spaces in your home. The living room, kitchen and inhabited bedrooms would all benefit from a draft excluder so that colder areas do not affect your comfort and you don’t have to turn the heating up. You can design draft excluders to fit in with the theme of each individual room, or make them stand out and have fun designs. Children will enjoy making them by filling material with newspaper or stuffing.
So you see making your home greener does not mean spending a lot of money, taking up loads of time or having to change your way of life. Don’t worry, you can still watch TV and won’t have to rely on a torch to read a book. However, been sensible with your money and the way your house uses energy could save you tens if not hundreds of pounds over the year. That can only be a good thing, especially with bills set to rise even higher.