6 Things You Can Do Right Now To Save Energy In Your Home

Optimised Showers

We all know that showers save more energy and water than baths. Electric showers only heat water when you need it, so you can have hot water any time of day and only when you want to use it. They work by taking cold water from the mains and passing it over a heating an element inside the unit. Electric showers also generally have a lower flow rate which means you use less water over the same period of time. An optimised shower head is also a great way to save water as a good one will mix water and air together to create higher speeds without compromising on the shower experience. Check out Ecocamel for really good shower heads (they’re also great if you love supporting British design!).

Cold Wash Your Clothes

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Laundry detergent has come a long way and now we don’t need excessive amounts of heat to clean our clothing. In fact, detergents are actually designed to work better at colder temperatures, so I’ve you’re still using hot water you might be doing yourself a disservice. Even if you’re trying to remove a stain, heat can actually set stains into clothing (bloody period knickers anyone? I learnt the hard way), and make detergent less effective. What cold water won’t do is sanitise your clothing – you do need hot water for that especially if you have babies around. I would suggest filling up a clean bucket with hot water and leaving clean clothes in there for a bit. At least that way you’re not doing a whole cycle with hot water and use much less too.

 

Optimised Showers

We all know that showers save more energy and water than baths. Electric showers only heat water when you need it, so you can have hot water any time of day and only when you want to use it. They work by taking cold water from the mains and passing it over a heating an element inside the unit. Electric showers also generally have a lower flow rate which means you use less water over the same period of time. An optimised shower head is also a great way to save water as a good one will mix water and air together to create higher speeds without compromising on the shower experience. Check out Ecocamel for really good shower heads (they’re also great if you love supporting British design!).

 

Energy Saving Light Bulbs

Choosing the right light bulbs is really important. Not only are LEDs more efficient and therefore use less energy, they save you a ton of money too. I’ve written a post on what type of bulbs you should get if you’re looking to save energy that you can check out here.

 

Boil What You Need

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Coming from a family of avid tea drinker this is very relevant to me. Boiling what you need in the kettle can save you a lot of energy and money over a period of time. Don’t believe me? Let’s do the maths.

The electricity you use in your home is measured in kilowatt hours, so let’s say that for every hour of energy you used you were charged 10p. If you had a 2kW kettle, it would cost you 20p for every hour you used it. Hopefully your kettle doesn’t take an hour to boil but if it took half an hour, then you would be charged 10p. If it took 15 minutes you would be charged 5p and so on and so forth.
When you fill you kettle unnecessarily, it still has to boil the excess water. This takes longer to do and more energy to do it – water has to absorb approximately 4.18 joules of energy to increase the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree – I won’t bore you with the details but essentially the more water, the more energy it takes to heat (I’m an engineer I love facts!).

If it takes your 2kW kettle 5 minutes to boil 2 cups of water, but 10 to boil 2 or 3 extra cups that you won’t use, you’re paying to boil more water than you need. Those 3 extra minutes add up – over the course of a year, if you kept boiling for 5 minutes more than need be every day (and the average family in the UK boils their kettle 4 times a day), at a price point of 10p per kwh, you would waste £24.43 a year. Doesn’t seem like a lot? How about over the course of 10, 20 years? What if you boiled 4 extra cups? The cost to you keeps increasing and you waste more energy.

 

Heat One Room And Wear Jumpers

It goes without saying that you should wear a jumper if you're cold first, and then turn on the heating. My parents are from hot countries (Nigeria and Jamaica), so they don’t take too kindly to cold but aren't used to wearing layers of clothing.
Cue roasting hot house in the middle of winter.
I personally don’t like being too warm (especially at night when I sleep) and I would sneakily go around the house turning down the heaters in an effort to save their wallets and my skin from drying into a crisp.
Cue arguments.
We ended up settling on quite a good arrangement. The heating levels came right down but the living and dining area became the ‘hot’ room. We would all stay together in the space and the body heat of 5 people made it even warmer. We kept the doors shut to contain the heat and the rest of the house would be cool. Saving and family time all in one.

 

Double Up Your Tumble Dryer As An Iron

This one I learnt from being a student. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to iron my clothes or sheets between the multitude of lab assignments and exams to prepare for, and to be honest I didn’t even own an iron. One trick that I did learn was to grab my clothes out of the dryer and fold (or hang) them as soon as they were done. The clothes straighten out from the residual heat, and you don't have to use an iron in addition to drying your clothes. Time, energy and money saving!