10 tips to save energy {and money} in the home

10 energy saving tips from Enchanted Pixie

10 tips to save energy {and money} in the home
One of our goals for our #LiveLagom was to save energy – both to reduce how much we use and save a little cash. While our bills are a little over average for the UK, I’m guessing most of that is because we have six people who are home pretty much all the time. As I work from home and we homeschool we spend a lot more time in the house than a family who go out to work and school five days a week. More than just saving us a few pounds, I’d also like to reduce how much gas and electric we use from an environmental point of view. I put my thinking cap on to come up with a few ways that we can save energy use at home.

10 tips to save energy:

1. Switch to LED light bulbs.
These use up to 85% less energy than conventional bulbs and last up to 20 years. Given we have a fairly large house with lots of lights this is a great place for us to start. We’ve just switched all the ceiling lightbulbs for these ones. Seeing as we’re home all day, this could save quite a bit of energy for us.

2. Turn the lights off
On the same lines, I’ve been ensuring that lights that aren’t needed actually get switched off. The kiddos don’t always remember to turn them off if they leave a room, so I’ve been doing lots of ‘reminding’ lately as well as flicking switches off as I walk around the house if I notice they’ve been left on. Thankfully, this house gets lots of natural light so we can manage without them being on a lot of the time – unlike our old house which was ridiculously dark!

3. Turn the thermostat down
Apparently you save around 3% on your heating bill for every degree that you turn down your thermostat. I generally keep my thermostat at around 17, pushing it up to 18 if it’s REALLY cold. Personally, I don’t like overheated houses, it makes me feel sleepy and lethargic, and my skin dries out. I always wear slippers in the house, and keep warm with extra layers before I’ll turn the heating up higher. We have blankets on the sofa to snuggle under in the evenings, and I always turn the heating off completely once the kiddos are in bed. our thermostat is old and the timer doesn’t work well, meaning I have to manually switch it on/off – I’d love to invest in a new generation thermostat that ‘learns’ your schedule AND you can control from your smartphone. I think it would make a huge difference as at the minute if we go out we come back to a freezing cold house as I wouldn’t leave the heating on if we were out all day and I can’t set it to come on at a certain time, which is not ideal!

4. Change your curtains.
Hanging thicker curtains, or adding in liners can help keep the heat in a room as well as reducing drafts. We always close curtains once it begins to get dark, and have just replaced our living room curtains for ones with an extra thermal liner. I was honestly surprised at how much of a difference they made – the windows are double glazed so I wasn’t expecting to notice this much of a difference. I’ll be adding liners to the curtains in the rest of the house now.

5. Switch it off
SO many appliances get left on standby when they’re not being used, meaning they are using electricity all the time. We turn as many things off at the wall as possible. We have our TV/DVD/Amazon box on one extension so it’s easy to turn them all of in one go. Likewise, I’ll flick small appliances like the toaster and kettle off at the wall too.

6. Do full loads of washing
This is easy for me, as with six of us I constantly have a full load! When my last washing machine broke, I bought a new A rated one with a large drum, meaning I can get more in and do fewer loads. Choosing to wash at 40, or even 30 could use a 1/3 less energy, I also choose a shorter cycle unless the clothes are especially dirty.

7. Line dry
We do have a tumble dryer, and I wouldn’t be keen on getting rid of it, but I do try to only use it if I really have to. In the summer I always hang the washing outside to line dry, unfortunately where we live it’s far too cold and wet over winter to even consider putting it outside. We have a couple of clothes airers that we use, as well as two smaller ones that are on the shelf unit we just added to our utility room. I usually hang clothes on these and stand them in front of the radiators. Heavier items sometimes need finishing of in the dryer – but at least that way I can just use it fo 20 minutes instead of 2 hours.

8. Take a shower {or share a bath}
A five-minute shower uses around a third of the water a bath does, as well as using less energy in heating all that water. Vega has a bath every evening {I always bath my babies every night when they’re in nappies}, though I don’t fill the bath full and more often than not Kiki or Baya will share the bath with him or hop in after him.

9. Draught-proof.
Old houses are always going to be draughty, thankfully, this house is far less draughty than the last one. Our front door is very draughty though we have a small vestibule and second internal door which keeps the heat in and the cold air out. Our back door also is draughty meaning the utility room is always cold. We’ve got a thick curtain to hang up there to block it off at night time. It’s worth draught-proofing windows, doors and skirting boards as it could save you around £25/30 a year {as well as making you feel warmer!}

10. Careful in the kitchen
Small things can sometimes add up to big changes. things such as only boiling the amount of water you need each time, not opening the oven door whilst cooking and filling up a bowl when washing up rather than leaving the tap running, will all help wave energy.

What are your top tips for saving energy?

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8 Comments

  1. February 3, 2016 / 16:03

    After a hideous npower bill at the end of last year I’m doing everything I can to save the pennies. Really useful post!

  2. February 3, 2016 / 16:14

    I really want to try LED lights – they look fab! And great that they’re not too bright, too.

  3. February 3, 2016 / 19:27

    We have started slowly switching to LED lights, but they are so expensive I’m having to do a couple each month. I also not so secretly wish I had a tumble dryer. I’ve bought some pegs in the vain hope it will suddenly get nice enough to dry on the line outside.

  4. February 4, 2016 / 10:44

    Some great tips Polly. The whole plug thing really frustrates me! I have a bit of a pet hate with plugs – everyone in the house plugs their phones in and then takes them out but leaves the leads plugged in and switched on. I don’t know if that uses energy, but in my mind I just see it pouring out of the ends of the cables!

  5. February 4, 2016 / 21:18

    Loads of fab tips! I just switched to LED and am looking forward to seeing the difference it makes x

  6. February 4, 2016 / 22:23

    I’m awful at thinking about saving money at home but love the idea of swapping all the bulbs! Maybe something we’ll do this weekend. Fab tips x

  7. February 5, 2016 / 16:34

    I don’t think I could go back to line drying after getting our tumble dryer (and with the uk weather being so bad) but I love some of these tips! x

    • February 5, 2016 / 22:11

      i love line drying in the summer…but would be lost without my dryer in the winter!

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