Image by: Will Clayton
When summer hits and you have the chance to turn down your heating at last, you suddenly realise that a serious review of your energy consumption is required.
Are you spending too much on your heating bill? Could you have a more efficient system? Are you wasting energy?
Don’t worry, follow these five tips and not only will you save money – you’ll do it the environmentally friendly way too.
Make Improvements To Your Existing system
If you’re a little sceptical about changing your power source completely, there are a few easy things that you can do to improve your existing system, make it greener and certainly save you money in the long-term.
The first thing you could do is simply replace your boiler if it’s getting on a bit (for example, if it is over ten years old), which will give you a newer and more efficient model.
If you don’t feel like you can afford such a large lump sum, instead you could invest in some chemical inhibitors. These decrease the rate of corrosion and the build-up in your boiler, which helps improve and maintain its efficiency.
Insulation is a fantastic long-term investment: not only will loft insulation last for 40 years at the very least, it will likely increase the value of your house. Providing you have no leaks or condensation problems, insulation is very easy to fit, and if you want to save on even more money you could fit it yourself.
It is usually possible to insulate your loft, even if it’s flat or hard to access! Not only will your heating bills be reduced as a result of the insulation, but will make your house greener as you are not wasting as much energy; especially considering a quarter of the heat in an un-insulated home is lost through the roof. You could also invest in wall insulation if you want to be super-green.
Get A Heat Pump
The idea of ground source heat pumps is that they make use of underground heat by pumping water through it, which in turn increases the temperature and can then be used to provide heating and hot water.
The heat pump simply replaces a boiler by using heat from the ground instead of burning fuel to produce heat – which of course is a lot more environmentally friendly. Although the pump requires electricity to operate, it should use less energy than that which it provides to the home. Air source pumps can also be used, which use heat from the outside air.
Install Solar Panels
If you’re lucky enough to be situated in the right house with your roof tilted towards the sun, then solar photovoltaic (PV) solar panels could be the investment for you. Although the cost is high, at £7,000 for an average system, there is a feed-in tariff scheme which gives those with renewable energies cash payments. After a number of years, the cost of the system can be paid back and even make you money – so as well as being green, you can earn from this instalment!
Use Appropriate Heaters
A final tip – which can not only conserve energy, but save you money too – is to ensure you choose the appropriate heater for each room – try Alert Electrical’s guide to home heating. It provides simple instructions about what works best, for example, air curtains are suggested for doorways which are constantly left open (such as in the kitchen) to trap heat inside the room, and help avoid leaving the heating on. The guide indicates that fan heaters are suitable for the bathroom along with an extractor fan to reduce mould in wet areas, and low-wattage panel heaters and aluminium thermal electrical radiators are suggested for cost-effective and energy-efficient heating.
So what are you waiting for? Turn the heating down, fire up your laptop and contact some suppliers. Your pocket (and the environment) will be thanking you!
Can you think of any other great environmentally friendly ways to heat your home? Share in the comments.
Sian Elvin is an aspiring journalist and enthusiastic blogger. She is interested in keeping the home green and the costs down.