Energy saving

If you are looking for free ways to save energy, you are in the right place. Here are some things you can do right now to make your home more energy efficient without spending a penny.

1: Turn your thermostat down by 1 degree

One of the simplest energy-saving tricks is turning your heating down a single degree. You might not think such a small amount would make a difference – but according to the Energy Saving Trust, going from 20C to 19C (for example) can cut your heating bill by 10%. For the average 3-bed house, that could be up to £145 every year.

2: Reduce your boiler flow temperature

Got a combi boiler? The default boiler flow temperature is normally set at 70 degrees. Reduce it to 55-60 degrees to save up to 6% on your energy use. Your boiler will work much more efficiently, and you won’t even notice the difference. Sound complicated? It really isn’t!

3: Move your furniture away from radiators

Big items of furniture can stop the heat from a radiator reaching the rest of the room. Got a bed or sofa right next to a radiator? Move it at least an inch or two away. This will improve the air circulation and you’ll notice the room gets warm and cosy much faster.

Heating your home efficiently

You may have heard that it’s cheaper to leave the heating on all day. That’s a myth. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the best way is to only have the heating on when you need it.

When you use your boiler timer and room thermostat along with radiator temperature controls (TRVs), you’ll have the most energy-efficient approach to heating your home.

4: Wash your clothes at a lower temperature

Most of us wash at 40C out of habit, but modern washing powders work well at temperatures as low as 20C. Why not try making 30C your standard wash? The lower the temperature, the more energy you’ll save. Although it’s probably best to wash bedding, towels and underwear at a higher temperature – at least 40C.

5: Keep the heat in by closing the curtains at night

Warmth starts to escape from your home when the sun goes down and temperatures start to drop. Closing all the curtains or blinds in your home is a simple but effective way of stopping heat loss – especially if you have older windows.

6: Switch off the lights

Little things can add up to real savings over the long term. Leaving a light on in an empty room won’t cost you much, but always remembering to switch them off when you leave a room can help bring your annual electricity bill down.

7: Keep the oven closed while cooking

We all do it sometimes. But when you open the oven door, some of the heat escapes – and then your oven needs to use more energy to reach the right temperature again. Getting into the habit of using the oven’s window can help save money over time.

8: Use the microwave more

They’re not great for everything, but you can’t argue with the energy-efficiency of a microwave. Cooking accounts for around 14% of electricity demand in UK homes, so using the microwave more is a simple way of saving energy in the kitchen. Air fryers and slow cookers also use far less energy than your hob or oven too.

9: Dry your clothes more efficiently

Tumble dryers are handy but energy hungry. So dry your laundry outside when you can. And if you dry on a radiator, hang clothes nearby rather than directly on the radiator. Wet clothes cool the radiator, which makes your boiler work harder to keep things cosy.

If you do need to use the tumble dryer, using the auto-dry setting is better than using a timed cycle.

10: Defrost your fridge and freezer

The fridge and freezer are some of the biggest energy users in your kitchen. And they’re also working 24 hours a day, unlike other appliances. Regularly defrosting them keeps ice under control and means everything can work efficiently.

11: Bleed your radiators

This sounds a bit technical, but it’s surprisingly simple and can make your heating system more efficient. If you have cold spots on your radiator, bleeding them can really help.

12: Use eco mode whenever you can

Lots of household appliances have eco modes which are designed to use less energy – usually by running at different speeds or lower temperatures. Try using these as your standard option and you should see real savings over time.

13: Try to always wash a full load

Get in the habit of only using your dishwasher or washing machine when it’s full. In fact, a full dishwasher can be more efficient with water and energy than washing by hand. So, there’s some good news!

14: Keep your appliances clean for efficiency

Clean the lint filter of your tumble dryer as often as possible. This will save energy by making sure it runs properly. Similarly, if you can access the back of your fridge, give the coils a quick hoover every now and then to keep it working efficiently.

15: Pick the right hob for the pot

Choose the ring that’s closest in size to the saucepan to minimise energy waste. And consider using a steamer to cook different things on the same ring. If you’re looking to replace your old hob, research induction hobs – they’re the most energy-efficient type on the market today.

16: Switch off preheat on your combi boiler

Got a combi boiler? The preheat option means you get hot water quicker. But that convenience does use extra energy. So if you want to get your bills down a bit, check your boiler’s manual for instructions on how to turn it off.