12 Sep 2008 12:09:59
Immediate Energy Efficiency Improvements
Heating - by turning down your thermostat by only 1 degree you can reduce your heating bills by up to 10%. If you are away from home over winter leave the thermostat on a low setting to provide protection from freezing at minimum cost.
Exterior Doors - fit easy to fix brush or PVC seals to your external this will eliminate draughts and get rid of cold spots
Floorboards and Skirtings - fill any gaps in floor boards with newspapers or silicon sealant. Fill any gaps in skirting boards with silicon sealant.
Windows - the ideal situation is to fit double glazing, but many DIY shops stock much cheaper alternatives, again fill in gaps and fit stick on draught-proofing tape around any opening windows.
Letterboxes and keyholes - Nylon brush seals or a spring flap for the letterbox can help. And a cover on the keyhole.
Hot water - have a look at the cylinder thermostat, the ideal temperature for most people is 60°C/140°F.
Basins and Sinks - always put the plug in your basin or sink. Leaving hot water taps running with it removed is like pouring money down the plughole.
Curtains - close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows.
Lights - turn them off when you leave a room and adjust your curtains or blinds to let in as much light as possible during the day. If you do use a particular light for an average of four hours or more a day, then replace it with an energy-saving equivalent, using around a quarter of the electricity and lasting up to 12 times longer. Energy efficient bulbs cost around £5 each, but will give you a saving on your bills of £10 over the year.
Fridges - defrost your fridge regularly to keep it running efficiently and cheaply. Avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the fridge. If it tends to frost up quickly, check the door seal.
Washing machine and tumble dryers - always wash a full load and if you can't, use a half-load or economy programme if your machine has one. Always use the low temperature programme bearing in mind that modern washing powders will be just as effective at lower temperatures. And don't put really wet clothes into a tumble dryer; wring them out or spin-dry them first. Dishwashers: Try and use the low temperature programme, and ensure you wash a full load.
Pots and pans - choose the right size pan for the food and cooker (the base should just cover the cooking ring) and keep lids on when cooking. With gas, the flames only need to heat the bottom of the pan. If they lick up the side then you're wasting heat.
Kettles - heat only the amount of water you really need.
Tap - turn them off after use, a dripping hot tap can waste enough water to fill a bath.
Showers - a shower uses only two-fifths of the water needed for a bath
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