Mar 10 2010 Energy Saving Trust, It's Our World
Energy Spring Clean - Top tips
There are many things you can do to prepare your home for a more energy efficient year. The following energy spring clean ideas range from one minute fixes to weekend DIY projects – and they'll all help get your home ready for spring and summer, while cutting your energy use year round.
Get light and warmth for less
• Let the sunshine in: cleaning windows and pulling back curtains during the day will help you take in more natural light and warmth from the sun. When you do need the lights on, save money by installing energy saving light bulbs.
• Adjust your heating controls: make sure your central heating is set for warmer weather, or switch it off all together.
• Give your loft a makeover: clear out those dusty old boxes and add loft insulation instead. It could save you around £205 per year if there isn't any loft insulation there already.
Spruce up your kitchen appliances
A little cleaning can go a long way in helping your appliances run more efficiently. During your energy spring clean don't forget to:
• defrost your fridge and freezer for greater energy efficiency
• de-scale your kettle so it can boil water more quickly
• clean your oven door - you'll be able to check on food without opening the oven and letting heat out
Get your garden in shape
We all hope this summer will be one with plenty of outdoor entertaining and relaxing. Here's how to save money and energy while helping your garden look its best:
• Improve your outdoor lighting - for quick savings, switch to energy efficient light bulbs. You can also buy solar powered garden lights that use no mains electricity and so don't generate carbon dioxide (CO2).
• Start composting - get your plants blooming with free fertiliser by composting food scraps, paper, cardboard and even the dust and dirt from your vacuum cleaner.
• Set up a water butt - collect rainwater to use for washing your car or watering your plants.
Spring clean your lifestyle
And don’t forget about yourself...
• Leave the car at home - by walking and cycling more you can save energy and enjoy the warm weather. Plus the extra exercise will help you get in trim for swimsuit season.
• Clear out your wardrobe. When you find summer clothes that have fallen out of fashion or no longer fit, don't throw them out. Head to a recycling bank or charity shop, or throw a clothes swap party with your friends.
The Energy Spring Clean Quick Fix:
Here are some simple measures you can do right now.
• Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 percent and typically saves around £55 per year. If you have a programmer, set your heating and hot water to come on only when required rather than all the time.
• Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat should be set at 60°C/140°F.
• Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows and doors.
• Always turn off the lights when you leave a room.
• Don't leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily.
• If possible, fill up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher: one full load uses less energy than two half loads.
• Only boil as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements if you're using an electric kettle).
• A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps and make sure they're fully turned off!
• Use energy saving lightbulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs, and using one can save you around £40 over the lifetime of the bulb. This saving could be around £65 over its lifetime if you're replacing a high wattage incandescent bulb, or one used for more than a few hours a day.
• Do a home energy check. Just log on to www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/check, answer some simple questions about your home and we'll give you a free, impartial report telling you how you can save up to £300 a year on your household energy bills.