Easy and cheap (ish) ways of saving energy about the house. What's next?
TVs tend to be pretty good on stand by these days. Ours is well under 1/2W. PVR is a tricky one as I presume you have timers set. It should also be pretty low. I’d look to other appliances like oven or microwave. If they have a clock they tend to be pretty inefficient. Turn them off. WiFi is another power user when not on use.Posted 3 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
While we were suffering brown outs last week the only thing that kept going properly was the wifi router so the power drain was fairly low on that one.
You can get some power monitors to work out what your using at the time so you can see what your usage is and turn stuff off and on.Posted 3 years ago
Draughts blocked as is practical. Most of the house is done but it’s a 1920s build with suspended wooden floor, I’ve seen the results of letting moist air build up under floors. I’ve left the minimal air flow I’m happy with.
Lined curtains in bedrooms and living room, check.
This is primarily to save cash, I’m wary about spending on gadgets that don’t pay back or short term gains with long term pain.
Might see if I can borrow an energy monitor for a while.Posted 3 years agorene59Member
Always thought it would be good if sockets in houses were two different colours, one would be live all the time so you could plug in fridge, freezer, alarm clock etc things that had to stay on. The other colour would have a switch near the front door like a light switch so you could switch everything else off in one go when leaving the house or going to bed.Posted 3 years ago
So, we’ve triple insulated the loft, LED’s replacing all halogens and normal energy saving bulbs everywhere else. Now I’ve flushed the radiators and added a programmable thermostat.
Looking at appliances, everything is up to date definitely not an option to replace anything.
What about timers on the TV and associated gubbins to turn off at night? Does it damage the Virgin PVR box? Conflicting advice around the net.
What about broadband & wifi, is it worth turning this off overnight?
I’m conscious that saving £10 a year in electricity isn’t worth it if my apple router dies early from being turned on and off too much.Posted 3 years agoprojectMember
Quite a fe w companies gibve free energy monitors got mine from British gas and not even a cuistomer.
Curtain over front and rear door keeps the rooms warm,
Keep fridge and freezer door closed as much as possible,to stop heat entering and cold air leaving,. try and keep freezer fully stocked even if full of watrer bottles, they act as giant ice cubes once frozen and help kep stuff cold/frozen.
Dont leave tv on standby, it may catch fire , mine did a few years ago, luckily i was there when it started smoldering.
Dont use a tumble drier air dry outside,Posted 3 years agoBlobOnAStickSubscriber
I live in a modern house (built early 90s) and was highly surprised to realise that there was no cylinder stat fitted, so when the hot water was on the boiler would just run until the overheat detection cut the hot water circuit off.
Really daft, but in this day and age unbelievable!Posted 3 years agomatt_outandaboutSubscriber
Cook with the lids on the pans.Posted 3 years ago
Open and close curtains lots.
Turn down the heating even more and buy a second jumper and a pair of the North Face down slippers.
Plant trees and shrubs to slow down air flow and provide shade on the right side of the house, dependent on season.mick_rSubscriber
We’ve had good results with insulating under suspended wooden floors, but keeping plenty of under house ventilation to avoid condensation & damp. Insulation held in place with netting, and very careful to make trays out of folded dpc to prevent any chance of insulation touching brickwork and tracking moisture.Posted 3 years ago
Insulating your floor will save you more than any dabbling with turning things on and off.
You’ve not mentioned what your energy sources are for heating and cooking – gas, elec? What’s your boiler system? Have you got an aerator on your shower? Extractor fan that is timed or running on a humidistat? Tumble dryer? Are the walls cavity and insulated?Posted 3 years agodoogeMember
By the sounds of it you have done most sensible things, any more and you may not see the benefit over your cost or time output.
Ever considered your own solar panels? I have met a few people who have created their own for under a thousand and it pays for half their leccy most of the year round.Posted 3 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
Solar is good but solar hot water if it will work is fantastic (though requires capital) most of the time the only certainty is uncertainty but I’d bet houses on the fact that energy prices will rise significantly before they come down. The best thing you can do is isolate yourself from buying energy. Money spent saving energy will probably keep your bills from rising, money spent generating your own will cut your bills.Posted 3 years agomilky1980Member
You could go to the extremes one family member of mine has gone to:
You know when you run a shower, that first few seconds of cold water? He saves it in a bucket and uses that to flush the loo, only after a no2.
In the spring and autumn he sits on the sofa in a sleeping bag to save putting the heating on. In the winter it’s on for about 20 mins, tops.
Everything is switched off unless absolutely necessary. He even has a wind-up alarm clock despite having a perfectly useable LED one.
He only charges his mobile up at work or when visiting someone.
He has been known to visit a neighbour just to get a free heated drink, saves using his kettle!!
Is now banned from most of the local pubs as he will wander in for free warmth and buy, at most, a coke and maybe a packet of crisps in the space of a few hours.
Suffice to say he isn’t much fun, peeves everybody off and has a damp problem in his bungalow for which the council are giving him a hefty bill. He boasts about having a water bill of £6 a month. Welsh Water even came round once to check he hadn’t bypassed the meter 😯Posted 3 years agocookeaaSubscriber
How about looking outside the house a bit?
Maybe go a bit “goodlife”…
Grow your own fruit and veg at all? Save some of those carbon miles/fuel/vehicle wear and tear for shopping (which of course you will do by bicycle now)…
Catching rain water in a water butt for the garden (My Dad has been known to syphon bath water in to his, but He’s a bit odd)…
Are you Composting? Do you have a greenhouse?
I’m not much of a gardener, but we have a friend nearby who is pretty into it, He’s growing more stuff than he can use in his own garden and on a local allotment, I’m actually tempted to turn over half of our front garden to him for similar use…
Are you getting to the point OP where looking at Solar panels and/or mini wind turbines might be next? I’ll admit I do fancy trying my hand at a bit of home-brewed leccy…Posted 3 years agoasbrooksSubscriber
Cavity walls as mentioned above. After the loft and windows, is probably the best return on your outlay. However if it’s a 20s house you’ll have no cavity to insulate. You could clad the whole outer walls, which will give you an insulated thermal mass.
Maybe a log burner and heat exchanger configuration a drive the central heating from it. If I could get to the outside wall where the chimney is I’d be doing that.Posted 3 years ago
I’m capital poor and it’s going to get worse hence the desire for savings so new boiler is off the cards.
Washing outside yep, tumble drier A+ rated for winter (2yr old & newborn so a necessary evil) no cavity to insulate but I might look into DIYing the floor if I can do it cheap.
Gas heating and leccy from First Utility, did the online checker and locked into the cheapest tariff. £1279 for a year family of four 3bed semi. Open fire supplements the living room, def going to up my log scavenging.
On a water meter, tried an aerator, didn’t work. Water butt yes, but veg is a no go due to slugs, and yes of course, I commute by bike!
I think the ‘easy’ stuff is covered apart from the floor that I’m now going to look into doing. be interesting to see how this winter compares with the. LED bulbs and programmable thermostat.
Cheers, it all helpsPosted 3 years agodoris5000Member
aye, log scavenging! When I was a little’un we did pretty much the whole house with the stove. My mum is the world’s most sociable person and went round the neighbourhood telling everyone that if they ever had a tree cut down / windows replaced / a new door, we’d come and take it away for them. Dad would duly saw it all up over the summer.
They’d heat the living room up with the fire (door closed) until it was almost intolerably hot, then open the door to let the heat filter through the rest of the house. It was almost a relief sometimes to climb into a relatively cold bed!Posted 3 years agodeadkennySubscriber
Live in a first floor flat and let the ground floor spend all the money heating your home 😀 (maybe stick a few vents in the floor to make sure 😉 )
What’s the drive for energy saving though?
Money, then fair enough.
If it’s just being eco, then hell with it. Whatever we save in the UK is peanuts compared to the waste in China and USA.Posted 3 years agoUrbanHikerMember
Heating things will be your biggest expense. Heating the house (assuming SO/Baby have their way) will be the biggest chunk of that. The old mantra of “insulation insulation insulation” is worth bearing in mind, but really should be replaced by “draft-proofing draft-proofing draft-proofing, then easy/cheap insulation insulation insulation”.
If you have suspended wooden floors with an air gap below that is open to the outside, these are worth looking at. Lift the boards, insulated between the rafters, layer of boarding on top, relay floorboards. Insulation and draft-roofing in one go. Cheap to do, easy (ish) DIY over a weekend, and make a massive difference. Floor level has more of impact on comfort than higher up things, and will be in living areas that are heated more etc.
Also other drafts…get rid of them all! On a windy day, walk round with an incense stick, see where the smoke goes etc. Decorators calck, newspapar, old clothes, anything that plugs the gap.
Then for an electricity monitor, try your local library, mine lends them out just like books. Genius.
Going to stop rambling now, but also worth looking to see if you have a local “transitions” group. They will be a bunch of wannabe hippies, striving for an unachievable goal, but they will have a wealth of knowledge, skills and often share cake!Posted 3 years ago
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