With rising fuel prices and a focus on the more ecological aspects of heating, it is now more important than ever to take energy efficiency seriously. This guide has been put together to help you become more fuel-efficient with some simple, but useful tips.
General Energy Saving Tips:
* Use LED bulbs – they last a lot longer than normal bulbs and use a lot less energy too
* Do not leave electrical appliances on stand-by unless absolutely necessary
* Don’t put warm food in the fridge, allow it to cool first
* Drawing your windows at dusk will help reduce heat loss
* Use economy settings where possible on appliances
* Turn down your room thermostat by 1 degree – and see if it’s a comfortable temperature, if it is try another degree.
Improving the thermal efficiency of your home:
* Cavity wall insulation is an excellent way to insulate your home. The insulation foam that is filled into the wall cavity (the space between your outside bricks and internal walls) effectively holds the air in situ, in a similar way as wearing a number of clothes in cold weather does. Holding the air in situ has an insulating effect, which means heating your home can cost less after cavity wall insulating has been done.
* Double glazing is an excellent way to reduce heating costs and increase the thermal efficiency of your home. However, you must remember to provide adequate ventilation for the chimney and fire to work safely in accordance with building regulations.
* Loft insulating is a superb way to increase the thermal efficiency of your home. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save up to £240 a year on heating bills in a detached house, from having no loft insulation to fitting 270mm thick insulation.
* Fitting an adjustable throat restrictor will reduce drafts, and help increase the efficiency of your fire.
* A glass fire door saves fuel. A balanced flue gas fire, which has a glass door, can have up to 90% efficiency, which means 90% of the heat the fire produces is used to heat a room. An open fire is often only around a 30% efficiency, meaning you will need to burn lots more fuel to achieve the same warmth.
* You can combine your solid fuel or multi-fuel boiler with another energy source. This can provide total flexibility and reduce dependency on more expensive fuels.
* Always burn the best quality fuel you can afford. Usually, the heat content is higher, so you don’t need to burn as much.
* Have your chimney swept regularly – more info on your chimney can be found here.
* Ensure your appliance is serviced annually by ideally a HETAS registered engineer.
* Burn only well-seasoned wood. More info about the types of wood can be found here. Burning wood that is not seasoned will have a high moisture content, and will not burn well, and thus will not provide efficient heat.