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Simple Energy Saving Tips
Things you can do today
- To eliminate draughts and wasted heat use an easy-to-fix brush or PVC seal on your exterior doors.
- Stop draughts and heat escaping through floorboards and skirting boards by filling gaps with newspaper, beading or sealant.
- Make sure your windows are draught proofed. A low cost, short-term alternative to double-glazing is to tape polythene across window frames.
- Heating: Too warm? Don't waste your money - turn your thermostat down by 1°C. It could cut your heating bills by up to 10%. And if you're going away for winter, leave the thermostat on a low setting to provide protection from freezing at minimum cost. Saving: around £30 per year.
- Hot water: Of course it should be hot, but it doesn't need to be scalding. For most people, setting the cylinder thermostat at 60°C/140°F is fine for bathing and washing. Saving: up to £10 per year.
- Plug it: Always put the plug in your basin or sink. Leaving hot water taps running with it removed is akin to washing money down the plughole.
- Curtains: close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows.
- Lights: Always 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.
- Televisions, videos, stereos, computers, and cordless phones: To cut down on wasted energy, avoid leaving appliances on standby and remember not to leave them on charge unnecessarily. But check the operation manual to make sure that this won't reset the appliance's memory.
- Fridges: Don't leave the door open for longer than necessary, as cold air will escape. Avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the fridge; allow it to cool down first. Defrost your fridge regularly to keep it running efficiently and cheaply. If it tends to frost up quickly, check the door seal. And if you absolutely have to site your fridge next to a cooker or boiler, leave a good gap between them.
- Washing machines 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. It's much faster and it will save you money.
- Dishwashers: Try and use the low temperature programme, and ensure you wash a full load.
Things to remember
- It's very important to ensure that any appliance, including cookers or boilers, have enough ventilation to operate safely.
- Do not block up existing air vents or grills, they are there to ensure there is enough ventilation.
- Make sure any chimneys and flues being used by appliances burning fuel (gas, coal, oil, wood etc) are regularly swept and checked for blockages.
- For more information on safety visit The Carbon Monoxide & Gas Safety Society website.