Energy prices will not stop short. Many households are in financial trouble due to high electricity and gas bills. That’s why we have to look for ways to reduce consumption. Fortunately, there are easy ways to save without sacrificing comfort.

how to save energy: 16 tips

How to save on gas

The latest census found that around 85% of households use mains gas. Two-thirds of the consumption is heating, and a third is heating water and cooking. The most significant potential for savings is thus hidden in the heating of a house or apartment.

  1. Invite a gas engineer to check your boiler

If you have purchased a condensing gas boiler, you have taken a big step towards economical heating. Unlike older gas boilers, the so-called atmospheric type, they can use the residual heat from the flue gas to preheat the heating water. Therefore, they achieve high efficiency. However, this only applies if you take good care of the boiler.

A gas boiler needs regular cleaning and servicing to function optimally. Information on how often to service the boiler can be found in the manufacturer’s manual. Inviting a gas engineer to clean and adjust the boiler once a year is generally recommended. Pay attention to the cleaning and revision of the flue pipes. 

  1. Reduce the heating temperature

Overheating is not suitable for your health or your wallet. When you lower the temperature on the thermostat by one degree Celsius, you will save approximately 5 to 10 per cent on heating gas. The optimal temperature in the room where you stay for a long time is 19 to 21 degrees. Treat yourself to a few more degrees in the bathroom.

Around 17 degrees is sufficient in the kitchen because the air is heated during cooking. Similarly, the temperature in the bedroom should remain between 16 and 18 degrees. In a cooler room, you will fall asleep easier, and your sleep will be more profound. Reduce the temperature in corridors and staircases to 15 degrees, and remember to close the doors to living rooms.

RoomRecommended Temperature
Living Room19–21 °C
Bedroom16–18 °C
Kids Room (day)19–21 °C
Kids Room (night)16–18 °C
Kitchen17 °C
Bathroom24 °C
Home office19–21 °C
Hallway15 °C
Utility Room15 °C
  1. Set the thermostat correctly

One of the biggest mistakes in heating is turning it off when you leave the house. The temperature in the house drops rapidly while you are at work or school. When you want to heat the household to the required temperature after your return, you unnecessarily burn a lot of energy. Therefore, experts recommend setting the thermostat so that the temperature drops by a few degrees at most during the night or when you are away.

  1. Bleed the radiators

A gas boiler can run at full speed, but with air-filled radiators, it will not transfer much heat. You can tell if an air-filled radiator is hot at the control valve but cold at the other end.

It would help if you ideally ventilated the radiators before the start of the heating season. Remember to let water in so the heating system has the correct pressure. Then deaerate once every three months. How to do it? Turn on the heating and open the control valves fully. Bleed one radiator at a time, working from the ground floor upwards.

If even venting the radiators did not help, or you have to expel air from them too often, the fault may be a poorly dimensioned heating system. After that, all that remains is to call an expert.

  1. Move furniture away from radiators, get rugs

We’ll stay with the radiators. It will help to save gas if you don’t cover the radiators. Warm air should flow freely into the room, so move furniture away from heating elements and not cover them with curtains or drapes. But otherwise, curtains on the windows are suitable because they provide additional insulation. Those that end above the heating element are ideal. Outdoor blinds offer excellent insulating properties.

When you’re already in the heat of home improvement, get some rugs for the winter. “Heat from the feet” increases the feeling of temperature.

  1. Do not use window vent, but a quick draft

Ventilation is closely related to heating. In the winter months, ventilation with a fan is not worthwhile. Above all, heat escapes through it, but the exhaled air is not exchanged correctly. It is better to open the windows wide for a few minutes several times daily and create a draft. In this way, the air is exchanged quickly, but the heat accumulates in the room’s walls and objects.

  1. Isolate leaks

If you don’t have an insulated house, you can’t fix it at the last minute before the heating season. Moreover, it is an investment in thousands of pounds. However, there are simple tricks to improve home insulation that will stay within the family’s budget.

  1. Save gas when cooking
  1. Optimise water heating

Are you using a gas instantaneous water heater? If you correctly set the water temperature, a boiler with flow heating can serve you well. However, problems with erratic temperatures often arise, so you waste a lot of water and energy trying to find a comfortable temperature for showering. In this case, we prefer water heating with a storage tank, which will contribute to better gas management.

How to save on electricity

  1. Invite a gas engineer to check your boiler

If you have purchased a condensing gas boiler, you have taken a big step towards economical heating. Unlike older gas boilers, the so-called atmospheric type, they can use the residual heat from the flue gas to preheat the heating water. Therefore, they achieve high efficiency. However, this only applies if you take good care of the boiler.

A gas boiler needs regular cleaning and servicing to function optimally. Information on how often to service the boiler can be found in the manufacturer’s manual. Inviting a gas engineer to clean and adjust the boiler once a year is generally recommended. Pay attention to the cleaning and revision of the flue pipes. 

  1. Reduce the heating temperature

Overheating is not suitable for your health or your wallet. When you lower the temperature on the thermostat by one degree Celsius, you will save approximately 5 to 10 per cent on heating gas. The optimal temperature in the room where you stay for a long time is 19 to 21 degrees. Treat yourself to a few more degrees in the bathroom.

Around 17 degrees is sufficient in the kitchen because the air is heated during cooking. Similarly, the temperature in the bedroom should remain between 16 and 18 degrees. In a cooler room, you will fall asleep easier, and your sleep will be more profound. Reduce the temperature in corridors and staircases to 15 degrees, and remember to close the doors to living rooms.

  1. Set the thermostat correctly

One of the biggest mistakes in heating is turning it off when you leave the house. The temperature in the house drops rapidly while you are at work or school. When you want to heat the household to the required temperature after your return, you unnecessarily burn a lot of energy. Therefore, experts recommend setting the thermostat so that the temperature drops by a few degrees at most during the night or when you are away.

  1. Bleed the radiators

A gas boiler can run at full speed, but with air-filled radiators, it will not transfer much heat. You can tell if an air-filled radiator is hot at the control valve but cold at the other end.

It would help if you ideally ventilated the radiators before the start of the heating season. Remember to let water in so the heating system has the correct pressure. Then deaerate once every three months. How to do it? Turn on the heating and open the control valves fully. Bleed one radiator at a time, working from the ground floor upwards.

If even venting the radiators did not help, or you have to expel air from them too often, the fault may be a poorly dimensioned heating system. After that, all that remains is to call an expert.

  1. Move furniture away from radiators, get rugs

We’ll stay with the radiators. It will help to save gas if you don’t cover the radiators. Warm air should flow freely into the room, so move furniture away from heating elements and not cover them with curtains or drapes. But otherwise, curtains on the windows are suitable because they provide additional insulation. Those that end above the heating element are ideal. Outdoor blinds offer excellent insulating properties.

When you’re already in the heat of home improvement, get some rugs for the winter. “Heat from the feet” increases the feeling of temperature.

  1. Do not use window vent, but a quick draft

Ventilation is closely related to heating. In the winter months, ventilation with a fan is not worthwhile. Above all, heat escapes through it, but the exhaled air is not exchanged correctly. It is better to open the windows wide for a few minutes several times daily and create a draft. In this way, the air is exchanged quickly, but the heat accumulates in the room’s walls and objects.

  1. Isolate leaks

If you don’t have an insulated house, you can’t fix it at the last minute before the heating season. Moreover, it is an investment in thousands of pounds. However, there are simple tricks to improve home insulation that will stay within the family’s budget.

  1. Save gas when cooking
  1. Optimise water heating

Are you using a gas instantaneous water heater? If you correctly set the water temperature, a boiler with flow heating can serve you well. However, problems with erratic temperatures often arise, so you waste a lot of water and energy trying to find a comfortable temperature for showering. In this case, we prefer water heating with a storage tank, which will contribute to better gas management.

How to save on electricity

  1. Get more energy-efficient appliances

Refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers – all appliances whose operation costs several hundreds pounds annually. To save electricity, purchase a more modern appliance in a better energy class. Energy labels will help you with your choice.

From 2021, new energy labels will be used for some appliances. They replaced the original scale A+++ to G, and the products are now marked with class A to G. The highest classes are still empty for some appliances to leave room for technical progress in the future. For example, the most economical dishwasher carries the class B label.

This change applies to refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, washer dryers, light sources, and electronic displays. Other appliances, such as stand-alone dryers, still use the original scale.

how to save energy
  1. Keep the fridge in good condition

Choosing an energy-saving refrigerator and using it correctly will save electricity. Place the fridge in a cool part of the room, do not put it next to a radiator or another appliance that generates heat (stove, dishwasher). It is essential to have enough space around the refrigerator so that the appliance does not overheat.

Set the temperature in the refrigerator to seven degrees Celsius. A lower temperature increases consumption but is not necessary. A temperature of -18 degrees is sufficient in the freezer.

Defrost the refrigerator regularly. Most modern refrigerators have an automatic defrost function, but frost can still occur, for example, because the door does not close properly.

  1. Wash more laundry at a lower temperature

In the average British household, the washing machine is switched on three times a week. Isn’t that too much? If you turn on the washing machine half-empty, you are wasting electricity. There is also no need to wash at high temperatures. Washing powders can handle dirt even when washed at 30 degrees.

Most laundry can be washed at 30 to 40 degrees. You can wash bed linen and towels at 60 degrees. Boiling or pre-washing is usually not necessary.

Think carefully about whether you need a dryer. It is one of the biggest electricity consumers, even in the most energy-efficient class. It is better to dry the laundry outside or on the dryer.

  1. Replace light bulbs with LED lighting

LED bulbs use up to 90 per cent less electricity than conventional bulbs. In addition, high-quality LED bulbs have a longer lifespan, so you save twice as much.

You will also contribute to saving electricity by turning off the lights. The LED bulb lights up immediately, and does not require a long warm-up. High-quality lighting can withstand tens of thousands of turns on and off. Therefore, it is better to permanently turn off the lights in the room if you are not currently staying in it.

  1. Cook for less with an induction cooker

Do you still have a stove with cast iron plates? Then it would help if you quickly replaced it with induction. Old electric stoves take a long time to heat up and must transmit heat more efficiently. In contrast, induction is one of the most economical cooking methods. The stove transfers heat only on the surface covered by the dishes, so you don’t have to worry about the size of the hotplate. Other principles of frugal cooking are the same.

  1. Save electricity when heating water

Each boiler allows you to set the temperature. The water temperature is set to 60 degrees Celsius and then diluted by default. If you have the size of the boiler correctly dimensioned, a temperature of 50 degrees is sufficient. You should no longer choose a lower temperature on the water heater, as this can lead to the multiplication of bacteria and the formation of limescale.

Saving water goes hand in hand with saving electricity. The less hot water you use, the less you heat it. Therefore, prefer a shower to a bath and get an economical shower head. Turn off the water when applying shower gel and shampoo.

Also, think about saving hot water when washing dishes. Please do not wash them under running water; pour them into the sink. Then rinse with cold water.

  1. Disconnect appliances from standby mode

Standby, or standby mode, brings convenience, as the device is turned on by remote control and quickly starts up to full power. But we pay a considerable tax for it. For example, a monitor in standby mode consumes 0.5 Wh every hour when it is not completely switched off. If it operates only four hours a day and twenty hours in standby mode, it wastes 3600 Wh of energy per year.

In the sum of all devices in the home, it is not negligible. TVs, audio and video players, computers, monitors, printers, set-top boxes, modems, game consoles and others are usually in standby mode. The solution is simple – turn off the device completely. You can make it easier with an extension cord with a switch. With one press, you can disconnect, for example, the entire TV set.

Also, disconnect the mobile phone or laptop chargers from the socket. Although there is no appliance connected to them, they draw electricity.

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