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Saving Energy in the Home

Updated on March 17, 2015

Who would of thought?

On average households are wasting £86 each year by keeping their Televisions on standby alone. This coupled with leaving computers on and also Phones, can seriously lead to a rise in energy costs that you won't realise you're the cause of.

How Can I Save Energy In The Home

First off If you want to save energy then you have to get into a habit of turning the plugs off before you leave the room. This will cut your energy bill down dramatically. The cut down is needed, not only to help the planet but to help your pocket. This guide will be about cutting your energy bill by insulating your home and other tips.

Heat loss from the house
Heat loss from the house | Source

Quick Ways to Insulate

Once icy winds begin to whistle around your home in the winter, you will soon find out where the chill gusts blow in and where all the expensive heat escapes. The following steps will all contribute to keeping your home warmer and energy efficient:

  • Sash windows are notorious for draughts, and their sliding action calls for special weatherproofing. A brush seal (with soft bristles) against inside sliding faces and a V-strip seal where sashes close against the top and bottom of the frame are best.
  • An outside door is prone to swelling in cold, wet conditions. Seal it with a flexible PVC (vinyl) or brush strip pinned to the outer face.
  • Keyholes can let in cold air, so fit cover plates on the outside.
  • Fill gaps around overflow and waste pipes that pass through holes in exterior walls with an exterior-grade filler (spackle), mortar or an expanding foam filler.
  • Fill any gaps in windows that remain closed throughout the winter with a flexible, clear sealant. Apply it with a mastic gun and when you wish to open it again, simply peel off the sealant and discard.
  • A porch built over a front or back door acts as an insulating barrier by preventing cold air from entering the house and keeping warm air in. It will also keep wet boots and coats from dripping over floors.
  • In addition to traditional sausage shaped door draught excluders, door curtains are a very effective way of reducing heat loss and can also add a decorative finish to rooms.
  • Insulate the wall immediately behind a radiator by simply placing tin foil behind it to reflect the heat back into the room again.
  • Fix temporary double glazing by sticking clear cellophane to the window frame with double sided tape.
  • Cling film can also serve as temporary double glazing. Stretch it over the window and make it taut with gentle heat blown from a hairdryer.

25% Energy Loss Through the Roof

An enormous energy loss escapes through the roof. So we need to make sure we have insulation installed to combat the loss and keep that heat inside.

Insulation means saving energy, and that is becoming more and more essential on every level, from the personal to the global. People are increasingly conscious of the importance of environmental issues.

One of the greatest contributions that any household can make is to cut down on the unnecessary wastage of fossil fuels, and so to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by burning them.

This means making more efficient use of energy and insulation has a big part to play in this. It saves money too. Insulation is a means of reducing heat transfer from a warm area to a cold one, substantially reducing heat loss.

Wall insulation

Up to a quarter of a home's heat loss can occur through the walls, even more if you are end of terrace or even detached. The space between cavity walls can be filled with a variety of insulating materials, including polystyrene (styrofoam) pellets and expanding foam. These have to be pumped through holes in the external wall, so you will need to call in a professional to undertake this job.

Laying Roof Insulation

  1. Clear all stored items from the loft (attic) area, Then put down a sturdy kneeling board and vacuum up the dust and debris. Always put on gloves and a face mask and wear long sleeves to handle the insulation. Unroll it between the joists leaving the eaves clear for ventilation.
  2. Butt-join the ends of successive lengths of blanket. To cut the material to length, either use long bladed scissors or simply tear it.
  3. While working across the loft, make sure that any electrical cables are lifted clear of the insulation so they can not overheat.
  4. Insulate the upper surface of the loft hatch by wrapping a piece of blanket in plastic sheeting and then stapling this to the hatch door.

Insulation basics

Windows

Heat loss from windows if not treated and changed to new windows
Heat loss from windows if not treated and changed to new windows | Source

Triple glazing is it worth it?

Yes it is, not only does triple glazing reduce noise it also clings to heat and keeps the inside toasty. Triple glazing compared to double glazing in the table below will surprise you, not only with heat loss but the U-value will make sure you wont have to keep changing your windows in the future.

Glazing Internal Surface Temperature

(click column header to sort results)
Type of glazing  
Surface Temperature  
U-Value  
Single
1*C
5.88
Double (pre 2000)
11*C
1.6+
Double (modern)
16*C
1.1
Triple
18*C
0.7
Future
21*C
0.4

Did you know?

That the amount we waste through our windows was this bad?

See results

Reduce Heat Loss

Light Bulbs

Comparison of light bulbs and why LED bulbs are the best and most effective energy saver.
Comparison of light bulbs and why LED bulbs are the best and most effective energy saver. | Source

Lights

Light bulbs are on for an average of 3 hours per day, yet we still don't have the right bulb. Due to legislation from the E.U, the United Kingdom banned the 100 watt, 60 and 40 watt bulbs and are looking to replace the Halogen bulbs too. Due to our energy saving requirements fluorescent bulbs are what we normally buy, but these can lead to being as low as 400 lumens or lower. High lumen bulbs cost a little more but can make all the difference when you want to read in a good light. Some low energy fluorescent bulbs have been known to cause headaches inside of our homes and also make us feel depressed that is why the comparison is for the 800 lumen mark. I personally prefer daylight white bulbs and not incandescent lighting.

Light Bulb Comparison

Type Of Bulb
Standard Bulb
Energy Efficient Halogen
Compact Fluorescent Tube
L.E.D
Wattage
60
43
13
13
Lumens
840
750
825
800
Life (Years)
0.9
0.9
9.1
22.8
Estimated Annual Energy Cost
$7.23
$5.18
$1..56
$1.56
Estimated Annual Saving Per Bulb
$0.00
$2.05
$5.67
$5.67

Grab your Energy Saving Bulbs

Mudder 6pcs E27 3W Mini LED Bulbs, Warm White Light
Mudder 6pcs E27 3W Mini LED Bulbs, Warm White Light

Save 6% on this item when you purchase 1 or more Qualifying items offered by Mudder Online US. Light bulbs are necessity so why not buy them in a pack that are not only cheap but last and get their money back from saved energy in the first year alone.

 

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    • profile image

      win-winresources 2 years ago from Colorado

      Steven-

      Attic insulation should be rated at R-40 or higher. Roofing material should be high albedo (light in color) Wall insulation should be R-19 or higher.

      Glazing (windows) should be at least double pane (triple is better but payback is lengthy) with Low emissivity (Low-E) coating(s) and thermally broken frames.

      Storm doors are very useful in reducing heat loss/gain.

      LEDs are coming down in price and have a very long life.

      Energy efficient furnaces (95+%) and hot water heaters should be on the list too.

      Occupancy sensors and daylight sensors save.

    • gamers prophet profile image
      Author

      steven fry 2 years ago from England

      Thank you for being so informative, I didn't want to elongate the hub and ramble on so i kept it as informative as possible but trying to keep it 'snazzy' so my readers didn't get bored. But the readers will see how informative you are so i thank you kindly

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