Summer Saving: 6 Tips To Reduce Your Energy Consumption
During the winter we crank the thermostat up, put another log on the burner and keep the lights on as it gets dark so early. But in the summer we don’t have to worry about heating and it can be months before we even think about switching it back on.
However, while we appear to use less energy in the warm weather, there are still plenty of ways we can reduce our carbon footprints during these months to help us cut our bills and save water. We are sharing some of our favourite tips and ideas to help you keep your energy consumption low.
1. Closing your blinds
The sun’s rays are extremely powerful in summer and it is important to try and block them out as much as possible. That’s not to say you should be brooding in a darkened room but when the sun is directly shining through your window, it’s best to draw the curtains or blinds until it has passed.
For example, blackout blinds can restrict the amount of heat transferred through your windows by as much as 24%, helping to keep you and your family cool without needing to turn to using fans the moment the sun rises.
On the flip side, once the evenings hit and the sun’s rays are less powerful you can save energy by opening the blinds back up and take advantage of the longer days rather than turning your lights on.
2. Keeping doors and windows closed in the day
There is a fine balance that must be struck with your windows and doors during the hot summer months. If there is a breeze, it’s useful to open the windows to create airflow throughout your home to remove the stuffy feeling. However, during a heatwave or times of high humidity, it’s important to keep your windows and doors closed.
This may seem counterintuitive but when the air outside is hotter than it is inside, this will make your home feel even hotter. The summer is also a great time to upgrade your doors and windows to provide better insulation that will not only protect you from the summer heat but also reduce heat loss in the winter.
3. Drying your clothes outside
Drying clothes on a washing line or even just moving your airer from inside to outside can help save the energy it takes to dry them from the heat of your radiators and home.
Furthermore, if you are using a tumble dryer then it requires a large amount of energy to dry your clothes. The natural air and breeze outside can do it for free, and have your laundry smelling amazingly fresh. There is also a lovely added bonus in that on sunny days your laundry can dry within a matter of hours, rather than the day or two it can take drying inside.
4. Insulating and sealing your home
Insulation plays a big role in the energy efficiency of your home throughout the year, not just during the winter. In the summer, we can use upgraded reflective insulation and stronger seals around windows, doors and all entry points for drafts to lock the cool air inside while repelling the warm air.
This means you won’t have to use as much energy on fans or air conditioning if you can better control the temperature inside your home using insulation.
Effective insulation is also useful for ensuring appliances like fridges and freezers don’t have to work overtime keeping your food, drinks and produce cool. Consider insulation a year-round investment that’s best to install during the summer as you won’t be subjecting your home to freezing temperatures while it is being put in place.
5. Being smart with water
It’s becoming increasingly common to be dealt a hosepipe ban in the summer as we experience warmer conditions and our essential waterways and reservoirs are depleted. Naturally, with a hosepipe ban we must use our water more sparingly but the ban doesn’t always mean we think about conserving water inside.
You can start by swapping out your shower head for an energy-efficient version. A well-manufactured shower head from a trusted brand will reduce water consumption by up to 60%. Our appliances like washing machines and dishwashers can also be a significant drain on our water resources but changing how we use them will increase their efficiency.
Washing machines, for example, are perfectly capable of washing most clothes on a 30-degree wash, while avoiding half loads will further improve their efficiency. Similarly, running your dishwasher only when it’s full is more energy efficient while putting it on overnight on an eco wash cycle will enhance its efficiency further.
6. Using fans effectively
Despite our best efforts to keep the heat out, there are still some times during the summer when we must rely on a fan or two to make us feel more comfortable – even if we are already sitting around in our underwear!
To get the best from your fan, make sure to first choose one that is appropriate for the size of the room. A giant fan is going to use excess energy to cool a small room while a little fan isn’t going to get the job done in a larger space, so you can once again be wasting energy.
Using a ceiling fan for a large room can be a more effective method as it provides more air flow, helping to distribute cool air using less energy than an electric floor or desk fan. It’s also important to ensure your fans are running effectively so clean the blades and oil the motor to enhance its performance.
Stay cool this summer
These tips can reduce energy consumption in your home this summer. But there are plenty of ways you can find energy inefficiencies in your home and taking stock of everything you do during the summer is a great starting point.
This could be turning down the thermostat and giving your boiler a break, doing less frequent wash cycles on your washing machine or ensuring that when not in use you switch off your appliances. Every little efficiency win helps.