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Home improvements to save money
With energy prices rising, methods to save money by increasing the energy efficiency of your home are becoming more and more important. Here are some top tips to save money in your home.
Light emitting diodes are the newest technology in energy-efficient lighting they are more efficient and last longer than both normal bulbs and the newer energy-efficient bulbs, however as new technology they maybe more expensive and they may not be versions which fit all possible light fittings yet. With these caveats in mind LED lights are more energy-efficient and last for a longer time so they will almost certainly save you money in the long-term.
A major way energy (in the form of light and more significantly heat) escapes your home is through your windows, a major way to save energy long therefore is to ensure that your windows are as efficient as possible. New technologies like low emission glass (which uses a metal oxide layer to bias the glass towards letting heat in but not out) and older technologies like storm windows can prevent from escaping your home thereby ensuring that you have to pay less for heating costs. Of course this assumes that you live in an area where keeping heat in is important.
Keeping your home and water at the right temperatures costs a lot of energy and therefore money. One way to save this money is through the use of up-to date equipment. Air conditioners, boilers and heating systems which are more than 10 years old maybe less efficient than the current model. If you have an older system its worth checking the efficiency of the model against models currently on the market, either online or at your nearest DIY store.
Energy usage measuring devices:
Another option is to use devices which measure then amount of electricity you are using in real-time, so that at any time you can check if it’s costing too much so that you can then attempt to make changes to your appliances or lifestyle to save money. This may be too inconvenient for some people though which is fair enough, but these can be very useful if you really need to save the money.
Getting a good thermostat is a great way to make sure your home is both at a comfortable temperature and to easily allow you to adjust all of your temperature management devices all in one go without problems. It also gives you the ability to save money by varying the temperature to one closer to the 'natural' room temperature of the house so that less heating/air-conditioning is required, this will save money at the cost of some comfort.
Replacing things like, fridges freezers, ovens and washing machines if again they are more than 10 years old is another good way to save power, as although they are likely to use less power than heating and cooling systems for the whole house, if they are inefficient they are likely to be wasting a lot of power. once again its best to check just how much more efficient the new model is before making the purchase.
loft insulation is a great way to save energy, a lot of houses are not insulated properly so getting roof insulation is likely to save a significant amount of power. The thicker the better in terms of keeping in heat but obviously there is a law of decreasing returns with regards to the amount of heat saved the thicker the insulation you have. This method assumes that you live in an area where keeping heat in is important.
Draught insulation is a good way to stop heat escaping, this method is used to prevent the flow of too much air between the inside and outside of the house. Doors and windows are a major cause of draughts so it is important to make sure that there is a good seal between the door/windows and the wall when the door/window is closed. Again this method assumes that you live in an area where keeping heat in is important.
Solar panels :
If you live in an area that gets a lot of sunshine it could be worth your while to invest in solar panels. Solar panels are made from solar cells which generate electricity from sunlight. There is a growing trend towards using these products because the price has dropped dramatically over the last year (30% price drop) caused by a massive increase in the number of solar cells being produced by China. As such in many area it makes a lot of sense to get solar power as they both allow you to power your own home when its sunny, but also excess power can be sold back to the grid at a profit. And even if you don't live in an area sunny enough to save money based on current energy prices, they are likely to rise in the next few years making solar savings likely.
In summary if you’re worried about energy bills it can be well worth your time to look at making your house more efficient as it could save you a lot of money. Technology in this area is improving rapidly so even if you improved your house in the last 10 years it could be worthwhile looking for new products like low emission glass, solar panels and LED lighting which could save you even more money.