It's a brand new year, and that means it's time to put some of your good intentions into action! With the rising focus on eco-friendliness and energy conservation, many of us will have been considering making energy-efficient improvements over the last year, and you might be surprised at just how easy some of them are. We're not talking about installing solar panels or ground source heat pumps: here are five simple fixes that can help lower your energy bills and perhaps even save the planet!
1. Turn your thermostat down by one degree
This is a long-established tip, but it really works: according to the Energy Saving Trust, that little degree of warmth will save you around £55 on your energy bills and 230kg of carbon dioxide per year. As thermostats are now more accurate than ever, it may be worth replacing your current one if it's more than 10 years old.
2. Insulate your walls and attic
Insulation is one of the best ways to keep heat in a house, and it's incredibly cheap to do it yourself - and even if you need to hire a professional for the wall cavities, it's still very cost-effective. You may even qualify for a government subsidy to insulate your home, so contact your local council before shelling out for it yourself.
3. Upgrade your windows
Double glazing doesn't cost much, and it's a sure-fire way to trap more heat in your house - as well as reducing noise from outside and improving the value of your property. Get a double glazing quote from a provider like Safestyle UK - the average home can save around £130 a year in heating bills by installing double glazing, so it can soon pay for itself.
4. Use energy-saving bulbs
Energy-efficient lightbulbs, used throughout the house, will reduce the amount you spend on lighting by more than 75 per cent. While they're a bit more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they're getting cheaper all the time and last much longer than their less eco-friendly cousins.
5. Put aluminium foil behind radiators
That's right, ordinary kitchen foil can make your radiators more efficient! It works by reflecting the heat away from the walls and into the room, where it should be. Unless you like paying to have toasty walls, there's every reason to fit this wherever possible and enjoy the savings.