How to reduce your utility bills

How to reduce your utility bills

When it comes to keeping your home warm, particularly during the colder months, your utility bills can become a real drain on your finances. It can be tricky to keep a budget in place, and save money on your bills without compromising on the quality of your home life.

With the blustery weather outside, we thought we’d pull together this post on how to save money on your utility bills. Our top tips can help you orchestrate a happy home that’s not just cosy and welcoming, but energy efficient too.

Red standby button off

Change-up your routine

We all know how easy it is to lose track of how much energy we may be wasting, but one quick-fix is to make energy efficiency a part of your daily routine. For example, get into the habit of switching the lights off in a room as you leave and always avoid leaving devices on standby. As well as this, make sure your dishwasher is stacked and full before turning it on, and set your washing machine to a shorter, cooler cycle. Habits like this may seem small, but the savings soon add up.

White radiator

Bleed your radiators

When pockets of air get trapped in your radiators, heating up your home can become much more difficult. Trapped air means you need to keep your heating on for much longer to feel the same results. When you bleed your radiator, you release the air that’s trapped inside and heat can travel through the radiators with ease, thus keeping your home warmer. Bleed your radiators to benefit from lower energy bills.

LED bulb on a black background

Make the switch to LED bulbs

Traditional halogen bulbs have long been the go-to bulb for home-owners. However, increasingly, people are growing wise to their inefficiency. LED light bulbs use 90% less energy than halogen alternatives, and come in a range of colour temperatures and designs. Investing in LED bulbs for your home can see you reduce your utility bills significantly.

Grey radiator on a yellow wall

Add foil to the back of your radiators

The heat from radiators often escapes through the back, only to get absorbed by the walls. To avoid this, and make the most of the heat, add foil to the back of your radiators. This will reflect the heat back into the room, giving you more warmth for your money!

Blankets and cushions on a sofa

Layer up

An old energy saving hack, but still as effective as ever. Instead of turning up your heating at the drop of a hat, add on an extra layer or two or get cuddled up under a blanket. Regularly getting into this habit, as well as encouraging the rest of the household do so too, can help to keep your energy bills under control.

Running an energy efficient home can be a real challenge, particularly when you’ve had a long day out in the cold! However, having to sacrifice luxuries to save on your bills is a long-standing misconception. Small compromises and healthy habits are all you need to keep your utility bills under control.

We hope you’ve found our post useful, and you are keeping warm during the cold weather. What are your energy efficiency hacks? Get in touch and let us know!

The information above was provided by the team at online electrical wholesalers, The Electrical Guys


Energy efficient options for cooling your home

'Energy efficient options for cooling your home' blog post banner

Living room cooled by a ceiling fancredit

Staying cool in your home does not have to mean watching your energy bills sky-rocket or cringing over your carbon footprint. Depending on the climate in your location, around 20-50% of your energy usage will go towards cooling your home, accounting for around 5-15% of your carbon footprint. If you’re looking for new and innovative ways to stay cool whilst cutting back on energy consumption, we’ve put together a list of ideas that you might find useful.

Man wetting his face with a shower headcredit

Personal cooling alternatives

Keeping our bodies cool is usually the main reason for wanting to cool a home, however it’s important to realise that keeping your body cool does not necessarily mean that you need to cool the whole area around you.

  • Ceiling fans – Installing ceiling fans and ensuring that they are set to circulate in the right direction to keep the air cool in the area is an energy efficient option. It’s a well known fact that a good ceiling fan can help you feel up to five degrees cooler in warm weather.
  • Take cool showers – Rather than turning on the air conditioning, it’s a good alternative to take a cool shower in the evening or late afternoon in order to cool your body down when it needs it the most.
  • Peppermint essential oilPeppermint essential oil can be very effective to cool the skin when sprayed directly, however it’s recommended that you avoid using it near the eyes.

Home cinema with drawn curtainscredit

Indoor home cooling

  • Check for drafts – To help seal the cold air in, you can apply weather-stripping, silicone caulking or foam sealant to doors and windows relatively cheaply. Insulating any electric switches or outlets, attic doors or crawl spaces is also effective.
  • Solar attic fans – Installing a solar attic fan will help to cool the hot air in the space, making it easier to cool the home and resulting in your home energy bill being up to 10% cheaper per year.
  • Increase insulation – Increasing the insulation in your attic, keeping your walls well insulated and installing double-glazed windows will all help to save energy by trapping more cold air indoors.
  • Close curtains – Keeping curtains closed can help to deflect sunlight and keep the room cool.
  • Use alternative cooking methods – Using the oven or stove in the afternoon or evening should be avoided as this can greatly increase the level of heat in the home.

Garden with rectangular shaped pruned treescredit

Outdoor home cooling

  • Plant trees – Planting native, deciduous trees will provide a shade for your home from the hot summer sun. In the winter, they will also serve as a solar heating option for your home when they shed their leaves.
  • Solar screens – Using solar screens on the outside of windows can make a large difference, and are definitely worth investing in. They are also removable, meaning that you can take them down in winter.

Air conditioned living roomcredit

Energy efficient air conditioning use

Although every effort can be made to cool yourself and your home without switching on the air conditioning system, there’ll be times where eliminating using the air conditioning may be impossible. Knowing how to use your air conditioning wisely is important to be energy efficient and get the most out of your efforts to keep your home cool.

  • Exhaust other options – Before turning on the air conditioning it’s important to make sure that you’ve tried every other possible method to cool your home.
  • Consider a small evaporative cooler – These use water blown through wet pads in order to cool the air.
  • Maintain regularly – Annual, proper maintenance of your air conditioning unit is essential in order to be energy efficient.
  • Replace old models – If your air conditioning system is over ten years old, investing in a newer, more energy efficient model can result in halving your energy consumption.
  • Keep it clean – Ensuring that the area around the outside compressor unit is clean will increase air circulation and provide more efficient home cooling.
  • Check air ducts – Climb into your crawl spaces to check for any drafts coming from the air ducts, as insulating them will decrease the loss of cool air and increase energy efficiency.
  • Close doors – Closing the doors around your house will help to keep the cool air trapped inside each room, especially if you have a two-storey home or high or vaulted ceilings. However, you should also consider your thermostat placement in order to avoid inaccurate temperature gauging.

Have you got any great tips for home cooling that you’d like to share with us and other readers? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.