Now’s the time to get on top of the eco tasks you’ve never had time to do.
As the government continues to implement increasingly stringent measures to deal with the coronavirus, chances are you’re going to be spending a lot more time in your house than usual. It’s not an ideal situation, of course, but for those of us with otherwise hectic lives it does bring a small glimmer of a silver lining in the form of some extra free time.
Before you get comfortable in front of Netflix, though, why not spend an hour or two on these easy household jobs? They’re all straightforward DIY tasks that will save energy, help reduce the impact of climate change and lower your bills to boot. Get them done now and you’ll feel the benefits long after the outbreak has passed.
- Draught-proof doors and windows
Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save money – by eliminating nasty draughts your home will stay warmer for longer, so you needn’t rely so heavily on your central heating. Our guide to draught-proofing will help you take care of this simple task.
- Block up unused chimneys
Draught-proofing a chimney that’s not being used could save you around £15 a year in energy bills. Plus, as is the case with draught-proofing doors and windows, your home will be a more comfortable temperature, so you may be able to turn down your thermostat and save even more on your bills. A chimney balloon fits snugly inside the chimney breast and is quick and easy to install yourself.
- Replace your lightbulbs with LEDs
This oft-repeated advice has been touted for years now, so if you’ve not yet gotten around to swapping out your old bulbs, now’s the time. As the Energy Saving Trust says, you can now get LED spotlights that are bright enough to replace halogens, as well as regular energy saving bulbs (‘compact fluorescent lamps’ or CFLs) which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and fittings. If the average household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £100 and save about £35 a year on bills. Remember that these bulbs will last for up to 17 years, if not longer!
- Fit a water efficient shower head
If you’ve got a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank (rather than an electric shower), it pays to fit a water efficient shower head. This could save a four person household as much as £70 a year on gas for water heating, as well as a further £115 a year on water bills if you’re on a water meter. Some water companies even give them away for free!
- Figure out your boiler controls
Your boiler’s user guide might appear offputtingly complicated, but taking the time to properly get to grips with its programmable timer controls is time very well spent. If you rely simply on turning your heating on and off throughout the day – or even just let it churn away all day on a low setting – you’re wasting energy. Either your home will never reach a comfortable temperature, or it will be nicely heated at times when you’re not there to enjoy it. Mastering the timer controls means you can enjoy a toasty warm house when you actually need to.
- Insulate your loft
As much as a quarter of a home’s heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated house, so there are big savings to be had here. Decent loft insulation will last for around 40 years, and will pay for itself over and over again.
There are several ways to insulate a loft – most of the time you can even do it yourself. According to the Energy Saving Trust, insulating the loft of a detached house will cost around £395, but that will save £215 in energy bills every year. For a semi-detached house, loft insulation will cost around £300, with £130 savings every year, while insulating a mid-terrace house will cost around £285 and save £115 a year. Learn how to do it yourself here.
The bottom line
We’re all going to find ourselves spending more time than usual at home in the coming weeks, so now’s as good a time as ever to take care of the odd jobs that will help reduce stress on the climate and save you money in the long run. Order materials online for delivery or collect them in-store.
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