collaborative post // With the UK striving to reduce its carbon footprint amidst soaring fuel and energy rates, energy efficiency has never been more important. Along with an increased energy price cap, average household bills are expected to rise to more than £3000 this winter – this means that many homeowners will have to proactively boost their household’s energy efficiency rating in order to reduce outgoings.

Fortunately, there are a variety of simple ways to maximise your home’s energy efficiency without breaking the bank:

Dry clothes naturally: Hanging your clothes on a washing line or clotheshorse is an easy way to reduce household carbon emissions and avoid wasting energy on an expensive-to-run electric dryer.

Shut blinds or curtains when cold: Blinds and curtains provide natural insulation and are designed to block draughts and keep out cold; save electricity and reduce heating bills by relying on these whenever possible.

Use electric light sparingly: Reducing your use of electric light is a sure-fire way to reduce outgoings, although this can be more tricky in the winter; try to rely on natural light and only use fixtures when necessary.

Switch to energy-efficient appliances: If your budget allows, consider replacing old homeware and dated white goods with new energy-efficient, cost-effective appliances such as pressure cookers, fridges, washing machines and dishwashers.

Wash laundry in cold water: Running your washing machine on a low-temperature cycle is one of the easiest ways to reduce your energy outgoings – this is because around 90% of the energy used by the machine is spent on heating up the water.

Unplug devices when not in use: One of the easiest ways to boost your energy efficiency is to ensure that you unplug any devices you’re not using and remember to turn off the switch at the socket when not in use.

Use a smart meter: Smart meters are extremely useful for the promotion of energy efficiency because they provide frequent and reliable updates on your home’s energy use and expenditure.

Shorten shower time: While it’s tempting to take a long shower in the mornings, reducing the amount of time you spend in the bathroom is one of the easiest ways to minimise household energy bills. By taking shorter (and cooler) showers, you could make significant savings in the long run.

Only use ventilation when necessary: Because a minimal use of electrical devices tends to correspond with lower energy consumption, it’s best to use ventilation and AC units sparingly in order to improve energy efficiency.

No peeking in the oven: When cooking, try to rely on approximate timings and conserve energy – avoid opening the oven door, which can result in heat escaping and increased energy bills.

Dress for the weather: Don’t be afraid to ‘layer up’ in the home, especially during colder winter months. Extra layers of clothing can go a long way in keeping you naturally warm without the need for costly central heating bills.

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