eco living, sustainable living, winter proofing your home

Autumn is a beautiful time of year - but it's also a time when it gets cooler and darker, which can affect your heating & electricity bills

Have you noticed you’re switching your lights on earlier in the evening?  Just a few days ago I found I was struggling to read a recipe in my kitchen and it was only 17:30.

And I’m wearing socks for the first time in two months.

There’s no denying that Autumn is here.

I love this season – it’s my favourite time of year, with the warm tones and textures of the colourful leaves, the new germinis, hypericum berries and freesias dancing in the hedgerows.

But as the evenings become cooler and darker earlier, the lights are going on, the heating is looking increasingly tempting, and the bills are probably going to go up.

Here are a few things you can do to eco-proof your house this weekend:

1.  Radiator panels:

I’m ashamed to say I’ve only just discovered these but they’re amazing.

They’re easy to fit and are so efficient they can boost the power of your radiator by a third.

You can buy them as panels or foil, then attach to the wall behind your radiator to reflect the heat, which is normally simply absorbed by the wall.

how to be environmentally friendly, reduce carbon foot print, sustainable living2.  Go paperless:

Junk mail is one of my pet hates.  Who doesn’t hate it?  Bills aren’t much fun either.

But did you know that as well as saving your postman’s energy and reducing your bill (some credit card and utility companies offer financial incentives for customers who choose to receive bills online), requesting paperless billing also reduces your impact on the environment.

Hurray!

cut heating bills, reduce carbon footprint, eco living

And it doesn't have to be just functional - it can also be pretty and stylish

3.  Draught excluders

If every household in the UK used the best possible draught proofing, every year we would save:

  • almost £200 million
  • enough CO2 to fill nearly 225,000 hot air balloons
  • enough energy to heat over 260,000 homes*

Investing in a draught excluder is a simple first step to keeping the heat inside your house rather than letting it leak out.  Make your rooms super cosy with a draught excluder and you’ll be toasty warm in no time.

sustainable living, environmental living, how to go green

Just a couple of degrees cooler makes a difference to your pocket as well as the planet

4.  Adjust your thermostat:

For every degree you turn your heating down, you save around 1-3% on your heating bill and reduce your carbon footprint.

So next time you start to feel a bit nippy in the evenings, put on a jumper before putting on the heating, and you’ll feel an increase of between 2 and 4 degrees (and a sense of pride that you’re doing your bit to help the environment).

5.  Insulate ceilings, walls and lofts:

Half the heat lost from your home is through the walls and loft, so it’s worth looking into whether yours is fully insulated.

If it’s not, there may be funding to help you update your insulation – check with your local council.

6.  Seal around windows and doors:

This one’s a real quick fix – you can save money and reduce waste energy by filling gaps around doors and windows with a cheap and effective sealant from your local DIY store.

energy conservation, how to save energy, eco living, sustainable living7.  Invest in an energy monitor

If you could see the amount of heat that escapes from your home, you may think twice before switching on a radiator.

And if you could see how much energy you’re using in your home day to day, you may think twice before leaving the TV on standby, having lights on in every room of your house, or boiling a whole kettle of water for just one cup of tea.

An energy monitor is one way to get a better understanding of what impact your actions are having – how much does it cost and how much CO2 is produced when you straighten your hair every morning for 5 minutes?  Or when you do your washing at 60 degrees rather than 30?

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to cut waste, and how much you’ll want to do it when you can see the impact your actions have on your energy consumption!

I’m off to put on another pair of socks and a cardigan while I can still feel my toes.

What have you noticed that tells you Autumn is on its way?  Share on the Daisy Hill Facebook page or the comments below, and tell us what you’re doing to cut your carbon footprint.

* Source: The Energy Saving Trust

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