If you are concerned about rising energy costs, there are steps that can be taken to make your home more energy efficient and thus lower your electricity and heating bills. In addition to saving you a significant amount of money, the following suggestions will also help to reduce your household's impact on the environment.
Invest in some solar panels
One of the best ways to increase the energy-efficiency of a property is to install solar panels on the rooftop. This job can be carried out by several different kinds of tradesmen but is usually done by an HVAC contractor. Solar panels make use of a free, but extremely powerful source of energy -- the sun. This technology uses the light produced by the sun to generate electricity. Although the initial outlay is quite high, installing solar panels will dramatically reduce your bills in the long-term and so should be viewed as an investment.
Draught-proof your house
During the wintertime, draughts can make your home considerably colder and less pleasant to spend time in. They can also increase the cost of your bills if you turn up the heat to compensate for this additional chill. Draughts can be problematic during the warmer seasons too, as they allow hot air to get into house; again, not only is this uncomfortable, but it can cause a spike in your electricity usage if you turn on your air-conditioning system more often as a result.
Draughts can be found all around a property but are most often located in or near fireplaces, windows with loose frames, exposed beams and rafters and along the edges of doors. If you want to reduce your house's energy consumption, spend a few hours inspecting these parts of your home and sealing up any gaps that you come across; depending on the size and type of hole, this can be done with silicone sealant, door strips, caulking compounds or screens.
Monitor and minimise your appliance usage
Overusing electrical appliances is one of the quickest ways to increase your energy bills. You can avoid this extra cost simply by keeping tabs on your household's appliance usage and cutting back where possible. For instance, make sure to switch off your television and radio properly, rather than leaving them on stand-by. Additionally, try to use a lower temperature setting on your washing machine when doing laundry, and when boiling water, only fill the kettle with the exact amount that you intend to use, as heating up unnecessarily large amounts will increase the amount of energy that is used during this process.