Cosy conversations over hot cups of cocoa are just around the corner. But as the temperatures drop, your utility bills can go up. Even more painful when faced with the cost of living crisis.
With the following 5 eco-friendly home upgrades, you can transform your home into a warm sanctuary while slashing energy bills. Without further ado, here are our top ideas for saving energy and your wallet!
Harness Solar Energy to Reduce Utility Bills
Winter brings cold weather; in the UK, temperatures usually lie between 36 and 45 °F (2 and 7 °C). This means your heating systems will need to work harder to maintain a cosy interior. When you use electricity for your heating systems, this can lead to a sharp increase in utility bills.
To keep your home nice and warm without sky-high electricity bills, consider harnessing solar energy. This also makes for an eco-friendly home upgrade as solar energy is renewable — and utilising it doesn’t harm the environment.
You can consider learning how to install solar panels or hire a professional company to do the job for you. While savings are relative to the system size, it is estimated that the average household can save up to £1,000 per year in electricity bills by harnessing their own energy.
Install Energy-Efficient Lighting to Save Energy
Winter days have shorter daylight hours, which means you will have to use more electricity for lighting. This results in an increase in utility bills. So, it is essential to upgrade to energy-efficient lighting. In fact, switching out the lighting is one of the top things to do to your home in winter.
You can consider LED or CFL bulbs instead of traditional incandescent lights. These alternatives produce less energy waste as heat and provide the same brightness levels at lower wattage. This energy efficiency is why they can be considered an eco-friendly upgrade. The average household can expect to save £40 per year in bills if they replace all their bulbs with LED alternatives.
Upgrade to Thick, Thermal Curtains to Retain Heat
The difference in temperature between the warm indoors and chilly outdoors means heat will rapidly escape from your home. To minimise (or slow down) this heat transfer, consider upgrading to thick, thermal curtains made from sustainable materials. These can be organic cotton or bamboo.
Thermal curtains work by improving the insulation of your home. They have multiple layers, including a thermal lining that helps keep the warm air in. Thermal curtains can minimise heat loss from your interior by up to 25%.
Install a Heat Pump for Energy Efficiency
Credit: Use the Sun
To keep your home warm in the winter, consider switching to a heat pump. This is a more eco-friendly option than traditional systems because, instead of generating heat, the pump moves heat from one place to another, resulting in efficient energy use. There are two types of heat pumps:
Air-source heat pump — works by extracting heat from the outdoor air and using it to warm up your home in the winter.
Ground-source heat pump — works by using the (more stable) ground temperature for extracting heat and transferring it to your interior. If you compare this to a new gas boiler — a ground-source heat pump can reduce your energy bills by 53%!
Need more ideas? We have 8 additional ways for you to keep your home warm in the winter — and save good money.
Seal Leaks with Non-Toxic Materials to Prevent Heat from Escaping
Hot air is fast to escape through any leaks around your home. These can be possibly anywhere, and especially around the doors and windows. This compromise in energy efficiency, of course, causes a spike in your electricity bills. So, to lower your bills this winter, sealing the leaks around your home is important.
You can use caulking for stationary gaps, such as a leak around the window frame. In contrast, weatherstripping is suitable for movable components, such as doors.
To ensure the upgrade is eco-friendly, use non-toxic materials. Top examples include silicone for caulking and natural rubber for weatherstripping. On average, weather stripping can save you 5 to 10% in terms of energy.
Get Your Home Winter-Ready
With shorter winter daylight hours, you will likely be spending more time at home — meaning more energy consumption and sky-high bills. And with the holiday season also being just around the corner, saving some extra money can help. The good news is, you can significantly cut down on these bills by preparing your home for the upcoming cold season. Even better if you opt for eco-friendly options that are beneficial for your home as well as the environment.
Struggling on how to improve the energy efficiency of your home? Book one of our Sustainability Gurus to discuss your options and get unbiased advice on various technologies, so you can make your home winter-ready and more environmentally friendly!