Summer is a great time to do work to the house, but as well as aesthetic improvements it’s also a great time to perform some simple energy checks to see where your biggest energy drains are, and what you can do about them.
This time of year is typically when you should be saving money and enjoying lower heating and electricity bills, so whatever else you can do to improve your savings is a winner in our eyes! Here are a few things you should be monitoring over the summer to ensure your energy consumption habits stay on track.
How much heating oil you use per week
Make sure you regularly check the contents of your home heating oil tank. Over the summer when you use less oil, you might not check it as often, but this can often result in running out of oil unexpectedly – or worse, discovering too late that you have been the victim of fuel theft. Use a simple electronic monitor to accurately measure what home heating oil you have left in your tank and top up before you let it run dry.
How much hot water you need?
How much hot water you need and how much hot water you actually use are two different things. If you think that your hot water consumption is currently too high, try turning down the water pressure slightly to use less in the shower and when washing the dishes, and be strict with the length of your showers – 10 minutes max is all you really need. If you have a hot tap which is dripping or leaking then call a plumber to have this fixed as soon as possible, otherwise you really are just throwing money down the drain.
Where are your biggest energy drains?
A smart meter in your home can quickly show you where you’re using the most energy, which gives you the information you need to start tackling the problem head on. Perhaps your fridge freezer is guzzling the electricity? If so, you may want to consider switching to a more energy efficient model.
If your boiler is old, it probably won’t be making the most efficient use of your home heating oil. Make sure you have it serviced annually to improve the efficiency.
How thick is your attic insulation?
It is recommended that your loft insulation be at least 27cm to reduce heat loss through the roof, and if yours isn’t up to scratch you might want to consider replacing it. This will help your home feel warmer, even in the summer when you might not have your heating switched on, and will definitely help save you money by reducing wasted fuel once the winter rolls around again.
Identify where the worst draughts in your house are
Take some time to suss out where those pesky draughts are coming from and make plans to fix them. Perhaps your letter box is letting in more than the post? Maybe there are gaps under the windowsills or worn out seals around the windows? Fixing these draughts will reduce heat loss, and this is a very simple energy check to make and action to see immediate results.