How to Keep energy bill low this winter without freezing to death
1: Avoid using the tumble dryer to dry clothes as much as possible. Tumble dryers use about 5kW per hour when in use which means it adds about €1 per hour to energy bill. If you do need to use tumble dryer add dry cubes to clothes which will help reduce drying time by 25%.
2: Change from old incandescent lighting across to life-long super bright energy saving LED bulbs. If a home on average uses ten 60W bulbs for 5 hours a day and it moves across to a 5W it would lead to an annual saving of over €120 per annum after the initial investment in new bulbs.
3: Ensure that your attic is properly insulated. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) recommend that at least 300mm of insulation should be placed behind the joists on the floor of your attic.
4: Use a lagging jacket on your water tank cylinder to prolong how long the water stays hot.
5: Block draughts into your home and heat escaping through an unused or rarely used fireplace by blocking off the chimney flue. Ideally use a chimney balloon which is designed to allow a little ventilation and prevent dampness.
6: Ensure you never run out of oil and change heating behaviour patterns if oil tank gauge tends to drop rapidly.
7: If using electric showers try to reduce showering time. Use something like a 5 minute shower timer to get into the habit of spending less time in the shower. If you can reduce showering time from 10 minutes per day to 5 minutes it would say over €50 per person per household per annum.
9: Replace old single glaze windows with double glazing. If you are on a budget install secondary glazing film which will provide heat retention not far removed from that of double glazed windows but at a fraction of the cost.
10: Prevent heat from radiators being lost through the walls by installing radiator foil behind all radiators which will reflect heat back into the room. Also consider installing a radiator booster or a radfan on top of your radiators. These products blow the heat created by the radiator back into the centre of the room so the room heats up faster.
11: If using a stove consider installing a stove fan. Powered by the heat that the stove creates the stove fan will help distribute the heat created more evenly across the room and raise the room temperature.
12: Instead of using a power heavy secondary heating source like a fan heater use blankets and hot water bottles to keep cosy when sitting in for the night. Alternatively consider something like a 400W Eco Panel Heater which are 5 time more economical to run.
13: Use energy monitors to get a better understanding how much each electrical appliance in the home costs to run and use this information to change your behavioural patterns.
14: Use a firewood moisture meter to check dampness levels of your wood. If it is greater that 18% leave it dry out further as it affects the burning process and much of the energy your wood creates is wasted on heating the water vapour in the log rather than heating your home.
15: Bleed your radiators regularly to ensure they are operating at full tilt. To ensure this is always the case consider installing automatic radiator bleeding valves.