Based in Unit 102 Coolmine Ind Est

Free Energy Savings Tips

If it were possible to harvest a money tree, many people would have no problem taking advantage of such a windfall. However, when it comes to saving money by following common sense tips or advice, few people will bother. We have organised free tips to help lower your energy bills while increasing your home’s level of comfort.

It’s a win-win scenario, so why not review what tips Usher Insulations has found to be helpful for the homeowner. A large portion of an Irish family's energy literally drifts out the window and through the attic and floors like unwanted money. In addition, electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. However, there is a lot that can be done to save energy and money by taking an interest in making your home more energy efficient.

Some of the tips are straightforward and accessible, while others may require more effort and investment, and others require contacting professionals who can assist you with their expertise. However, all are worth the effort as they can result in considerable savings on your yearly energy expenditures.

The key to achieving substantial savings and changing household habits is to seriously regard these tips as an energy strategy. Write down the tips that are feasible for you to do on a daily basis; these you can implement today. Next, write down strategies that will require simple DIY work or minor adjustments in your home.

Finally, you should do research and price long-term projects that will require the input of a professional with the expertise to advise you. Take a holistic view to energy saving and accept that this isn’t a one-shot deal but will be a concerted effort that will involve the whole family. Download this listing of energy-saving tips if you wish to use it as a reference, and contact us if you want clarification or need our expert advice for your energy-saving audit of your home.

The benefits are crystal clear: energy-efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they save money. Not only can you enjoy reduced utility bills, but your home will improve in value from energy-related improvements. The huge bonus, of course, will be that you will be reducing your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment.

Batteries

  • Avoid overcharging, or leaving batteries in chargers longer than necessary. When fully charged, remove the battery from the charging unit. When not in use, there is no need for charger to remain in wall outlets – unplug as soon as possible.
  • Rechargeable batteries are more energy-efficient and cost effective than throwaway batteries.
  • Do not leave batteries unused appliances as they will corrode and leak into the appliance/device and ruin them.
  • Dispose of throwaway batteries appropriately: Most local authorities require that they be disposed of in a recycling centre rather than included in the general household waste disposal.

Central Heating

  • Do not use central heating when unnecessary. Consider shutting off the boiler during summer months and only heating water (on a timer) as you need it. During winter months, heating should be turned off overnight and should be turned off when you are not in the house. While on holiday, ensure that the heating is shut off before leaving your home, and ask a neighbour to turn it on a couple of hours before your return.
  • Consider turning down thermostats around the house - reducing the ambient temperature from 20 degrees to 19 degrees Celsius can reduce annual heating energy consumption by 10% (thereby lowering your personal carbon footprint).
  • Simple actions such as keeping doors closed will minimise the heat loss throughout the house. A closed door helps to keep warm air in the room and drafts out.
  • If your heating system is more than 15 years old, consider upgrading your heating system with a new, more energy efficient models. In addition, remember that such a system must be properly installed by qualified suppliers such as Usher Insulations. Old furnaces cost more to operate per year than newer, energy efficient models that are 15% more efficient than standard models.
  • If an oil heating system, have it serviced yearly because this can help reduce fuel consumption by 20 to 40%.
  • Wherever possible, avoid locating radiators below a window. This is not the most energy-efficient strategy for heating a room as there is significant heat loss through even closed windows. However, if the radiator is mounted below a window, consider adding a projecting window-board or shelf above the radiator. Even this small alternation will channel warm air into the room and help to offset the loss that occurs through the presence of the window.
  • For gas heating, turn off pilot lights during the summer months (when your central heating should be shut off).

For more info regarding our energy saving solutions, 

get in contact with Usher Insulations today!

Computers

  • Use in “energy saving” mode settings.
  • Turn off computer when it is not in use (especially for long periods of time).
  • Screen savers do not reduce a monitor’s energy consumption. Instead, to be more energy efficient, switch your computer to “sleep” mode, or simply turning the monitor off is more effective.
  • Consider buying a laptop instead of a desktop computer. Laptops consume less energy (up to 90%).
  • Purchase a multi-functional device that combines several functions (print, fax, copy, scan).This type of machine will not consume as much energy as employing various devices. When installing and running the device, ensure that power management features are engaged.

Curtains

  • In the autumn and winter months, keep curtains open during daylight hours to maximise on the sun’s warmth throughout the house. Close the curtains at dusk to keep drafts out of house and to encourage heat preservation.

Driving

  • Observe the speed limit. Not only will it save unwanted points on your driver’s license, but aggressive and haphazard driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes petrol and increases the cost of every trip.

Electrical Appliances

  • Switch appliances off rather than leave them in Standby mode. 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances is consumed while the electrical appliance is turned off. Therefore, unplug the appliance or use a power strip (utilise the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance).
  • Be discerning when purchasing/replacing an existing electrical appliance, be sure to check the energy labels. Wherever possible, purchase “A” rated appliances because they can pay for themselves in cost efficiency over their own lifetimes.

Conventional Ovens

  • Plan a roast dinner and use the oven for more than one item so that you cook several things at one time.
  • Keep oven door shut as much as possible. Opening the door loses as much as 20% of the heat.

Cookers

  • Use lids when cooking as this is more energy efficient.
  • Not in a hurry? Consider purchasing and utilising low-energy saving appliances: slow cookers, microwave ovens and pressure cookers.
  • When cooking use the correct-sized ring to correspond to the pot being utilised. A smaller pot placed on a larger burner can waste up to over 40% of the energy generated by that burner. In addition, using lids assists the cooking process as well as saves on the total cooking time.

Dehumidifiers

  • Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture (humidity) from the air. The comfortable and healthy range of relative humidity within a home is between 30 to 50%. Anything above or below these levels can cause health issues (particularly for asthma sufferers).

Dryers

  • Don’t leave clothes in a dryer longer than necessary. It is a waste of energy and can cause more wrinkles if they are left to cool.
  • Remove newly dried clothes from machine before they cool down. Hang immediately as this can save on the requirement for ironing.
  • Dry larger items on their own as this is faster.
  • Dry similar fabrics together (and read/follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the best result). Towels should be placed together (or air-dried for at least a portion of the time) and kept separate from other clothing as they usually take the longest to dry.
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
  • Read clothing labels before placing articles in dryer. It would save money and energy if you air-dry clothes instead of placing them in the dryer.
  • Inspect your dryer vent regularly to ensure it is not blocked. Not only will this precaution save energy but it may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting products, not ones made of plastic that may collapse and cause blockages

Dishwashers

  • Stop the machine during the drying cycle for further savings. Air-dry or hand-dry dishes before putting them away.
  • Most modern machines have an “economy” cycle – use this setting for reduced running costs.

Electrical Blankets

  • Do not run an electrical blanket continually. Turn on 10 to 15 minutes before getting into bed and turn off once you become comfortable. Be careful about sleeping with one on all the time.

Electrical Heaters

  • When purchasing an electrical heater, ensure that they are the size-appropriate for the room they are heating.
  • Thermostatic controls and timers are preferable on all heaters as it can control the temperature requirement for the user, thereby saving money.
  • Electrical heating is the most expensive, so use a heater only when entirely necessary and under no circumstance leave an electrical heater running.
  • If only one room needs to be heated, use a space or portable heater instead of turning on central heating (that is designed to heat the entire house).

For more info regarding our energy saving solutions, 

get in contact with Usher Insulations today!

Freezers/Refrigerators

  • Defrost fridge/freezers every three to six months as this will increase energy efficiency
  • Let food cool to room temperature before placing in refrigerator or freezer
  • Check that rubber seals on fridge are still resistant and tight. Is should hold a folded sheet of paper in place when closed.

Kettles

  • Boil only the amount of water necessary.

Microwave

  • Microwaves are more efficient for reheating food than conventional methods. Electrical ovens are expensive to use.

Toasters

  • Toast bread utilising a toaster rather than a grill as it doesn’t waste energy by heating large space.

Washing Machines

  • Use the lowest water temperature required. Wherever possible, wash utilising cold water. About 90% of the energy use in a washing machine goes to water heating.
  • Wait until you have full loads before running the machine. Avoid using half loads where possible.
  • If you are looking to purchase a new dryer, investigate machines that feature a moisture sensor that will automatically shut off when your clothes are dry. This will not only save energy, but is safest for your clothing.

Extractor Fans

  • Use in the kitchen to help control moisture retention and to remove odours resulting from cooking. However, do not run the extractor fan longer than necessary. Ideally, extractor fans should be installed with a duct that brings the moisture and odours externally.

Fires

  • Open fires are not recommended as a main source of heat. The use of open fires should be kept at a minimum and viewed as a luxury or contributing to the room’s ambience (when guest are over) rather than a cost-effective method of heating a room. With open fires, more than 70% of a fire’s energy/heat goes up the chimney.
  • Close the fireplace flue damper tightly when the fireplace is not in use. Otherwise, heat will easily escape from the house.

Heating

  • Heat water as you need it by utilising a timer.
  • Shower instead of having baths. A shower uses far less energy.
  • Install an electric shower.

Hot Water Heating

  • Use the timer on immersion heaters. This should supply you with enough hot water as and when you need.
  • Heating hot water account for 64% of energy consumption in the home: you should be thrifty in its use.
  • 90% of the energy consumption of washing machines goes on heating the water. Wash clothes whenever possible in cold or cool water.
  • Repair any faucet leaks and upgrade old water fixtures. A leaky or faulty faucet can waste gallons of water unnecessary.

Insulation

  • Check for all significant air leaks in your home. Seal all gaps, cracks, and spaces from which warm air can escape (or cool/cold air can enter) from your home. Test for leaks by holding a lit incense stick next to windows, doors, air vents, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. Larger gaps and holes should be sealed with expanding foam. Sealing these gaps can result in a cost saving on yearly heating costs.
  • Weather stripping should be done around windows and doors to reduce drafts.
  • Don’t be afraid to examine your current level of insulation to determine if it is time to upgrade: in the attic, measure the depths of existing insulation using a ruler. If there is less than R-22 (18cm (7 inches) of fibreglass or rock wool, or 15cm (6 inches) of cellulose), you could probably benefit from adding more insulation. Insulating ceilings, walls, attics, floors, crawl spaces and cellars to recommended standards can reduce heating costs by 5 to 25%.
  • The majority of the heat lost in a house is through windows, that is why many homeowners invest in double-glazing to save on such losses. If your home isn’t double-glazed or has a solid, well-insulated front door, you should consider investing in proper windows and insulation.
  • Keeping curtains drawn at night can prevent drafts from filtering into the home and provide assistance in sustained warmth during the night.
  • Installing insulation such as a reflective foil behind radiators improves their radiant heat.
  • Hot water cylinders should have a lagging jacket to retain heat. If ordering or replacing your current hot water cylinder, request that the insulation is applied as part of the new replacement. This type of insulation keeps in place and is more heat retentive.
  • Attic Insulation: Proper ventilation with natural air flow keeps the roof cool and dry by extending the life of the roof shingles. As a homeowner, you should ensure that attic soffit vents and gable vents are not blocked so air flows freely through them.
  • Insulating your attic pays for itself – enjoy up to 40% off your home heating bill.
  • Don’t be afraid to contact an insulation expert and pick their minds about how best to insulate and save money on energy efficiencies.

For more info regarding our energy saving solutions, 

get in contact with Usher Insulations today!

Sliding Doors

  • Caulk around door frames, and in particular weather-strip around doors that do not close tightly.
  • If replacing old sliding doors, purchase only double/triple glazed doors, and discuss energy-saving features with your supplier.

Ventilation

  • Consider installing a ventilation fan in your bathroom to control moisture in the air while you shower or bathe. It also helps to control mould and mildew growth. Fans should be left running for 10 to 15 minutes after you shower to remove moisture.

Windows

  • Replace single-pane windows with double-glazed windows for greater heat retention. The most effective results can only be achieved by contacting a qualified supplier and installer of energy efficient windows.