What are the biggest energy drains in a house?

6 min read Windows

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As energy bills continue to soar, we’re all looking at ways we can reduce our energy usage and monthly bills. Many homeowners are surprised to hear that it’s actually their everyday appliances wasting the most energy and sending their monthly bills through the roof. Sheerwater Glass have created this blog to highlight some of the biggest energy drains around your home, as well as ways we can limit our energy consumpton.

Washing machines, tumble dryers & dishwashers

washing machine

According to the Energy Saving Trust your wet appliances are using around 14% of your homes yearly energy usage. Unfortunately, the appliances we tend to use the most regularly seem to be the ones that use the most energy. Washing machines and dishwashers are the worst culprits because we typically use them on high heats to kill germs and remove stains. However, most of their energy usage can be assigned to heating the water to your desired temperature.

The average tumble dryer uses between £70 and £170 worth of energy every year in addition to the rest of your home appliances. With unreliable British weather tumble dryers are used heavily but reducing the amount you use yours can slice your yearly energy bills.

How can I reduce my wet appliances energy usage?

  • Save your wash until you have enough for a full load – your washing machine will use the same energy regardless of its fullness so it’s more efficient to do one large wash rather than multiple small washes.
  • Always wash on a lower temperature setting or eco if your machine offers the setting - 30°C is warm enough to kill any germs and thoroughly clean your clothes.
  • When it’s warm dry your washing outside –Washing dried outdoors is completely free and as a bonus smells fresh and looks bright.
  • Only run your dishwasher when it’s completely full – For small amounts simply handwash them or store them until you have enough for a full run.

Fridges & freezers

Your fridge freezer is one of very few appliances in your home that is running constantly. Cold appliances are consuming energy 24/7 because they need to regulate the same temperature to keep your food fresh.

It’s important to know that the average fridge-freezer has a lifespan of 17 years, so the one you choose will make an impact on your energy bills for long stretch of time. All appliances are required to display their energy rating clearly. Brands are no longer allowed to sell fridge-freezers rated anything below A+ and there are super-efficient fridge-freezers available with ratings of A+++.

How can I reduce the energy usage of my cold appliances?

  • Choose an integrated fridge-freezer rather than two separate appliances – You’ll save space and reduce your energy consumption.
  • Only go as large as you need to – The larger the appliance the more energy it will need to retain its temperature and if you’re not using enough of the space, it’s simply a waste.
  • Never overfill your fridge-freezer – When you overfill your cold appliances, you’re making them work twice as hard to try and keep everything at the appropriate temperature. Overfilling can also cause the appliance to need replacing sooner.
  • Replace your existing cold appliance with an energy efficient alternative.
  • Always read the owner’s manual and set the temperature according to instructions.

Central heating systems

Your central heating system will without a doubt be using more gas than any other element around your home. Gas is however significantly cheaper than electricity, but we tend to use our heating more than other electricals around our homes. The UK isn’t known for its wonderful weather and as such homeowners find themselves reaching for the thermostat regularly to keep their homes a comfortable temperature. But leaving the heating running all day through the winter will cause your monthly bills to skyrocket.

central heating control

How can I reduce the energy usage of my central heating?

  • Set your thermostat correctly – There’s no need to leave your heating on all day, virtually all digital thermostats can be pre-programmed to kick in whilst you’re actively at home and go off when you’re out working or sleeping.
  • Turn down your heating by a few degrees – Simply turning your thermostat down by 1°C can bring your bills down by at least £40 a year.
  • Only have the heating on when you really need it – If you can get away with wearing an extra layer rather than turning the heating on, do it!
  • Bleed your radiators every year – Air can build up within the radiator systems and this prevents them working efficiently. Bleeding them well in time for winter will save you money.

Home improvements that reduce your homes energy consumption

Replacing your windows

Upgrading your windows won’t just transform the appearance of your home but will greatly improve the efficiency of your home. On average 18% of the heat lost from your home is due to old and inefficient windows. At Sheerwater Glass we offer windows in either uPVC, aluminium, or timber and in a range of versatile sizes, styles and finishes. Our range of windows can be manufactured to suit virtually any property. We even offer timber alternative windows that can be used in strict conservation areas. You’ll receive the benefits of a modern building material but the look of a heritage window. After having your windows replaced, you’ll notice an immediate difference in the way your home maintains its temperature as well as seeing your energy bills drop.

Upgrading your boiler

If your gas boiler is over ten years old, it’s well worth upgrading to a modern alternative. You could actually save over 40% on your energy bills by replacing your existing boiler with a new combi boiler but this is something you should always discuss with a trusted boiler company.

Getting a smart meter installed

Having a smart meter installed is a small change that won’t directly reduce your energy bills. However, it will hold you accountable for your energy usage and make you aware of how much you’re using at what time of day. Many smart meters will also highlight when an appliance is consuming a lot of energy which will allow you to manage it.

Energy efficient home improvements in Woking & Surrey

No matter whether your home improvement dreams include a full house of windows or an efficient front door, you can trust Sheerwater Glass to deliver high-quality work that will improve the thermal efficiency of your home. Get a free quotecontact us online, or give us a call on 01932 344 415 to find out more.

Related reads:

Make your Surrey home more energy efficient 

Why homeowners in Surrey are upgrading to slimline aluminium windows

Can composite doors reduce your energy bills

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