Above, you can see a video from our Green Doctor series on YouTube. To access the full Green Doctor playlist please click on the top right hand icon on the video image.
This will give you quick access to all the series of videos that seek to help people save on their energy bills by practical tips to reduce energy usage.
General Energy Saving Tips (See videos above for further derails)
One of the quickest and easiest ways to save energy and immediately reduce bills is by reducing electrical consumption through some small changes to our habits.
Alan Spall, our resident energy expert Green Doctor Advisor and Retrofit Assessor, offers advice & tips to manage household appliances more economically such as
- Using the washing machine at a cooler temperature
- Setting to an eco-program to reduce the water quantity required
- Batch cooking
- Switching to energy-saving LED bulbs
- Turning off appliances at the wall that do not require constant power, such as your Wi-Fi router, game consoles, and phone chargers, can also make a big difference.
Keep your eyes peeled each week for our energy advice videos to help you keep warm this winter.
Using radiators properly can save you money.
One of the easier ways to do this is to reduce the amount of heat you put through the system by using a Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV). A TRV controls the flow of warm water through the radiators.
If there are rooms you use less, then reduce the temperature by simply turning the dial down. It is important not to turn your radiators off, as this can cause issues with damp and mould.
Another way to maximise the effects of radiators is to ensure there aren’t any furniture or curtains blocking them. By moving obstructions, you allow the air to circulate, heating all the room.
We know that you can save money by not using a tumble dryer, but ensure that you don’t compensate by hanging washing on a radiator. Drying washing on radiators drastically reduces the effectiveness of them, by blocking the natural air circulation they need, as well as being one of the worst ways for causing damp and mould throughout the house.
Important point to remember:
Make sure your system is up to pressure and that there is no air in the radiators. System pressure is indicated on the boiler, normally by a little arrow on a dial, or by a bar chart on a digital display. If the pressure is too low, then then boiler won’t work properly.
Radiators can be bled using a radiator key and a piece of paper towel. Slowly open the valve until only water comes out, then close it back over again. Do this for each radiator in the house.
Around 10% of heat lost in the home is through unplanned drafts. Getting these sealed up will help keep the house warmer, as well as improving your thermal comfort.
The importance of thermal comfort cannot be understated in helping your mind and body feel warmer.
When sealing up drafts, it’s really important to then make sure we keep the air in the house fresh. This means using controlled ventilation, through windows or trickle vents. This will keep humidity and moisture down in the property, making it healthier and cheaper to heat.
Smart Meter and Hygrometer
Our Green Doctor, Alan, looks at various tools we can use to help keep our energy usage low and our homes healthy and warm.
A smart meter can be a really useful tool for diagnosing any vampire appliances (electrical appliances that drain power when left on standby or when they aren’t in use) in the house, helping to manage energy budgets and raising general awareness of usage.
By using a hygrometer you can manage the humidity levels in your house and by keeping a good relative humidity (40-60%) you save energy by not having to unnecessarily heat water moisture in the air.
Managing humidity levels also helps to reduce condensation and damp which could lead to cold walls, letting heat out of your house faster, as well and the potential build-up of mould. Mould is massively harmful to your body, both physically and mentally.
Damp, mould and condensation
Mould is caused by areas that are subject to repeated moisture, normally where it’s colder in the house and there isn’t good enough airflow.
It’s always good to remember the ‘HIVE’ acronym when dealing with moisture, that is
With energy prices currently being so high, mould is likely to become an even bigger issue, with people saving money by not putting the heating on as much. That’s why it’s vitally important to do all we can to help minimise the moisture in our houses to begin with.
Ventilation is a key part of this, which involves opening the windows, especially on dry days and keeping furniture and clothes away from walls to allow an airflow behind them.
Minimising the amount of water we put into the air by putting lids on pans and using extractor fans when cooking, NOT drying clothes on radiators, keeping doors shut when showering and cooking, until all the steam has cleared afterwards through extractors and open windows will make a huge difference in this battle.
This video shows the simple ways in which you can make your gas usage go further with some easy tweaks to the water temperature on the boiler. It’s easy to do.
All houses and all boilers are slightly different, but if you’ve got a condensing boiler, it’s likely you can drop the water temperatures much lower than they may have been left at. It is important to remember if you have a hot water cylinder, 60c is the safe recommended temperature for standing water.
Did you ever think about utilising your curtains to keep your house warm?
A great tip from our Green Doctor Alan is taking advantage of ‘solar gain’ and open them up when it’s sunny and close them when it’s grey and dark to trap the heat inside.
The thicker the curtains the better and you can even buy thermal linings to add to your existing ones!
The Sun is the best resource we have, and it’s free!
Electronics and Gadgets
It’s important to be mindful of all the electronic devices we have around the house.
Thankfully, these days, standby power consumption is relatively low for most household devices, but with there being so many, and lots of “always on” devices, they soon add up.
Making sure you set games consoles and set top boxes to their ec0- power settings will help, as will switching off chargers when not in use, think phones, laptops, toothbrushes, baby monitors etc.
It’s about lots of small changes making a big difference.
If there is someone you know who may benefit from these services, please contact our team.
Phone: 0113 240 6009 (Mon – Fri from 09:00 – 17:00 & Tuesdays from 10:30 – 17.00)