Spring is now in full flight and winter is but a distant memory. For many of us, the summer is just around the corner and with it come a whole host of plans for the home and garden. It’s more than likely that you’ve engaged in the time honored ritual that is the annual spring clean. You’ve deep cleaned every room in the house. And possibly even splashed around a little whitewash to ensure that the home looks bright, clean, tidy. To reflect the influx of natural light to create an airy and spacious feel. The chances are that you’ve also used this opportunity to rid your home of clutter. And the sense of visual distraction, stress and non-specific anxiety that clutter inevitably provokes in us all. Now, you’ve got a whole lot planned in the calendar from sophisticated dinner parties and barbecues to classy cocktail parties.
Yup, your home is going to be a hub of social activity over the coming summer months and a place where you’ll make memories that will provide talking points among your friends and family for years to come. But summer is also a time when the prepared look to the inevitable chill of fall and winter. They know that it’s good sense to make hay whiles the sun shines. For some, this may mean taking steps to combat energy waste so that we will save money towards the end of the year when we’re more reliant on it to heat and light our homes.
Summer is the perfect time to carry out a thorough audit of your home to make sure that it’s free of energy vampires. Although this may mean that you schedule some renovations, now is the perfect time to do them. Since you’ll inevitably be spending more time outside of the home to enjoy the clement weather, these new changes will come with minimal disruption. Since many won’t be considering adapting to the cold until the weather itself begins to get colder, you will likely experience favorable rates because of the reduced demand.
Having established that it’s a great time to strike while the iron (and the weather) is hot, let’s have a look at some areas in which you can combat energy waste in your home and make your home more eco friendly…
WAYS TO COMBAT ENERGY WASTE AT HOME
Few of us pay all that much attention to our roofs. It’s one of those areas that we only really notice if it isn’t doing its job right. It starts leaking or we start to notice our driveway littered with broken shingles. But the right roofing materials can make a huge difference in your home. Not only can they keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer by filtering out the heat from the sun and keeping escaping heat sealed in the home. The right roofing materials can even add value to your property. If you need a roofing company to provide an estimate, now is the perfect time to get one. Plus, your family won’t be inconvenienced by the cold while the work is in progress.
Since your attention is on your roof, it’s probably a good opportunity to have a good hard look at your attic insulation. If you’ve been noticing fluctuations in indoor temperatures, it’s a good idea to check your insulation for puddles of moisture or signs of animal infestation such as droppings or claw / teeth marks. Even if your roof is on point, poor quality attic insulation can see you leak good money through your roof.
Do you feel a cool breeze when you walk past your windows, even if they’re shut fast? This can mean that your windows aren’t as energy efficient as they should be. Many of us make the mistake of thinking that just because our windows are double glazed that they’ll be impervious to energy waste. But not all double glazed windows are created equal. New advancements in glazing technology have come on leaps and bounds over the past few years resulting in far better heat retention and much less chance of energy waste. Now’s the time to install more energy efficient windows so that you will enjoy a warm and cozy winter snuggled up with your family.
It’s probably been a little while since you used them. So as spring bleeds into summer, this is the perfect time to bleed your radiators to make sure that they actually… radiate. You don’t need to get a professional in to bleed your radiators. It’s fairly quick and easy to do it yourself. If however, your radiators still don’t distribute heat as they should there may be an issue with your boiler (which we’ll get to shortly) or you may need to replace the radiators themselves. Fortunately, there’s a great deal of opportunity and radiators have gotten a whole lot more attractive in recent years. Offering flat column or convector panels in a range of styles and powered by natural gas, electricity or dual fuel.
Of course, if your budget won’t extend to a new radiator, consider adding a heat saving radiator additive. This will allow your radiator to stay hotter for longer.
Your water heater
Your water heater is the heart of your homes heating infrastructure. If it’s not up to scratch, even if you fill your home with all new radiators, you’ll probably waste a lot of energy without enjoying the benefit of additional heat. You should take a look at your water heater and consider replacing it if it is more than 15 years old. Or making strange noises or smells or if the pilot light is burning yellow and not blue.
Finally… Keep an eye out for energy vampires all around the home
This is something the energy conscious need to keep an eye on all year round. Most of us leave devices plugged in overnight. Little realizing that they are slowly syphoning away electricity even when they’re in standby or not in use. Every time you leave your TV, stereo, DVD player or games console on standby overnight you could be paying up to $20 a year to do nothing.