We’re constantly being told to cut back on our energy usage these days. Climate change is an ever present spectre, energy prices are heading through the roof, and the typical Irish household has less money to play with, making efficient energy usage more of a priority than ever.
I know these tips are hardly ground-breaking, but I do think they’re worth revisiting as we enter the colder months.
Easy steps to improve home energy efficiency
Insulate your home
Insulating your home properly is perhaps the single most important step you can take to reduce your energy consumption this winter.
- Insulating your attic effectively can save up to 20% of your annual home heating costs according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. If your insulation is less than 200mm thick, consider adding layers.
- Fit a lagging jacket to your hot water cylinder if you don’t have one — it will keep your water hotter for longer, and will typically pay for itself within 2-3 months.
- Fit a factory insulated cylinder if you’re replacing your existing one — the insulation is more effective and durable than a lagging jacket, and can’t be knocked out of place.
- Insulate behind radiators, especially on external walls. Use reflective foil to direct heat out into the room.
- External wall insulation can often be improved — the most popular options are insulated dry lining on interior walls, blown mineral, cellulose fibre or polystyrene beads into the wall cavity, or rigid external insulation.