Bringing Your Home and Garden Into the 21st Century

Two Steps That Homeowners Can Take to Keep Their Energy Bills Low

There are a number of steps you can take to keep your household's energy bills as low as possible. Read on to find out what these steps are.

Monitor and manage the growth of foliage near the external unit of your split system

A lot of people choose to have split systems fitted in their homes, rather than ducted air conditioning systems, as the former tend to be less complicated and expensive to install than the latter.

If you have a split system which you use on a regular basis and you're concerned about the cost of your energy bills, it's important to manage the growth of foliage near the system's external unit.

The reason for this is as follows; the external unit is designed to release the heat that the system absorbs from your home (so that your house remains comfortably cool). If this unit's vents are obstructed by dense foliage, the unit will not be able to perform this action in an efficient manner.

This means that the heat that the system absorbs will take longer to be released; this will force the system to use more energy in order to maintain the correct temperature in your home. This, in turn, will result in a spike in your electricity bill.

As such, it's important to keep a close eye on the area of your garden where the external unit is located. If you notice that the foliage in this part of your property is becoming quite dense, you should use a pair of garden shears to cut it back.

Get rid of draughts

The presence of draughts in your home can drastically increase the cost of your energy bills, both during the warmer and the colder seasons.

During the spring and summer months when you are likely to be using your air conditioning system, the cool air generated by your system can end up escaping through the gaps in your home. This can lead to your system having to work much harder to keep the temperatures inside your home low, which can then result in your energy bills increasing.

Likewise, during the autumn and winter months when your heating system is in regular use, draughts can allow the warm air produced by this system to seep out of the house, which can lead to a rise in the cost of your energy bills.

Given this, it's worth spending an hour or two searching for and sealing up the draughts in your home. Some of the most common sources of draughts are the hatch which you use to access your loft, the gaps between your interior doors and the floor, your fireplace and your windows.

For doors and windows, rubber-strip draught excluders are most effective at sealing up any gaps. For your fireplace, a thick refuse bag can be taped inside when it is not in use to prevent air from escaping up the chimney. For your loft hatch, a strip of cheap foam can be taped around it to prevent the passage of air from your hallway into your loft.