There is never really a better time than the holidays to start applying money saving ideas to your home. We have focused on the festive period because it is typically the time of year when you feel the pinch on your wallet the most and subsequently it becomes a bigger issue around this time of year.
Over the festive period we change a lot of our behaviours; becoming more celebratory, using a lot more appliances and having more often than not a lot more people in the house than is typical. Subsequently, over this period we spend a lot more money, whether it is inadvertently or planned there is always a lot more pressure on our wallets over this time.
For this exact reason we thought it important to post a few straight forward home improvement and DIY ideas which will help lower your expenditure over the Christmas period and hopefully beyond into the New Year.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a lot of festive lighting, but how many of us forget to turn lights off inside and out; resulting in energy bills which make you pull funny faces. The solution is simple; don’t rely on often slightly inebriated humans to remember to switch things off – use timers instead. Simply set the time you want to switch the lights off and leave it. Timer use is not just limited to lighting and can be used for other electronic items as well – get creative and save some energy.
Source: Home Depot
Install a ceiling fan
If you live in a hot climate then chances are you have one of these anyway and if you live in colder parts you should consider installing one too. In hot conditions the benefits are obvious. However, a little known fact is that if you reverse the rotation to clockwise (usually achieved via a switch) the fan will actually recirculate the warm air trapped by the ceiling – allowing you to turn the thermostat down a notch.
Upgrade your insulation
In honesty, this should be an upgrade you make regardless of if it is the festive period or not. Up to 25% of your homes energy is lost through the roof, so by adding new insulation you will get pretty instant returns (especially as most insulation in guaranteed for up to 40 years). It becomes a little trickier if your loft space is a living area, but for such a small amount of effort it really is a no brainer.
Source: Home Depot
Get yourself a festive draft excluder
Not just associated with old ladies, draft excluders have been around for so long for a reason! They exclude drafts; which can account for around 15% of your total household energy cost. At this time of year you can find festive variations in most home stores or go one step further and try to make your own.
Plant a tree
Now this may sound a little strange, but hear us out. By planting a deciduous tree on the south, west or east side of your property you will dramatically cut your cooling costs. As once mature, it will provide shade to your roof (as well as looking great) meaning you need to spend less on combating the sun. It will also shed its leaves in the autumn, meaning you will get the sun’s rays when you need them.
Get a SmartStrip
Up to 75% of the electricity your gadgets and gizmos use is consumed whilst in standby or supposedly turned off. A SmartStrip removes the need for you to unplug them from the wall every time; simply plug them into the SmartStrip and it will kill all power to that item when it is switched off, and return it when turned back on. Saving you a lot of cash every year, especially over periods when a lot of electric items are on.