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How To Improve Your Home's Energy Efficiency

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Home energy efficiency is a major concern. As energy costs rise, awareness of the limited fossil fuel supplies and the environmental effects of energy production is more important than ever. Fortunately, many options are available to those wishing to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. What's more, even simple changes can make a noticeable difference to home energy expenditure.
What you'll need: 
Pen
Paper
PC/Laptop
Internet connection
Energy saving calculator (such as that provided by the Energy Saving Trust)
1: 
Start small with your energy-saving actions. Improving energy efficiency is to a large extent a matter of breaking wasteful habits and replacing them with awareness of the major culprits in the energy-wasting process.
2: 
Simple but effective ways to save a surprising amount of energy include turning off the lights when leaving a room, replacing traditional light bulbs with energy-saving versions, ensuring hot water taps are turned off properly and turning off or unplugging appliances at the wall rather than leaving them on standby.
3: 
As a rough guideline it is generally the heat-generating appliances in the home that are the worst energy-wasting offenders. These include boilers, electric ovens, electric heaters, kettles and toasters. Be aware of this fact and eliminate any unnecessary usage of such appliances. For example, only boil as much water as you require at that moment rather than filling the kettle.
4: 
Maximise the effects of the energy generated by your heating system. Inexpensive ideas include turning your thermostat down by as little as one degree, insulating your boiler, sealing any gaps which allow cold air to enter the house and drawing your curtains to trap warm air.
5: 
Drastic improvements in the energy efficiency of your home can involve a relatively large financial investment. However, the benefits of the initial outlay become evident in the long-run. Replacing your old boiler is an example of this. Fitting a new, energy-efficient boiler is expensive yet, according to Glow Worm, a new boiler can save between £190 and £240 a year. A large sum considering the average life of a new boiler is estimated at 15 years.
6: 
Replace old windows with double-glazing. Though this is another potentially expensive investment, it is a worthwhile one in the long-term. Not only will double-glazing trap up to 50% more heat than standard windows, it will also positively impact the resale value of your house.
7: 
Consider so-called 'green' energy in the form of wind and solar power. Though prohibitively expensive to many (a home wind turbine can cost between £2500 and £5000), once fitted such energy sources do provide 'free' energy. Aside from being environmentally-friendly, they have the potential to pay for themselves over time.
Conclusion: 
Energy wastage has begun to hit where it hurts the most, in the back pocket. It is therefore more important than ever to consider individual and collective energy use and take the necessary steps to improve home energy efficiency.
Tips: 
Monitor your energy bills on a monthly basis. It may be worth your while to change energy providers.
Avoid leaving items on charge overnight or while away unless absolutely necessary.
Any improvements made in the energy efficiency of your home will only increase property value.

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