Ways to reduce your energy bills
From smart meters and eco apps to plain old good advice, we bring you tips and technologies to help you manage the way you use energy around your home. To find out some other ways to reduce your bill click here.
20 Minute Spring Clean Fixes
- Switch to energy efficiency light bulbs and save around £40 per year
- Ditch the tumble drier. Tumble dryers are the most energy intensive household appliances. Dry clothes on a washing line instead and save about £70 a year.
- Stop leaving your appliances on standby. Instead, plug them in to a standby server, which will automatically switch off unused items, helping you to save up to £30 a year.
- Take control of your heating by turning your thermostat’s dial down by one degree and cut your energy bills by up to 10% and save £60 per year.
- Make homemade draught excluders for the doors and windows in your home by filling old tights and clothes.
- Get your boiler serviced. An inefficient boiler could cost you up to 30% of your gas bill (approximately £300), so now’s the time to get it checked.
- Also take the opportunity to bleed your radiators to ensure that you and your family are warm next winter.
Condensation and damp
What is condensation?
Examples of amounts of moisture produced in a 24 hour period include:
- Washing clothes – 1 to 2 pints
- Drying clothes – 6 to 12 pints
- Cooking – 3 to 7 pints
- Bathing and showering – 1 to 2 pints
- Washing dishes – 1 to 2 pints
- Two people at home all day will also produce three to five pints of moisture, while two people asleep for a night will produce another one to two pints.
What is damp?
- Leaking pipes, wastes or overflows.
- Water spillages in the bathroom .
- Leaks around the bath (edges need to be sealed by the tiles with silicone sealant).
- Not using a shower curtain or screen correctly.
- Rain seeping through the roof where a tile is missing or cracked.
- rain spilling from a blocked gutter or entering around windows.
- Ineffective damp proof course.
- Pooling of water against the house walls (this type of damp usually leaves a tidemark).
If this has happened in your home please call the repairs team or use our online repairs reporting form. If you do not think the dampness in your home is caused by any of these and there is no tidemark, it is probably condensation.
How to reduce condensation
- Ventilate to remove moisture
- Keep a small window ajar when someone is in a room (some UPVC double glazed windows have a trickle ventilator you can use instead). Some windows can be locked slightly open to allow ventilation.
- Open windows when cooking, drying clothes and taking a bath or shower to allow fresh dry air to circulate through your home.
- Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes by leaving them open for a while or cutting a ventilation slot in the back of each shelf or behind each drawer.
- Avoid putting too many things in cupboards and wardrobes as this stops the air circulating.
- Leave a space between the back of the wardrobe and the wall to allow air to flow.
- Where possible, position furniture against warmer internal walls.
- Vent tumble dryers to the outside, unless it is the self-condensing type.
Controlling the moisture
- Cover pans and simmer when cooking, and do not leave kettles boiling - this will also cut your fuel bills!
- Where possible, dry your clothes outside on a line or in a well-ventilated room (with an open window or an extractor fan turned on).
- Don’t dry clothes on your radiators as this puts large amounts of moisture into the air. If you do have to use them, open as many windows as possible. Remember, covering radiators stops your room getting warm and dry.
- Close kitchen and bathroom doors when in use to prevent steam going into colder rooms.
- In cold weather, keep your heating on low all day throughout your home - this is important to help prevent condensation build up.
- Wipe down surfaces where moisture settles.
- Where fitted, use an extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom as these are effective and cheap to run.
- Ensure you use bottled gas heaters in a well ventilated room, as they put a lot of moisture into the air.
Things to avoid
- Don’t block airbricks or vents in the wall.
- Don’t completely block redundant fireplaces - a hole the size of two bricks with an open louvered (‘hit & miss’) vent covering it will keep the chimney aired and dry.
- Don’t draught-proof rooms where there is condensation or mould.
- Don’t draught-proof a room where there is a cooker or fuel burning fire, such as a gas fire.
- Don’t draught-proof windows in the bathroom and kitchen.
How to treat mould
- To kill and remove mould, wipe down walls and window frames with either a weak bleach solution or a fungicidal wash, which is available from most DIY shops.
- Dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets.
- Avoid disturbing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning as it can make existing respiratory problems worse.
- After treatment, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint. This helps prevents mould re-occurring.
Condensation or damp still a problem? If you follow these tips and guidance, but condensation, dampness and reoccurring mould growth is still a problem, please use our online repairs reporting form, call the repairs on 020 7424 7370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and will arrange for a surveyor to visit and inspect the problem.