Energy Saving

How to Perform a Home Energy Check Yourself

home energy checkMaking your home more energy efficient has multiple benefits. It’s not just beneficial for saving you money on your energy bills (although this should be enough to convince you), it will also increase the comfort of your home, improve the resale value of it and massively reduce the carbon footprint it emits.

There’s just one problem: who do you turn to when it comes to finding out what part of your home is wasting the most energy? You could call in a professional to include an energy audit for you, which is fine, but did you know you could just as easily complete this process yourself and save a few of your hard-earned pounds?

Scrutinise your insulation

Did you know that over 60% of the heat generated in your home can be lost due to improper insulation? If possible, check out the condition of the insulation in your roof by going into the attic and see if you can find any wear/damage. At the time of your home being built, the builder will have followed the recommended levels of insulation at the time, which have steadily increased over the years – if your home is older, you’re much more likely to need more than you already have.

Go draught hunting

Draughts can waste up to 20% of your energy bills per year, so be sure to make a list of all the areas you can feel a leaking of air around your house. When you have this list, make sure you’re using the appropriate materials to seal these cracks, such as caulk or weather-stripping.  

Take a look at your central heating

Sometimes the machinery that operates the central heating in your home is massively outdated. If this is the case, you may want to think about updating to a newer model. A grundfos pump is a quality pump and a stellar choice for any setting (whether it be domestic, commercial or industrial), and are proven to save you much more money than you invest after a few years of purchasing.

A recent project undertaken Grundfos saved a hospital Brussels an estimated 65,000 euros a year in wasted energy by replacing over 200 of their old pumps with new ones.

Check yourself

Often it’s your own habits that cost you the most money. Just think to yourself: am I doing enough to save energy around my home? It might be things you won’t even pay a second though to, such as, leaving the light on in the hall when you’re not using that room or leaving an appliance plugged in and switched when you’ll rarely use it. Here are some more helpful tips for adjusting your own behavior around the house.

Inspect those lights

Lighting in your home is barely given a second thought, however, it’s actually responsible for 10% of your energy bills. While we have discussed turning them off when not in use, you can also add further efficiency to them by swapping the bulbs for something more economic. LED (Light Emitting Diode) or CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) bulbs are proven to reduce the energy needed to light your rooms and will save you a ton of money in the process for a fraction of the price.

Think about renewable energy

With so much of a push towards renewable energy today, you may want to be ahead of the curb before it becomes mandatory, and we suspect it probably will soon. Renewable energy technology such as solar panels, which enable you to generate your own energy and save you a substantial sum on your energy bills.

home energy check

Easy Energy Saving Ideas for your Business

Easy energy savingWith so many different costs to worry about when running your business, often your energy bills don’t have much attention paid to them. However, if you take a few steps into reducing wasted energy you could really notice a difference in your overhead costs. Here at Anchor Pumps, we have come up with a few energy saving ideas that are sure to keep your wasted energy to the bare minimum.

Lights off

Are the lights in your building on 24/7? Do they need to be? Often businesses will leave their lights on in the day when daylight is at its strongest or on all night when there is no one in the building. Monitor when you do and don’t need the lights on and adjust them according, this can be done through a timer. You could also utilise a dimmer switch if need be.

Energy saving bulbs

Ok, so maybe you can’t turn the lights off in your building for whatever reason, that still doesn’t mean you won’t be able to cut costs. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL’s) or Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s) can help reduce costs for your lighting and will also last longer than standard bulbs.

Get your staff involved

Often when dealing with cutting costs, if you don’t include your workforce in the process they can become somewhat complacent about your ‘penny pinching’ when it’s dropped on them without a reason. If you hold a meeting with your staff explaining about increasing energy efficiency they will be more inclined to understand. You can also brainstorm with them about ideas for helping and even have people in charge of reducing energy costs.

Hibernate those computers

The hibernate feature laptops and desktop offer is far more cost-efficient for energy usage as opposed to shutting down as they both use the same amount of energy. The difference between the two is that when you hibernate your computer it doesn’t need to go through the long and drawn out start-up process, so you can start work immediately where you left it.

Shut out the draughts

During the winter months, you can be liable to chills seeping in through draughts in your doors and windows. If you seal these off, you can keep the warm where it’s supposed to be and stop the constant upping of the radiator temperature.

Turn off the power during the holidays

If there is a long period of time where nobody is using the office space (like Christmas) then make sure you turn off all unnecessary appliances. If nobody is there to use the coffee machine, microwave or water cooler, then why would you want to waste your money running the thing?

Optimise your central heating

Sometimes the machinery controlling the temperature in your building may be past its prime. If this is the case, you may need to invest in a new central heating pump. When something is running efficiently, you will notice the difference.

Set your heating to come only at times when it’s needed! If your working hours are from 9am-5pm each day and your building is relatively small, then setting your heating to come just before 9 and turn off after a couple of hours will give you enough heat to last the day and avoid overusing your boiler. Contrary to popular belief, leaving your heating on at a low heat will not save you money in the long run, as you will end up needing to replace your boiler sooner!

Go paperless

With more and more importance being placed on not wasting paper, you should make a point of telling your staff to only print something when absolutely necessary. Not only will this help the environment but it also reduces the cost of running a printer. Going digital is the future.

Complete an energy audit

If you want a second opinion about what you think is costing you the most money on your energy bills in your business, why not ask a utility company to complete an energy audit for you? Alternatively, we have put together this useful guide to perform a home energy check yourself.

How to Get Your Central Heating Ready for Winter!

shutterstock_522031834

Taking care of your central heating system before winter begins is essential. From ensuring that it is not emitting potentially deadly carbon monoxide to obtaining the maximum value from what you spend on energy, getting your system ready for the frosty months should be on the annual “to-do” list. When this is done, homeowners should be able to relax, knowing their heating system is primed to work at maximum capacity over the winter to come.

The Pump Is the Heart

Checking central heating pumps are working correctly is vital, as the system’s pump is like the mechanical heart of your central heating. The pump should not be connected to the electricity supply when it is being inspected or adjusted. Make sure it is disconnected before work begins. Without a capable pump, hot water will not circulate properly. As the pump uses around 15 per cent of the system’s energy, regular maintenance will ensure it is operating well. If not, a new pump can increase the efficiency and performance of your central heating.

Central Heating Winter Must-Dos

Central heating winter preparation includes checking your boiler thoroughly. Your boiler may appear to be in good working order, but it is always a sensible idea to get it inspected by an appropriate qualified engineer at least once a year. The engineer will examine the boiler and clean it where necessary. Doing this on a regular basis could save you cash by avoiding major problems.

Getting this done before winter really sets in is a worthwhile precaution, not only ensuring the boiler is ready for the cold season but also that it is in the best possible condition for the time of year when it will be working its hardest.

Heed Warning Signs

Odd noises, sooty marks or leaking are indications that something may be wrong with the system. Regular checking of your boiler will ensure you are aware of these signs that indicate the system requires maintenance. The more rapidly a problem is found and attended to, the better it is for the system and for you.

Get to Know Your Boiler

It could be useful to read the blog post titled “Boilers and Central Heating Explained”. In this entry the basic types of central heating systems are explained. It is easier to make decisions about maintenance requirements when you know what you are dealing with. For example, it is good to know if your system is open or closed.

Dangers of Not Paying Attention

A boiler that is not operating properly can be producing carbon monoxide gas, which can kill. Part of preparing for winter could include installing a device that triggers an alarm if carbon monoxide is detected. If you have one of these, make sure it is serviced before winter begins. Ideally, it should be examined around once each month to make sure it is working correctly.

Upgrading to a New Model

Eventually a boiler will simply wear out. Then it will need to be replaced, and it is much better to do this before the cold season begins. The new boiler you choose could have a significant impact on your bills and energy consumption.

It is worth looking at the latest models to see which ones are the greenest and most efficient. Other things to consider include a back-up plan. A new boiler can be installed with an electric immersion heater to fall back on should there be a problem with the main boiler, and the family will appreciate this in the middle of winter when otherwise there would be no hot water. This can also be a good option for a larger home with a number of bathrooms when there is heavy demand for hot water.

Breathing Space

To work efficiently, a boiler also requires plenty of ventilation. If the boiler is located in some kind of cupboard that is also crammed with clothing and sports gear, the boiler could benefit from a bit more space. Clear out some of this stuff before winter begins to give the boiler every chance of adequately serving the heating system by allowing the air around the boiler room to circulate. A cramped environment can reduce the lifespan of a boiler and decrease the efficiency of a heating system.

For a warm and trouble-free winter, make sure your central heating is in the best possible condition. To ensure this, call in professionals to check the system and carry out any necessary maintenance.

Going on Holiday? Make sure you home is protected!

home protect

If you’re going away on holiday, whether for a long weekend or for several weeks, it’s important to take steps to look after your home protect it from problems and make sure that you won’t be facing a disaster on your return.

There are many things to consider when leaving your home unoccupied. Here are a few of the key points to consider.

Lock It Up

Before you leave, make sure that your property is securely locked up. Lock the doors of course, but also lock your windows and make sure that any garages, sheds and other outbuildings are secured too. If you have a security alarm system, make sure that you set it. For monitored systems, notify the control room that you’re going away and that they have current key holder details.

Think Like a Burglar

It’s also important to see your home protect strategy through different eyes. Think about what might be attractive to a burglar. Put things like laptops, jewellery and car keys out of sight, and use a timer to turn lights and radios on and off. You might want to think about getting a home safe to secure items such as jewellery and important documents.

Stop Deliveries

If you have newspapers and milk delivered, you need to stop them before you go away. If you’re going to be away for a long period, you can also ask the Post Office to hold your mail until you get back via its Keep-safe scheme.

Ask the Family

If you have good neighbours or family members living close by, ask them to pop in and pick up the post, draw the curtains and generally make the house look occupied. You could also ask them to park a car on the drive now and again to give the impression people are at home. Don’t forget to ask them to water your house plants too!

Feel the Heat

If you’re going away in the summer months, you’ll probably want to turn off the boiler completely! However, if travelling during Winter when there is a higher risk of pipes freezing then you might want to leave the boiler on and set a timer for the heating to come on for an hour in the morning / night when it is coldest. Most modern boilers have a frost protection setting, but leaving the heat on with the thermostat turned down low will do no harm. You should run a quick check on all your boiler, heating pump and radiators to make sure everything is working properly for this to be effective – you don’t wanna be coming home to repair bills!

Switch Off

Heating aside, switch off any appliances the might be likely to leak water such as washing machines and in the winter close off the water feed tap too. With the exception of the fridge-freezer, turn off all electrical items at the socket – maybe even unplug just for piece of mind!

Tidy the Garden

An unkempt garden can be a give-away of an empty property. As it’s your home protect your property by cutting the lawn before you go away to avoid it looking overgrown. Also make sure that any bushes and shrubs are neatly trimmed and don’t offer a hiding place for a thief. Make certain that all tools and ladders are tidied away and securely locked up in a garage or shed.

Make Your Mark

Get a UV marker and ensure that all valuable property in your home is marked with your postcode and house number. This increases your chances of its being recovered if you are unlucky enough to suffer a theft.

Policy Matters

Make sure that your home insurance policy is up to date and that the documents are stored in a safe place. If you’re going away for a long period, check your cover as some policies won’t offer protection if your home is unoccupied for more than 30 days, so you’ll need to contact your insurer about extra cover.

Now you can relax and enjoy your holiday!

 

10 Energy-Saving Tips to Cut the Cost of Your January Bills

January can be an expensive month, with Christmas credit card bills and the colder weather increasing your heating costs. If you’re trying to find ways in which you can cut costs and keep on top of your finances, here are our top tips to save energy.

energy saving light bulb
Switch Off Appliances
Households could be wasting around £30 every year simply by leaving appliances on standby. You might think that it’s convenient not to switch them off at the plug, but in the majority of cases equipment can be turned off properly without having an adverse effect.

Save on Washing-Up
Families can generate a large amount of clothes and pots that need cleaning, which adds to your energy usage. Doing this in a savvier way means you can keep on top of everything and save money. For example, washing pots under a running tap can add £30 to your annual bill, and cutting one wash a week can reduce your costs by £5 each year.

Efficient Showers
Showers use less energy than baths, but you can still be wise in the way you use them. A family of four could save £100 annually by just reducing their daily shower by one minute each. A more efficient shower pump or showerhead can save you money if the water comes directly from a tank or boiler.

Limit Draughts
If your home is draughty, turning up your central heating will have a limited effect. Check where the draughts are coming from, such as around doors and windows, cracks or the chimney, and seal them up.

Use Heating Wisely
Central heating costs can be a significant contributor to your annual bills. An average household could save as much as £165 each year by fitting a timer and room thermostat to their heating system and using thermostatic valves on radiators. Turning the temperature down by only a degree could save up to £90 in a year.

Use LED Lighting
Most lighting fixtures can now use LED lights, which use significantly less energy than traditional halogen bulbs. They provide the same level of illumination but make a significant saving on energy bills.

Be Smart
New technology means that it’s now easier to control our heating and energy use, even when we’re not at home. The mobile apps allow you to turn your heating on or off and up or down from anywhere.

Be in the Dark
Saving energy is as simple as switching lights off when they’re not needed. Homeowners often think that it uses more energy to switch them on again, but this isn’t the case. You could be wasting £15 a year by leaving them on.

Efficient Insulation
If your property isn’t insulated properly, you are letting money escape. Even homes that already have loft and wall insulation may need it replacing to ensure it remains efficient.

Cook Well
You could save energy by cooking more efficiently. For instance, try to use the oven wisely and cook more meals at once, and use the appropriate ring on your hob to conserve energy.