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Home Energy Efficiency Myths

Home Energy Efficiency Myths

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Over recent years, home energy efficiency has become a major talking point, with more and more people seeking tips that can help keep their bills – and their home’s impact on the environment – as low as possible. As tends to happen when a topic becomes popular, the good advice tends to be joined by a few myths that can potentially stymy people’s ability to actually improve the energy efficiency of their home as a whole. Below, we’ve outlined a few of these myths, so you know which measures aren’t worth your time – and which ones are. 

MYTH: Hand washing dishes is preferable to using a dishwasher

It’s claimed that there are two benefits to hand washing over using a dishwasher. The first is related to the energy needed to heat the water for washing; according to the myth, less hot water is needed to wash dishes by hand, and thus less energy needs to be used to heat that water. The second is in terms of the water itself, with the myth suggesting that dishwashers use more water than people generally use to hand-wash, which means dishwashers increase water waste.  Neither point, however, is accurate – dishwashers are the more efficient choice, by every metric, every time.

MYTH: Black radiators are preferable to white radiators when it comes to heating your home

If you were to leave two shirts, one black and one white, out in the sun for an hour, the black one would be much hotter to the touch than the white – so this myth does have a basis in scientific fact. However, the difference is in the type of heat; in our example, it’s thermal heat that makes the black shirt feel hotter, but radiators primarily produce convective heat – which colors do not impact. While radiators do produce some thermal heat, it’s not significant enough for you to see any real benefits from black radiators. If you paint a white radiator black than you might see tiny benefits due to the extra layer of insulation, but it’s not significant enough to be worth going out of your way for – if you like the idea of black radiators as a design feature, then go for it, but doing so won’t make an appreciable difference to your heating bills.

MYTH: It’s better to leave your home heating on all day rather than turn it off and on continually 

This myth would make sense if everyone lives in a hermetically-sealed property where it was impossible for internally-heated air to escape – but no one does live in such a property. Our homes are losing energy all the time, which means that if the heat is left on all day, then heat is being lost all day too. It is far preferable to turn your heat on and off as and when needed. 

MYTH: Use plastic wrap to cover windows and prevent heat from escaping

Around 25% of a property’s heat is lost through the windows, so this myth seems to pose a sensible solution to this problem – simply use plastic wrap to add an extra layer of insulation but without preventing natural daylight from entering the room. However, the benefits of doing this are negligible, it’s unsightly, and plastic wrap at all is less than ideal from an environmental standpoint. Realistically, modern double-glazed windows that have been properly installed and are well-maintained are always the best way to prevent heat loss via the windows in your home. 

So what does work? 

All of the myths developed for a reason: because people want to make their home more efficient and cut their energy bills, especially over the winter months. The fact that the above myths have been busted doesn’t change the fact that people still want to see the benefits of a more efficient home – so it’s worth discussing the measures that can actually make an appreciable difference in this regard. 

Most of the principles of good energy efficiency will be familiar to most; there’s simply no magic remedy that will slash bills and cut energy usage dramatically. Instead, focus on the fundamentals: 

  • Ensure that your home is adequately insulated
  • Replace old or damaged windows to help retain heat in your home
  • Keep the thermostat as low as is comfortable and safe
  • Swap your conventional light bulbs for LEDs
  • Turn the lights off when a room is not in use
  • Unplug devices rather than leaving them on standby

The above methods can really help to keep your home as energy efficient as possible, so you can set the myths aside and focus on achieving tangible results.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Get That Tech! Three Ways To Modernise Your Home

Get That Tech! Three Ways To Modernise Your Home

Update Your Technology

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If it’s been a while since you last updated your technology, now might just be the time to do it – after all, it’s still the start of a brand new year, so why not try out a brand new you? If you still have some of your Christmas bonus left over, then you’re probably thinking about what exactly you could do with it. Now could be the right time to upgrade your laptop to the latest model. If you’re not entirely sure which one would be the best for you, write down exactly what you need from your laptop. The requirements of a serious gamer would be very different from someone who just likes to send some emails and browse the internet from time to time! Talk to a shop assistant about what exactly you need. You could also add some speakers to your front room, especially if you really enjoy watching TV in the evenings, as surround sound will really improve the experience.

Go For A Smart Home

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If you’re really into technology and thinking about new innovations, then chances are you’re already looking into smart living and the possibility of home automation. This works by connecting the appliances in your house to the internet so you can access them and control them no matter where you are – for instance, you could turn all your lights on or off without being at home. It could help you save money, improve your home security, improve your home entertainment system, and help improve your health by decreasing your stress and improving your sleep. If you’re really looking for a home that belongs in the future, home automation really is it. You can even use voice commands to tell your kettle to boil its water so you can make a cup of tea! Look online to learn more about home automation.

Use Different Energy

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If you’ve been lagging behind the rest of the world in the environmental revolution, now is your chance to change the way you think so you can reduce both your greenhouse emissions and your energy bills. If you’re in a part of the world where the sun shines, why not go for solar energy? Not only is this fully sustainable but it just involves the one time cost of installing the panels on your home, meaning that in the future your energy bills will be far lower. The same would be true if you replace your traditional light bulbs with LED lights. They last for longer and use far less energy. If you’ve noticed that your energy bills are way up over the winter, there are also a few practical solutions. Firstly, check your windows and doors for draughts, and use draught excluders to keep the cold air out. Secondly, add more insulation to your attic. You can buy lagging at any good hardware store. Heat escapes through your roof just like it escapes through your head – you need to put a hat on your house by adding more insulation to the roof to keep it nice and warm.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

The Painless Changes You Can Make Towards A Green Home

The Painless Changes You Can Make Towards A Green Home

Yes, it’s time for that talk. In case you haven’t noticed, the world is having the hottest year on record. For eleven months in a row, we’ve been warmer than every other year. This April was hotter than last April. October just passed was hotter than all the other Octobers before it. If that isn’t a bit of a wakeup call for us to live more sustainably, I don’t want to know what the tipping point will be. The easiest place to start making those changes in your life is in your very own home. So, let’s look at a few.

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Keep the heat in

We’ve been talking about getting cozy for the winter for some time now. It’s easier to do that if you make a few changes to the home. You don’t have to go mad on your energy bill. Instead, focus on how your house maintains its own climate for longer. Make sure you’re insulating properly. Not just fitting insulation in the roof. You should be caulking any gaps in your windows and using draft excluders. You should also insulate your pipes so that your water heater can be a lot more effective at its job.

Take care of your tech

If you want to reduce your energy bill (and your carbon footprint) you need to look at your electronic appliances. There are a few ways to make sure they’re better at their job. For one, make sure they’re cleaned and maintained. A dusty AC is going to be a much less energy efficient AC. The better condition they’re kept in, the more work they can do with less energy. Of course, there comes a time that it’s a lot more energy efficient to think of a replacement. This is particularly true of refrigerators and HVAC equipment. If yours is really starting to show its age, it might be a good idea to find heaters here and other places. They now come with energy ratings so you can make a more responsible choice right off the bat.

Be water conscious

Contrary to what a lot of people might believe, it doesn’t all start and stop with energy use. Your water is just as important a part of living sustainably. Water shortages are already starting to rear their ugly head. As time goes on, it’s believed that it might be one of the greatest crises that we face as species. So let’s start using less now. For instance, you start fitting water-smart heads onto your shower as well as your faucets. Meaning you spend less water for every second that your water is running. If you garden, you should also consider recycling bath and dish water. Grey water, as it’s known, poses no harm to your garden.

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Plant a tree

If you have the space for it, then why not go full steam ahead and use that space? For one, trees are gorgeous and you should be happy to have one in your garden. They also shade your home during the summer. That means that indoor climate control is even easier. Most importantly, trees are a habitat. As we keep building houses and cities, we are reducing the amount of homes for nature. Planting a tree means building a home for nature in your own garden. If we don’t start providing a home nature and we keep taking its home, then it has no place to go and simply ceases to be.

The fourth R is replace

Reduce, reuse and recycle are some good lessons to live by. But replacing should be just as big a part of your plan. In particular, you should be reducing the materials that you’re using in your home. For one, let’s look at how we use paper. A lot of us still print out paper for home business and bookkeeping like it comes from the thin air. Going paperless not only makes it easier to organize all your documents but it saves money. As does relying more on reusable cloth wipes than paper towels in the kitchen. There are other tech-y changes you can make in the home, too. For instance, using LED lights instead of your standard ones.

Mind how you clean

This is a tip for those who are both environmentally conscious and concerned about their everyday health. Household cleaners are easily one of the biggest culprits of ground water and air contamination. They’re not only bad for nature. They’re bad for us, too. They can cause asthma and exacerbate breathing conditions. In some serious cases, household cleaners have even shown links to central nervous system damage. Start switching them out for more health and eco-friendly green cleaning alternatives. You’ll be protecting your own health. You’ll also be protecting the water and the health of all the plant life around you. It’s time to put a stop to the toxic effects we have every day without knowing.

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Have a meat-free day

I’m not telling you to go all vegan on us. We know that people like their meat. We also know that it’s nutritious and an easy way to contribute to an all-rounded diet. But the fact is that meat production is another one of those huge parts of the carbon footprint that we make on the world. Being more sustainable means using less. The simple fact is that meat is one of the least energy efficient ways of feeding ourselves. The solution is simple. On Monday, just don’t eat meat. There are plenty of great vegetarian options that taste just fine. You can go a day without meat, so do it. It’s the equivalent of not driving your car for a day, after all.

Let’s be honest, none of these changes are all that hard. Soon as we spend some time acclimating, it’s not much of a change at all. So, let’s take the time to get off our backsides and make those changes. Let’s see how far we take it and start working to leave a better planet for our kids.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

 

The Money-Saving Investments That All Homeowners Should Make

The Money-Saving Investments That All Homeowners Should Make

We get it, as a homeowner you want to save money however you can. Although owning a home is more cost-effective than renting, there is a downside to home ownership. The downside is that running a home and keeping up with property maintenance can be expensive. If money is tight this can be a bit of a problem.

However, the good news is that there are lots of simple ways you can save money on the cost of running your home. One way to do this is through investing in your property. This may sound counter-productive – spending more money, but it’s actually not. You see, by investing in your property you can save thousands in the long-run, making the initial investments more than worth doing.

So what are the money-saving investments that you should consider making?

Have solar panels installed

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If you live in an area that gets a good amount of sunlight each day, getting solar panels installed could be a great option. Of course, initially, this will require an investment. However, once you’ve got solar panels installed, you’ll never have to pay for energy again. This could save your hundreds each month, and tens of thousands over the years. Plus, by selling back extra energy that you don’t need to local energy providers, you can even earn from your solar panels. Like the idea of making your own energy? Then the first step is to contact a professional solar company to discuss your options and to get an idea of what price you can expect to pay.

Smart appliances

We’ve all heard of the state-of-the-art smart appliances that are now on offer. From dishwashers and washing machines to kettles and thermostats, there are a range of smart appliances to choose from. These might be pretty pricey to buy, but they’re a fantastic investment to make. This is because smart appliances are a great way to save energy. Plus, they make life a whole lot easier. All smart appliances are eco-friendly and use as little energy as possible. Meaning that each time you’re using them instead of traditional ones, you’re saving yourself money. Take smart thermostats, for instance; these allow you to control your home’s heating from anywhere. All you need is access to a smartphone, and you can turn your home’s heating up or down or switch it on or off. You can even set up automatic times for it to come on and at what temperature it should turn off at. Pretty smart, huh?

Triple-glazed windows

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Last but not least, triple glazed windows might seem pricey and unnecessary, but they’re really not. In fact, they could just be one of the best investments you ever make. Admittedly, for most people double glazing is sufficient. However, if you’re thinking of updating your windows, it makes sense to opt for the very best option. Compared to double glazed windows, triple glazed ones are even more energy-efficient. They are more effective at keeping heat in and cold air out, and also offer more protection from outside noise. So are definitely an investment to consider making.

Want to save yourself money in the long-run? The above investments can help you to do that. It’s just a case of choosing the ones that are the best fit for you, your family, and your home.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.