Software, hardware and technology guides, reviews and articles
Simple Energy Saving Solutions
This article contains a list of simple low-cost / no-cost techniques for saving energy in the homes and offices. Not all of these techniques will necessarily be appropriate in all circumstances – the aim was to make the list as broad as possible.
Proper use and care of refrigerators There are several low-cost ways to improve the efficiency of refrigerators.
The refrigerator should not be located in a hot place (e.g. next to a cooker, next to a washing machine, in direct sunlight etc.).
Make sure that a thick layer of dust does not accumulate on the coils at the back. It’s recommended that they are cleaned once a year.
Position the refrigerator so that air can circulate freely around the coils.
More Information: [Look After Your Refrigerator->look-after-your-refrigerator]
Pipe insulation If pipes carrying hot water are routed through unheated parts of a building (e.g. through a roof space) then a lot of energy will be wasted. Insulating the pipes will save large amounts of energy, and will also increase the temperature of the hot water supply.
More Information: [Insulating Hot Water Pipes->insulating-hot-water-pipes]
Getting the most from radiators Locating radiators optimally can help to improve the comfort level in a room, and ensure that the occupants of the room benefit from the heat that the radiator produces. Where a radiator is mounted on an outside wall, the amount of heat loss can be reduced by using a reflecting layer fitted to the wall behind the radiator. Thermostatic radiator valves reduce energy waste by allowing the heat output of individual radiators to be regulated to match needs.
More Information: [Getting The Most From Radiators->getting-the-most-from-radiators]
Door sweeps These are strips of soft brush material that fit to the bottom edge of doors to reduce drafts.
Door snake This is simply a fabric ‘sausage’ that is placed on the floor against the bottom of a door to prevent drafts.
Insulation panels on doors If doors are thin, a lot of heat can be lost by conduction directly through them. This can be reduced by fitting insulating panels.
Door closing springs Despite efforts to raise public awareness, people are still likely to forget to close doors. Springs can be fitted to close doors automatically, so reducing heat loss.
Shutters Wooden shutters which are closed at night will reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
Plastic film secondary glazing Heat loss through windows can be reduced by 25-40% by using clear plastic film to form a cheap, simple but temporary form of double glazing.
Heavy curtains on windows and doors If they are closed at night, heavy curtains can prevent heat loss through windows. It’s important to make sure they don’t hang in front of radiators. Heavy curtains can also be hung over doors to prevent heat loss.
Window catches If window catches do not work properly, windows do not close completely, and heat may be lost.
Expanding foam around window frames Sometimes there may be large gaps that need filling (for example, between the wall and the window frame). These can be filled with expanding polyurethane foam from a can. However, this material is very difficult to use, and there are doubts about its environmental impact.
Balcony glazing In some types of apartment with a balcony, heat loss can be reduced by glazing the balcony, effectively turning it into a small room.
Roof insulation (flat roofs) or loft insulation (pitched roofs) A very large amount of heat is lost through the roof of a building. Although it can be quite expensive, insulating the roof (or the loft space where there is a sloping roof) is usually very cost-effective.
Carpets A lot of heat is lost through the floor. Where floors are wooden with an air space beneath, cold air (and dust) can leak in through the gaps between the floorboards. Where floors are solid concrete, they are cold and unpleasant to walk on. Carpets will reduce the heat loss through floors as well as improving comfort.