(a) Loft Insulation
Make sure that the loft in the house is fully insulated; remember heat rises and most of the heat that you generate in your house is lost through the roof. It is simple to buy good quality loft insulation from all the main DIY superstores and this could be one investment very much worth making.
(b) Good Quality Windows
Ensure that your windows are in good condition, no broken or cracked pains, the wood surround is in good condition, the paintwork is kept in good order with regular refreshes of paint to stop rot and damp. Double glazed windows are a must if you want to keep the heat in and stop the cold and damp from coming through. If the budget extends then even some new replacement windows could be a great investment.
(c) Internal and External Doors
Make sure that you have good external doors, these should be double glazed also and be fitted properly with seals for the letter box and the surrounds. The internal doors in the house should all shut properly and make good seals and have draft excluders where appropriate.
Save Money on Electricity
(a) Energy Saving Light Bulbs
Fit energy saving light bulbs to all your main lights, this not only helps to keep your electricity bills down but at the same time you are doing your part for the environment. On average the light saving bulb will last up to 12 times longer than the normal light bulb and reduce the amount of electricity required by reducing the amount of electricity lost in heat compared to a standard bulb.
(b) No Electrical Equipment on Standby
Make sure you turn your electrical equipment and sockets off when you are not using them, especially television, videos, DVD players that have standby modes, these use more electricity than you would think.
(c) Electrical Safety Checks
Get your wiring and circuits professionally checked to ensure that your appliances are working to their optimum capacity.
Save Money on Gas
(a) Regular Gas Safety Checks
Make sure you keep your boiler serviced and well maintained in order to improve efficiency.
(b) Insulate the Hot Water Tank
Ensure that your hot water tank is also well insulated to keep the heat in and keeps the water hotter longer. You can buy a jacket for the tank from the DIY stores and remember that it is worth insulating the pipes as well.
Save Money on Water
(a) Toilet Flush
If you want to reduce the amount of water that the toilet cistern uses for each flush then there are devices available from DIY shops that can be used to reduce the amount of water used. These are easily fitted and can reduce the amount of water used per flush by as much as 1 litre.
(b) Shower don’t Bath
Take showers instead of baths this reduces the amount of water that is used and will save you money on heating the water and the amount of water used. A bath can take between 15 – 25 gallons of water where as a shower uses around 60% less water than the bath.
Doing just a few of these will help to save you money; some require more of an initial outlay than others but are well worth doing in the long term. If you own your own house then it could be a good investment and if you are renting a property then instruct your letting agent/landlord to make a plan of necessary changes to help protect the environment, their property and your pocket.
Chris Courtis is the co-founder of the Rentright Property Portal, find rentright.co.uk Property For Rent Advertised by Letting Agents. Rentright is the home of the RRPI (Residential Rental Price Index) and has houses for rent and flats for rent throughout the UK.