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4 cheap ways to save energy this winter

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Money on radiator showing energy saving capabilities

With the cost-of-living crisis putting a strain on people’s wallets, we decided to look into some cheap ways you can save energy and cut down on your bills this winter.

Putting foil behind your radiator

This one is all about science! With the temperature starting to drop, you may consider turning on the radiator. If you do, we advise putting some kitchen foil (or specially designed radiator reflectors) behind them. The purpose of this is to reflect heat back into the room. Every time you turn the radiator on, some of the heat will escape through the walls. The foil acts as a heat barrier, so much less is wasted.

The easiest way to do is to wrap some aluminium foil around a piece of cardboard (shiny side out) and stick this to the wall behind the radiator. If you’d like to buy specialist radiator foil, several retailers sell these in a roll with adhesive tape on one side for easy application.

Changing to LED lightbulbs

For years, we have been told to buy energy-efficient halogen bulbs to cut down on our energy bills, but it turns out that these aren’t even the best bulbs to use. Replacing your halogen light bulbs or CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) with LED bulbs could save you a fortune, according to sources.

LEDHut claims that LED bulbs will consume around £80 worth of power over a 20+ year lifespan, compared to the £120 CFL bulbs consume over the same period. CFL bulbs also need to be replaced after 5000 hours of use.

LEDs use much less energy than other comparable lightbulbs due to the lower wattage needed to create the same amount of light. A 60-watt halogen bulb will produce the same amount of light as an 11-watt CFL or a 9-watt LED bulb, according to LEDhut.

Due to these cost-saving benefits and the fact that LEDs can be easily coloured, more lighting companies are producing LED lightbulbs with generic fittings, so they can replace any light fixture you have around the house. It’s worth shopping around to find what LEDs best suit your living space.

Turn down the temperature on the washing machine

A common mistake most households will make is always washing clothes on a hot wash. Before the advancement of washing powders and detergents, a hot wash was considered the most effective way to properly clean clothes. However, using a higher-end washing detergent or powder can deliver the same cleaning power at a lower temperature.

For example, you could turn down your washing temperature from 60°C (140°F) to 30°C (86°F) on regular washes and still achieve the same finish on your clothes. According to the Energy Saving Trust, this uses around 40% less electricity per year, depending on how often you use your washing machine. It’s also advisable to completely fill your washing machine before doing a wash to maximise energy usage.

Another benefit of colder washes is that your clothes are less likely to fade or shrink, a common issue if you regularly wash your clothes at 50°C (122°F) or higher.

In addition to turning down the temperature on your washing machine, we advise you to stop using your tumble dryer or dryer setting on your washing machine. The average tumble dryer uses more than double the electricity of a washing machine, so using a radiator or airing cupboard is more cost-effective.

Unplug unused tools or battery chargers

We’ve all done it. You’re doing some DIY, and your tool starts losing power, so you go to charge the battery. You put it on charge and forget about it for a few hours. Even after your battery is fully charged, the charger will still draw power, which is needlessly wasted, so always make sure to unplug or turn off the charger as soon as your battery is fully charged.

Leaving your battery on charge is not ideal for the battery either, as the charger could potentially overcharge the battery and shorten its lifespan. We go into more detail about this in our power tool battery blog post.

The same goes for corded power tools. The power outlet will continuously supply the tool with electricity to ensure it immediately starts when the trigger is pulled or button is pressed, so always unplug tools when they’re not in use.

 

If you’re tired of endlessly charging lots of different batteries, why not invest in a Badaptor instead? A Badaptor allows you to use your 18V battery from DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Bosch Professional, Ridgid, AEG, or Metabo CAS with the entire range of Ryobi One+ tools. Visit badaptor.com today to see how a Badaptor can change how you work.

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