Energy Saving

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Why Closing Your Curtains Can Help Keep Your House Warmer

why closing your curtains helps keep your home warmer

Did you know that the simple act of closing your curtains (and opening them again) could keep your home warmer, and therefore save you energy and money? It’s true, read on!

A couple of weeks ago it was announced that some of the energy companies will be increasing energy prices by up to 10%.  I could rant all day about this, but I’ll save my rants. Instead, I will be more constructive and offer up another really easy energy saving tip, that will help save you money too.

Regular readers will know that something I’m really passionate about is saving energy.  It helps keep down your energy bills AND helps the environment at the same time.  

On average, electricity and gas use creates about a quarter of all carbon emissions from our homes. Cut our electricity and gas use, and we cut our carbon emissions, helping to tackle climate change.

Whilst you can save energy by making improvements to your home, I’ve been focusing on the tips anyone can do without spending any money. Whether you own your home or not.

Which brings me on why you should close your curtains to keep your home warm.

Why Should You Close Your Curtains?

why closing your curtains helps to keep your house warm

Closing your curtains (or blinds) at dusk is a really important task in keeping your home warm.

And I bet you’re saying “yup, I already do that anyway. What’s the big deal Wendy?”.  Well, you’d be surprised. It’s dark quite early on here in Edinburgh at this time of year.  On my journey home from work I lose count of the number of houses and flats I pass on the bus where the light is on, the TV is on, and the curtains are wide open, or the blinds up.  And yes, I admit I’m nosey and look inside people’s houses whilst sitting in traffic..!  Not that I’m judging, I’m just thinking about what a waste of energy it is!

The simple fact is closing your curtains at dusk helps stop cold draughts from penetrating. And it helps keep the heat in your home.  Even if you have double or triple glazing in your home and they are draught-proofed you can still lose heat through your windows. Therefore it’s a good habit to fall into doing.

Don’t Forget to Open The Curtains Again!

Obviously, open them again in the morning. Opening your curtains/blinds in the day lets in warming sunlight. This helps to heat your home passively.  Even on dull winter days, it’s still better to keep your curtains open to let in as much light as possible.

Can I Save Even More?

Closing your curtains at dusk is the easiest way to save energy.  If you want to save even more energy and don’t mind a bit of leg work and spending a little bit of money, then there are other options. Lining your curtains with thermal lining material is one of the best ways to keep heat from escaping from your windows.  It’s easy to buy thermal lining material by the metre online. There are also some cheap deals on eBay* with some lining material selling from just £1.50 a metre.

If you’re not handy with a needle or sewing machine and don’t want to pay to have them lined then don’t worry. Here’s a handy guide on how to line your curtains without having to sew.  Lining your curtains could save 10% on your bills, helping to offset that pesky energy price hike.

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Why It’s Important to Defrost Your Freezer

how to defrost your freezer

Are you wondering why it’s important to defrost your freezer? Read on!

I’m big on saving energy. For the last little while, I’ve been sharing easy energy-saving tips that anyone can do, regardless of whether you own your home or not.

I’m particularly focusing on tips that are really easy to do, without the need to buy any energy-saving devices, or hire tradespeople.  In fact, by following these tips you’ll save money at the same time as saving energy, which is always good! Especially with energy bills projected to rise in 2021.

So, without further ado, here’s a good easy energy saving tip for you:

Why It’s Important to Defrost Your Freezer

why you should defrost your freezer

It’s really important to defrost your freezer, especially if it’s looking a bit glacier-like in there. This is because frost buildup in your freezer increases the amount of work your freezer’s motor has to do. If the motor is working harder, then this means it’s using more energy.  Keeping it fairly frost-free means savings for the environment and for you. Not convinced? This Is Money says you can save £100 to £200 a year just by defrosting your freezer. More than a pretty penny!

I know it’s a total pain in the bum to defrost your freezer.  We defrosted ours last week. Without the luxury of a second freezer to store the food in, it meant that in the run-up to the big defrost we had to eat everything up that was in the freezer to prevent food waste.  We unearthed 40 (yes, 40, thanks to an internet shopping mix-up!) vegetable fingers that we had to eat up.  Now I don’t think I can look at another vegetable finger without feeling more than a little nauseous.

It was worth it though. We can get to what we want easily without having to hack off bits of ice (it had got that bad!).

How to Defrost A Freezer

Thankfully, defrosting is a straightforward job, however, you will need to devote a couple of hours to the job.

What You Will Need

To defrost a freezer, you will need a couple of towels to protect your floor. You’ll also need a dish shallow enough to sit under the freezer’s drainage spout that you’ll be prepared to empty frequently, as well as some bowls to sit in your freezer.

What to Do

Empty all the food from your freezer, and remove any freezer drawers.

Switch off your freezer at the wall, and place a bowl of boiled water on each shelf. This helps to speed up the thawing process.

However tempting it may be, do not under any circumstances hack at the ice with a knife, hammer, or any other tool.  Instead, have patience and just leave your freezer to defrost on its own, rather than risk puncturing your freezer pipes.

Don’t pour boiling water on your freezer either, as this could cause your freezer pipes to burst.

Once the water is melted, mop up any puddles of water, and clean your fridge with your cleaner of choice. I tend to use my homemade cleaning spray for jobs like this.

Pop your drawers back in, and switch the freezer back on. Voila!

Found this tip useful? Check out my other tip on why you should fill your freezer for maximum energy-efficiency.