Save Energy Simply

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Save Energy With One Simple Step #12

Another timely save energy with one simple step post.

This time, how do you dry your clothes at this time of year?  Draped over a radiator?  Well, tip number 12 is:

clothes horse save energy

Use a clothes horse.  Although perhaps not quite as literally as this photo of Shetland ponies actually wearing cardigans suggests…!

Hanging wet clothes on your radiator makes your boiler work harder, meaning it uses more energy to heat your home and costs you more money, whereas a clothes horse allows warm air to circulate freely around the room.  I know it’s not always easy – we live in a tiny house with barely any room for clothes horses.  Our tiny kitchen is rammed full of them, to the point where we struggle to get past them, and sometimes desperation calls for me to dry clothes on my radiators, but I try to keep it to the odd desperate occasion rather than an everyday thing.

In our previous flat, we were lucky enough to have quite high ceilings, and had an original ceiling mounted pulley for drying clothes.  It was amazing for drying clothes and sheets – if you’ve got high ceilings I cannot recommend them enough.  You can pick them up easily online from £12 (the cheaper ones come without the wooden slats for easy postage – you can then get wood cut to fit at your local wood merchants).  And they have a nice vintage look to them if you’re into that kind of thing.

While we’re on the subject of clothes and laundry, check your washing machine.  I had a recent revelation: my washing machine’s standard wash cycle spins my clothes at 1200 rpm, but it’s maximum spin is 1400 rpm.  Upon realising this (just the other week!),  after the cycle is done I set it to do a 1400 rpm spin to get the last drops of water out.  I’ve found this signficantly reduces the time it takes to either tumble dry my clothes (I know, I know, but I use it sparingly) or dry them on the airer (reducing the chances of that nasty “took too long to dry” smell.  Which makes me very happy indeed.  It’s the little things in life!

New reader?  Tips 1 – 11 can be found here if you’re looking for more easy energy saving tips.

And here is a great interactive webpage on saving energy around the home full of great tips that you might be interested in – athough it does suggest to dry clothes on radiators, when we all now know a clothes horse is the way forward!

Images: 1 / 2

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Save Energy With One Simple Step #11

how to save energy in the home

how to save energy in the home

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 for here and instead be more constructive and offer up another really easy energy saving tip, that will help save you money too.

Tip 11 to save energy is as easy as they get:

no cost ways to save energy

Close your curtains (or blinds).  At dusk.

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 are 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 and 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 so it’s a good habit to fall into doing.

Obviously open them again in the morning – opening your curtains/blinds in the day lets in warming sunlight, helping 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.

That’s the easiest way to save energy.  If you want to save a bit more energy and don’t mind a bit of leg work and spending a little bit of money, then 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 and there are also some cheap deals on eBay with some going from £1.50 a metre.

If you’re not handy with a needle/sewing machine, and don’t want to pay to have them lined then 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.

If you want to save even more energy, check out posts 1 to 10 in my saving energy series for tips and advice to save big time.


Images: Fotopedia / 2