Brits could save several hundred pounds a year on their energy bills by following this one simple hack.
Households are still facing incredibly high energy costs this winter with them set to rise even further in the New Year when Ofgem's price cap is introduced. The energy regulator announced last week that the average household bill will go up by £94 to £1,928 from January 1 2024 until the end of March.
With this bill increase looming, experts at the kitchen DIY website Cut My have shared an easy way households can cut their energy consumption which in turn could help them cut their energy costs. Cut My says households could save nearly £800 by simply cleaning appliances around their home.
Overall the following actions could save you around £756 in total. Here we explain exactly what you can do to cut your costs as well as how much you could save by taking on these simple tasks.
Cleaning windows – £130
The experts at Cut My say you could save around £130 by giving your windows a bit of wipe every now and then. Firstly, dirty windows hinder the penetration of natural light into your home meaning you will rely on artificial lighting during the day which can run up your bills unnecessarily.
Clean windows also do more than just let in light; they also allow heat to enter your home too and a layer of grime will prevent that. If your windows are south-facing then you could bring in up to 2kw of heat energy into your home - meaning you could potentially turn down - or even off - your heating saving you a bit of cash. Cut My notes that this, coupled with secondary glazing and clean windows can reduce heat loss by 65%, boosting room temperature by 4°C and reducing the need for excessive heating. It's recommended that you clean your windows every two months for optimal performance.
Cleaning radiators – £300
Cut My highlighted that a "clogged and dusty" radiator could spike your heating bills by as much as 25% according to research by Enertek International. Cut My explained how dust and grime act as insulators, trapping heat around the radiator rather than letting it circulate into your rooms. This means you may feel the need to turn your heating higher to feel the benefits.
By simply dusting your radiators and giving them a clean a three bedroom house could save you £300 a year in energy costs.
Cut My says to clean your radiators you will need to turn off your central heating and put a towel underneath the radiator to catch any debris that falls through it. You should then insert a vacuum hose into the radiator and start removing the build-up of dust. Use a radiator brush or a long stick duster to push out any dirt and dust that is hard to reach. After removing the dust, wipe down the accessible surface with some water and all-purpose cleaner but make sure not to use sponges with a scrub pad as that could damage the varnish.
Cleaning dehumidifiers – £219
Cut My says that overlooking the filter in your dehumidifier can reduce its efficiency, forcing it to work harder and longer. Dehumidifiers draw excess moisture from the air over a coil and cool it down to a very low temperature. Many Brits are using these as they air dry clothes as the appliance can help reduce condensation and mould which can build up when there is more moisture in the air. Cut My says regular dusting around the unit and minimising humidity by using extractor fans or opening windows can help maintain its effectiveness.
Fridge Freezer – £20
This may not be something you are aware of but if dust builds up on the coils at the back then your appliance may need to work harder to keep your food cold. Cut My says that simply cleaning and dusting the coils at the back of your fridge can slash energy consumption by up to 30%. You should keep an eye on the dust building up on the back of your freezer and try to give it a clean at least every six months. Also defrosting the freezer periodically can also contribute to energy savings.
Washing Machine - £30
Cut My notes that your washing machine also needs the occasional clean if it is to work effectively. Washing machines are warn and wet, making them the perfect spot for germs to thrive in. If you leave them be, you run the risk of letting gross stuff like mould, mildew, dust, dirt and chunks of soap build up inside the drum. The experts note that a dirty washing machine not only leads to extra cycles but can also transfer accumulated grime onto your clothes. This means you may need to do additional washes which will make your energy bills more expensive.
Regularly cleaning the washing machine filter and running hot cycles with white vinegar every six to eight weeks can prevent this, potentially saving you money on your bills.
Vacuum cleaner – £5
Emptying the vacuum cleaner regularly and cleaning the brushes is the key to maintaining its efficiency the experts say. A full dust chamber reduces performance, leading to longer run times and higher energy consumption. To keep your vacuum working efficiently, with the best possible suction power, you should empty it when it is 2/3 full, as a maximum.
Dirty brushes on a vacuum also stop it from picking up dirt and debris requiring longer run times to vacuum the floor. Vacuuming twice per week with a clean vacuum will reduce the amount of dust and dirt build up in carpet fibres enabling you to run your vacuum less over the long run.
Kettle – £2
Depending on your kettle, each boil can cost on average 25p and with the average four times a kettle is boiled daily, and extra boils can add up in the long run. This tip is mainly aimed at those who live in areas with mineral-rich harder water as these areas often see limescale buildup in their appliances. Although all areas can be affected. When your kettle contains a limescale build-up, it uses more energy to heat up the limescale, rather than just the water itself often requiring more boils to reach the desired temperature.
To naturally descale your kettle, the experts at Cut My say you should clean it with a solution of one part white vinegar and three parts water, boiling and letting it soak overnight. This should remove any intense build-up and allow your kettle to work more efficiently.
Air fryer – £50
The number of households which home an air fryer has risen significantly over the last two years. However, many may not realise their energy-efficient cooking appliance could be pushing their bills. Cut My experts say air fryer owners should make sure the rear heat dissipation exhaust is clear and the intake fans that enable an air fryer to work are clean and free of any dust.
Alongside this, a clean basket avoids unnecessary prolongation of cooking times, ultimately saving energy over the long run. My Cut says the average cooking time is just 30 minutes, any longer you could be spending an extra £20 - £50 a year on energy bills.