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Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sit in the dark or shiver in a cold room to save energy. A few simple changes can make a world of difference, so why not ‘go green’ to protect the environment – and your bank balance?

Here’s how to improve the energy-efficiency of your abode:

Lag your water pipes

According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), fitting a British Standard Jacket around your hot water cylinder and lagging your pipes could save 230kg of carbon monoxide a year, so it’s definitely worth doing. Simply buy some quality insulating material from your nearest DIY store and wrap it tightly around your waterworks. This will keep your hot water warmer for longer and will protect your pipes during winter.

Fix leaking taps

Getting water to your taps uses a lot of energy, so make sure they’re not continuously dripping. If they are, turn off the water supply, unscrew the nut on the tap and check the condition of the washer. If it looks old and squishy it could be causing the leak, so replace it and tighten the nuts on the tap. Not confident at DIY? Then call in a plumber or contact an appliance repair company like HomeServe.

Wash your clothes by hand

Do you use the washing machine on a daily basis? If so, try cleaning your clothes by hand. This will save energy and will stop you using water unnecessarily. Instead of wasting electricity, fill a bucket of water, add a little powder then scrub each item individually. Your arms might ache at first, but your household bills should start to come down.

Replace your boiler

If you have an old boiler, it might be worth replacing it with an A-rated high-efficiency condensing boiler. This will significantly cut your homes carbon dioxide emissions and could save you hundreds of pounds a year. If you can’t afford a new heating system right now, have any existing boiler problems checked over by a Gas Safe Register approved engineer and arrange a service once a year, to keep things running smoothly.

Use energy-saving light bulbs

Traditional light bulbs will be off the shelves by September, so swap to energy-efficient alternatives. These convert energy to light with ease and use up to 80 per cent less electricity than standard bulbs. They can even last up to ten times longer, so it’s worth stocking up on compact fluorescent bulbs and 6W LEDs.

Improving the energy-efficiency of your home is easier than you may think and could save you a fortune.

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