Climate Action
Tips for your home

Tips for your home

By taking small steps, you can save energy and money while helping to protect the environment.

Save energy, save money!

Heating

70% of the energy used by households in the EU is spent on heating homes and another 14% on heating water.

  • Turn down the heat. Reducing the temperature by just 1°C less can cut 5-10% off your family's energy bill and save as much CO2 as you would emit on a 1 600 km road trip.
  • Programme your thermostat. Set the temperature lower at night and when you're out of the house. This can reduce your heating bill by 7-15%.
  • Don't overheat your water. There is no need to set your water heater at a temperature higher than 60°C.

Insulation

Heat loss through walls, roof and floor commonly accounts for over 50% of overall space heat loss.

  • Install double-glazed windows. This can cut heat energy lost through windows by 50-70%.
  • Insulate your home. Insulate hot water tanks, central‑heating pipes and wall cavities. Fit aluminium foil on the wall behind your radiators.
Switch off & unplug

Energy efficiency

  • Buy efficient appliances. Choose a refrigerator, washing machine or other household appliance with an A+++ label. But even two A+++ graded appliances can consume different amounts of energy, so don't forget to compare!
  • Keep cool with a fan. Fans use much less energy than air conditioners.

Switch off & unplug

  • Switch off the lights. Switching off 5 lights in hallways and rooms in your house when you don't need them can save €60 and avoid 400kg of CO2 emissions.
  • Turn devices off. Use the 'on/off' function on the device itself. A TV set switched on for 3 hours a day and left on standby for the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.
  • Use a single multi-socket power strip for your electronics. When not using them, simply switch off the strip and save 10% power.
  • Unplug your mobile charger. Even when it is not connected to the phone, it is still draining electricity.
  • Unplug everything before going on holiday. If devices are still plugged in, they continue to use up energy - even when switched off.
Food for thought

In the kitchen

  • Don't place a refrigerator or freezer near your boiler. Next to a heat source they consume much more energy than standing on their own.
  • Defrost old refrigerators and freezers regularly or replace them with newer models, which all have automatic defrost cycles.
  • Set the temperature of your refrigerator between 1 – 4 °C. A freezer should be set at -18°C. For every degree lower, you increase energy consumption by around 5% – without making any difference as to how well the food is preserved.
  • Dust your refrigerator. Dusty coils can waste as much as 30% extra electricity.
  • Don't put hot food in the fridge. Save energy by letting it cool down first.
  • Fill up your freezer. It requires less energy to cool a full freezer than an empty one. If it's not full, add some plastic bottles filled with water or even old newspapers.
  • Bake in one go. Make the most use of a hot oven. Baking a quiche? Why not bake an apple pie as well? You will halve your gas or electricity consumption.
  • Cover your pots while cooking and you will use lessenergy.
  • Cut vegetables into small pieces. This reduces the cooking time.
  • Boil water in the kettle first rather than on the hob when boiling or steaming vegetables.

In the bathroom

  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. This can save several litres of water.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath. This uses up to 4 times less energy. To maximise the energy savings, use a low-flow showerhead.
  • Check your toilet for leaks. A leaking toilet can waste 200 litres of water per day − the same as flushing it 50 times.
Winning ways with the washing

Washing smart

  • Fill up your washing machine and dishwasher. If you need to use them when half full, use the half-load or economy setting.
  • Choose a low temperature. Nowadays detergents are so efficient that they get your clothes and dishes clean at low temperatures.
  • Avoid the pre-wash cycle. Modern washing machines allow you to bypass this cycle, cutting energy consumption by 15%.
  • Avoid using a tumble dryer. Each drying cycle produces over 3 kg of CO2 emissions. Drying your clothes naturally is not only good for the environment, it also makes them last longer.
  • Iron your clothes in one batch. You will save the energy required to heat up the iron each time you want to use it.
Take action!

And for extra credit…

  • Switch to green electricity. Power from wind, hydro, wood, biogas, and solar produces less greenhouse gas emissions. Also think about fitting solar panels on the roof of your home.
  • Plant a tree. One tree of average size absorbs about 6 kg of CO2 per year, so over 40 years it soaks up about 250 kg of CO2.
  • Compost! Start a compost heap for your organic waste, and encourage neighbours to do the same. Compost is a natural fertiliser and can increase the soil's ability to retain water and air.
  • Remove your name from commercial mailing lists. This can save many trees and a lot of water each year. You can also put a "no ads" sign on your mailbox.
  • Pay your bills online. Eliminate your paper trail as well as the energy needed to transport bills by post.
  • Share pictures rather than print them. Archive digital photos on a computer and share them using social networks.