Tag Archive for: Top Tips

For many of us, energy bills have doubled over the last month and there’s no getting around the fact that the kitchen is one area in the home where energy use is unavoidable. There are state of the art low-energy cooking appliances on the market but there are some simple things we can do to maximise efficiency, reduce waste, and, of course, save money.

Here are some top tips for energy-efficient cooking:

  • The microwave is generally the most efficient way to heat up and cook food (because it’s small and the heat is more focused, thus quicker). Opt for this appliance whenever possible.
  • Use the kettle to boil water quickly and transfer to a pan on the hob for steaming and boiling vegetables or pasta.
  • When boil anything in a pan, only use as much water as is needed to cover the amount of food you’re cooking – one of the most common forms of energy wastage is the energy it takes to boil water you don’t need.
  • Cook as much as possible in the oven in one go to make sure all the space and heat is being used.
  • Keep the oven door closed while you’re cooking. Each time you open the door, the oven loses heat (sometimes as much as 25 degrees) and requires more energy to get back up to temperature.
  • Defrosting food in advance not only typically halves the cooking time but also means that you don’t need to use the energy of a microwave to defrost more quickly.
  • Use glass or ceramic dishes in the oven. They retain heat better than their metal counterparts, making them the most efficient to use in the oven.
  • A fan-assisted or convection oven uses fans to circulate heat around the food as it cooks, making it a more energy-efficient way of cooking because it means the heat doesn’t have to be as high as it would in a conventional oven.
  • When using an electric oven, turn it off ten minutes before the food’s finished cooking. The oven temperature will remain the same so the food will still cook through to completion without the oven using energy.
  • Keep heating rings on an electric hob as clean as possible – any food that sticks to the ring will absorb heat, making it less efficient.

Mostly it’s about being more mindful when cooking and developing good kitchen habits. For some more common-sense cooking tips, visit uSwitch and for detailed info on energy use and spend, a smart meter will tell you how much your appliances cost in pounds and pence accurate to your tariff and the current price of energy, thereby enabling you to monitor which appliance is costing you the most so you can minimise your use of it.

For all your energy-related needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk

Energy bills are going up. A massive increase in the cost of wholesale gas has put pressure on the energy industry and homeowners will bear the costs. This is part of a what has been called a “cost of living crisis” and most of us are expecting 2022 to be a tough year, financially. There are, however, things we can do to mitigate the impending rise in gas and electricity.

One of the biggest energy-consumers in homes is the washing machine. Three factors that massively impact the cost of use are: frequency, wash temperature and load size. Newer model washing machines are likely to have a higher energy rating than older ones, making them less costly to run, but still; there are ways to further put a cap on expenditure. Check out these top tips:

Wash full loads: avoid half loads. Your washing machine will use the same amount of energy no matter how full it is, so washing full loads will mean that you will wash less frequently (and use less energy).

Wash on a lower temperature: lower temperatures use less energy. There has been increased awareness of the advantages of turning to 30 degrees, and if you can get by with a cold wash; do it!

Maintain your machine: to make sure that it is as efficient as possible. You can do this by not overloading the drum—if your wash is too full, water and detergent cannot circulate, the clothes will not move, and you will likely have to wash a second time anyway. Also clean out the machine’s filter every month and don’t forget to empty pockets so random bits don’t get stuck in the pump. A monthly service wash (hot, without clothes) is a good idea, too.

If you need a new machine: go for one that has a top energy rating. Washing machines are rated from A+++ (the most efficient) to D (the least efficient). An A+++ washing machine will be the cheapest-to-run, the most environment-friendly one among other washing machines.

The little things always matter, and do add up when it comes to bigger costs. Creating good washing habits will save you money in the long run.

For more detailed info on the energy increases, visit Nationalworld.com and visit Energysavingtrust.org.uk for more top tips on how to save gas and electricity in your home.

For all your energy-related needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk

Summer is the perfect time to paint a bathroom – the weather is warmer; paint will dry quickly and
you can boot the kids outside while you get the job done. Of course, hiring a professional is certainly
an option but if you decide on the DIY route, here are some top tips that will set you on the path to a
job well done:

  1. Paint choice: bathrooms are high traffic areas and susceptible to wear and tear, so a mildew
    resistant, water-repellent, easy-to-maintain paint (satin or semi-gloss) is the best option.
  2. Colour choice: versatile colours like white, grey and blue as well as lighter shades are
    popular as they create a calm and relaxing atmosphere. That said, if you like a bolder look –
    go for it!
  3. Remove obstructions: before you paint and clean, remove wall hangings, bathroom products
    and appliances, and if you can’t reach behind your toilet (etc) remove that too (just
    remember to turn off the water supply, and flush and drain the toilet before removing).
  4. Repair blemishes: patch any holes or cracks with filler or a drywall compound; also
    sandpaper flaking or peeling paint.
  5. Clean the walls: the paint will not adhere if the surface is unclean. Use a sugar soap solution
    and sponge to remove any dirt and then wash again with warm water to remove soap
  6. Prime the walls: if you’re changing colour or patching holes, prime the wall with an
    undercoat. You can simply ‘spot prime’ where you’ve made repairs if your paint is generally
    in good condition and you’re not changing colour.
  7. Masking tape: put masking tape around any fixtures/edges that that need protecting from
  8. Start with the edges: use a brush around the edges before painting the walls. For best results
    on walls and ceiling, use a quality, plush roller cover, which will allow you to get as much
    paint onto the surfaces in the shortest amount of time.
  9. Apply a second coat: wait at least 4 hours (or as directed) for paint to dry before applying a
    second coat.
  10. Wait 24 hours to decorate: play it safe and wait until the paint is drier than dry before
    removing the masking tape and replacing fixtures and wall art.

Hey presto! – You’ll have an incredible new bathroom.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689
485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Sources: DIY.com and Wikihow.com

If there’s one thing that might almost compensate for one of the strangest most heart-wrenching years ever, it’s The Great British Summer. Oh, how magical it is – when it happens. With hope and positivity on our side let’s prepare for the best, and figure out how to keep our homes cool when it gets so blisteringly hot we can do nothing else but complain. Check out these ten top tips:

  • Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.
  • Windows and ventilation openings NOT exposed to the sun should NOT be closed, but their openings reduced when the outdoor air becomes warmer than the air indoors – this should help keep rooms cool whilst allowing adequate ventilation.
  • Close the curtains, blinds or shutters closed to shield your home from the sun.
  • Growing plants outside your house can help to shade the walls from direct sunlight.
  • Paint your house white so that the walls reflect more heat.
  • Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise in summer to push air straight down helping to create a cooling effect and clockwise in winter to pull cool air up.
  • Seal gaps around doors and windows, and use draught excluders to ensure the cool air can’t escape.
  • Cooking dinner in the backyard or at the park may be a cooler alternative to being in a steamy kitchen too, so make the most of a cool breeze when you can.
  • Incandescent lightbulbs might be to blame produce a lot of heat, so switching to energy-saving bulbs can help cool your home (and save on energy bills).
  • Place a shallow bowl or pan of ice in front of a fan for an icy-cool breeze that won’t break the bank.

And if you’ve wondered why there’s no mention of air conditioning, well…air conditioners thrust hot air outside, increasing the neighbourhood temperature by 2°C. They are also not particularly eco-friendly; using massive amounts of energy thus adding to global warming.

We hope you have a cool, cool summer!

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Sources: Environment.sa.gov.au, NewScientist.com and nhs.uk