Energy efficient holiday homes - owner tips

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Energy-efficient holiday homes

Keeping energy costs down in your holiday home can be a challenge, especially when it comes to air conditioning.

We asked our owners to share their top tips for an energy efficient holiday home and we've got some pointers of our own too.

From our Facebook page:

“We changed the old air conditioner to a new one that saves 50% energy and I just ask my guests to turn it off when they leave the house...they mostly do!” Jeannette Fain-Rottermann, Home 171599

“No such need for air conditioning in chilly England, but we installed new LED spotlights. No bulbs blowing out and very low energy consumption.” Royal Crescent Brighton Apartments, Home 251955

“Our gite has 90cm solid stone walls that keep in the heat in the winter and make the house lovely and chilled in the summer, therefore so far we've not needed air conditioning. We also try to save energy by using LED bulbs in all our lights.” Jane Housley, Home 166623

“Consider installing a coin operated air-con unit or give customers a limit on amount of electricity used.” Colin Miriam, Home 305800

“Our cottages are heated by a ground sourced heat pump; very economical, environmentally friendly, warm and so easy to run. Underfloor heating is wonderful!” Caroline Lennox, Home 165092

Kitting out your home to make it as economical as possible is a good way to start. Even small changes can help save the pennies – it all adds up! Here are some energy saving gadgets that might be worth investing in:

  • Energy saving light bulbs. With an expected life of ten years, these bulbs use 80 per cent less power than conventional ones; environmentally friendly and good for your bank balance!

  • Clothes airer. Having a clothes airer handy means that guests can dry their beach towels outside, rather than putting them in the tumble dryer. It will fold up when not in use, so it won't get in the way.

  • Standby saver. Standby saver units cut 100 per cent of the standby power used by TVs, DVD players, etc, and allow for up to six appliances to be connected at once.

  • Laundry and tumble dryer balls. Laundry balls last for up to 120 washes and use no detergent. Tumble dryer balls are also available.

  • Rechargeable batteries and charger. Invest in some rechargeable batteries and rather than throwing them in the bin when they run out, just charge them up again!

  • Draught excluder. Stop heat escaping from the room and cut your energy bills in one go; an excluder traps heat and so stops guests from heating the room unnecessarily. This excluder fits on any type of door and is suitable for both carpets and hard floors.

Fixtures, fittings and general maintenance can also be considered when making your holiday home more energy efficient and eco-friendly:

    • When buying wooden indoor and garden furniture, check to make sure that it comes from a sustainable source - look out for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) logo. If in doubt, ask when buying it.

    • Install a water butt in your garden to collect rain water, which can then be used during dry spells.

    • Infra-red patio heaters are a greener alternative to standard ones. Gas patio heaters are very energy intensive - they use the same amount of energy in one hour as it takes to make 400 cups of tea!

    • Solar panels are an effective way of heating your swimming pool if the climate suits this. Use an environmentally friendly pool treatment product.

    • Don't forget roof insulation, a hot water cylinder jacket and pipe lagging make your home more energy efficient.

    • If you need to replace white goods and home appliances then pay attention to EU energy efficiency ratings.

    • If the property is going to be unoccupied for any period of time ask your caretaker or a neighbour to make sure all electrical items are unplugged and dripping taps turned off.