Sustainable Living Tips and Advice
We will be sharing tips and advice for living more sustainably and saving money across our social media channels and setting up a stall in our building to showcase products and ideas. You can call in during our opening hours Monday-Friday 9.30am til 4pm to see the products. See the North Tyneside Council energy saving tips
Shower Flow regulator
One third of the water we use is for showering. A shower flow regulator reduces the flow of water by restricting the volume of water used, so using less hot water, means you have to heat less, so you save on your heating bills, but still provide an enjoyable showering experience!
A shower flow regulator fits most standard shower hose by simply screwing into the base of your shower mixer unit.
You can order a shower flow regulator and many other water saving devices free from Northumbria Water.
This device is not suitable for electric or pumped showers.
Thermostatic radiator valves
Thermostatic radiator valves (TRV) allow you to heat your home more efficiently and not waste heat on unoccupied rooms, which will save money on energy bills. Fitting TRVs allows you to control the temperature in each room by creating “zones” in your home. Closing doors to rooms create separate “zones” and controlling the temperature of those rooms using individual TRVs, allows you to heat rooms to different temperatures. This way, you won’t need to heat the hallway, or rooms you’re not going to be in, to as high a temperature as the main rooms using. The very point of a thermostatic radiator valve is that it can detect the temperature in the room and will let more or less hot water into the radiator accordingly.
How much do thermostatic radiator valves cost?
Standard TRVs cost £10-30 each, plus installation. They can be fitted quickly by an expert.
Smart TRVs can control radiators from an app on your phone.
How do thermostatic radiator valves work?
TRVs work by controlling the flow of hot water into radiators. They contain a sensor. Once the temperature has reached the level you have chosen on the valve’s dial, it closes and stops hot water entering the radiator.
The numbers on the thermostatic valve do not refer to the temperature of the radiator, they roughly correlate to the room temperatures.
0 = Off, 1 = 10°C, 2 = 15°C, 3 = 20°C, 4 = 25°C, 5 = 30°C
When the room drops below these temperatures, the TRV will allow hot water to flow into the radiator: If a TRV is turned up to 5, the radiator will not switch off unless the room temperature is above 30°C.
The best way to use thermostatic radiator valves is to decide on a comfortable room temperature and set the number on the TRV accordingly.
Heatkeeper Radiator Reflector Panels are an inexpensive energy saving reflector panel that fit behind radiators.
The highly reflective surface of the Heatkeeper panel reflects heat back into the radiator, therefore requires less energy to heat the house.
The moulded shape of the Heatkeeper Radiator Reflector panel creates an air space between the radiator and the wall surface creating a thermal barrier.
The saw- tooth profile of the Heatkeeper Radiator Reflector Panels are designed to stimulate convection currents which improve heat circulation.
They are simple to install and reflect more heat into your room.
You can find out more and order online on the Heatkeeper website
HEATKEEPER® Reflector Panels have been specially designed to be easy to fit without removing radiator.
Simply hang HEATKEEPER® Panels from your radiator brackets.
The dimensions of the panel are 580mm high x 450mm wide x8mm deep. The average radiator needs 2 to 2½ panels.
Multiply the number of radiators in your house by 2 or 2½ and choose the appropriate pack size (see below).
Pack Sizes available:
5-panel pack (2-3 average size radiators)
10-panel pack (4-5 average size radiators)
15-panel pack (6-8 average size radiators)
20-panel pack (8-10 average size radiators)
If you need more help please measure the height and width of your radiators, then email Heatkeeper for an estimate.
Watch the YouTube video here
Use the discount code: - 6CZG27XABRXM before the 28th October for a 15% discount! (Limit of 3 uses, cannot be combined with other discounts)
Finding ways to dry washing in the winter is a challenge. Using an energy guzzling tumble dryer is not the answer in this era of climate crisis (and rising costs), but there are effective ways to wash and dry clothes.
Aim to fill the washing machine drum three-quarters full. Anything more is overloading, because there is not enough space for your laundry to agitate and there will also be less water available for the detergent to dissolve in, as the clothes will soak up too much water, which means your clothes don’t come out as clean as you would like. It will also help to spin your clothes at the maximum spin cycle your washing machine allows. This makes it quicker to dry your clothes.
Drying clothes on your radiator is not energy efficient as it makes your boiler work harder to get your room to your desired temperature, which uses more energy, meaning it costs you more money.
Use a clothes airer to dry your clothes indoors, a tower clothes airer does not take up much space but can hold up to two loads of laundry.
If you lack floor space but have the ceiling height another option would be a ceiling-mounted clothes airer, which is effective, as hot air rises, so your clothes dry quickly.
A heated drying cabinet or an energy efficient electric clothes airer, which use far less energy and cost far less to run than a tumble dryer are also worth considering.
Whatever type of clothes airer you use, there are key considerations to make to help your laundry dry efficiently, and to keep you and your home healthy.
Damp laundry can contain up to three litres of water, which needs to evaporate. Inadequate ventilation can cause condensation on your walls and windows. If there is not enough ventilation mould may grow, so close the door and open up a window in the room in which you are drying your laundry. Allowing fresh air to circulate helps to reduce moisture levels.
If it’s too cold, wet, or windy to open your window an extractor fan will help as it uses very little electricity so will not drive up your bills, as a tumble drier would.
If you are struggling with excess condensation, using a dehumidifier, will take excess moisture from the air. If you put your clothes airer in a small room, you can run a dehumidifier to reduce condensation and dry clothes faster. It is not as energy-intensive as the tumble dryer.
Hanging your clothes neatly – pulling trousers, sleeves and socks straight – speeds up the drying process. Adequately spacing your clothes helps too. Clothes start to smell damp when they take too long to dry.
Crunchy towels can be an issue when you dry your laundry indoors. Halving the amount of detergent you use helps prevent towels feel crunchy. As does making your own fabric conditioner with white vinegar and essential oil, which helps remove any excess detergent from your towels.
Cut down on the amount of laundry you do to save time and money.
For more information see the Moral Fibres Blog.