Living on your own for the first time as a student can sometimes feel a little overwhelming.
Practically, there is so much to learn and we understand that managing your own consumption and saving energy may not be high on your list of priorities, but once you see the savings you can make giving you money to spend on more worthwhile things (like beer and nights out), then we hope you’ll agree it may be worth the effort!
Here are a few handy hints when it comes to keeping your energy bills in check:
1) Unplug all appliances that you are not using regularly, if left on standby it’s a sure way to waste electricity, even your phone charger continues using energy when it’s not charging.
2) Switch the lights off or replace the bulbs. If you replace traditional bulbs with low energy lighting you will use 90% less energy!
3) When you make a cuppa, only boil the amount of water you need, electricity is an expensive way to heat water (three times the cost of gas) so be mindful to only heat the water you need.
4) Putting a lid on your saucepan when you’re cooking reduces the amount of energy required to cook your food by 90%! And your food cooks faster, double bonus!
5) Use body heat to stay warm instead of turning up the heating 😉 Alternatively put on a jumper, it adds 3 degrees of warmth instantly!
So what about condensation and mould?…
The other issue that plagues many student homes is condensation and mould. You may notice the windows dripping with water, your clothes smelling musty or moist black patches appearing on the walls.
Surprisingly these issues usually stem from the way you live in your house rather than problems with the property itself. As we explain more, it will become clear:
Condensation forms when moist air comes into contact with air, or a surface, which has a lower temperature.
Air naturally contains varying quantities of water vapour. Warm air holds a greater level of moisture than cold air, so you can imagine that in certain rooms in the house e.g. shower rooms/ kitchens this is more of an issue.
The moisture contained in the warm air then spreads to cooler parts of the house and condensates on the coldest surfaces. The best way to avoid this happening is to ventilate the property properly.
These are our top tips to avoid condensation and mould:
1) Open your window for at least 30 minutes a day (ensure your trickles vents are open too).
2) Make sure the extractor fan in the bathroom is on when taking a shower.
3) Make sure the fan isolator switch outside the bath/ shower room is on at all times.
4) When cooking make sure the extractor fan is on and the window is open
5) Dry clothes outside, in the tumble dryer or in a cool area of the house. If you dry clothes inside, make sure it’s in a well ventilated area of the house.
6) Keep windows dry – try to wipe off condensation as quickly as you can.
7) Keep wardrobe doors ajar and a small gap between your bed and the wall to allow air to circulate in your bedroom
When condensation and dampness are left untreated it can lead to mould growth which isn’t pleasant and can have it’s own health complications. If mould does appear the best way to treat it is by washing it with a mild anti-fungicidal bleach solution as soon as it appears.
If you pay heed to all of the above you will save money, your health and do your bit for the environment! Not a bad start to living independently!
For more help and advice on student accommodation please contact Studentrooms4u.co.uk