Making your home less likely to leak heat when it’s wild and wintery outside won’t just make it a nicer, cosier place to live. It can also save you hundreds of pounds a year in energy costs.
Recent Government statistics show that properties with the highest A or B energy rating have bills which are an average of £629 a year less than those which don’t. So it’s clear there are fantastic savings to be made by improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Here are some tips for how to go about it. Some are cheaper and easier to implement than others but all are well worth doing in the long run:
The Energy Saving Trust (EST) says that simply turning down the thermostat on your central heating by one degree saves consumers an average of £75 per year in gas bills. Using a seven-day time switch on the thermostat will allow you to adjust different setting for each day and make adjustments accordingly. Ensure your thermostat is in an appropriate location, keep it aware of draughty areas, in direct sunlight or radiators or fireplaces as this will give a misinterpreted reading.
The EST also recommends fitting a water-efficient shower head to your shower as it cuts a households gas bill by an average of £75 and water bills by £120 a year. That’s an impressive annual saving of £195.
Experts estimate that about a quarter of a home’s heat is lost through the roof space. This means you could save an average of £160 on your heating bills per annum by making sure your loft is properly insulated.
The most modern boilers are much more energy efficient than those which are even just a few years older. Switching yours could save you around £200 a year, plus release far less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Simple solutions are often the best. Homes with thicker curtains feel much cosier for a reason; thick curtains act as an air trap and hold cold air between the window and the material on the window-side, helping keep a room warmer.
Double or triple glazing
Getting double or triple glazed windows will, again, help save a lot on heating bills. If you can’t afford the upgrade, there are cheaper methods, such as heat-shrinkable plastic film or pieces of acrylic sheet magnetically attached to the inside of existing windows; done properly, both of these options can be difficult to notice!
Replacing more old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs with those of the LED variety can reduce your electricity bill by a small but useful sum.
As with your boiler, the same applies to white goods most homes have such as cookers, fridge-freezers and televisions; the most modern tend to use the least energy. Look for those with the highest A plus and A triple plus rating.
Leaving everything from computers to televisions and radios on ‘standby’ (when they’re ‘off’ but the little red light is still glowing), means they’re still consuming electricity. Turn them fully off.
Ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs)
GSHPs work by turning the earth’s ambient heat into heat for your home via a system of pipes and clever technology. They could save you a fortune in heating bills each year as they can provide all of a home’s needs.
However, you the problem is you need a reasonable amount of outside space to have one fitted.
Fitting solar panels can provide for all of your energy needs but, it has to be said, the initial outlay if you were to achieve that goal is considerable. However, it would mean that even if the cost of energy rocketed, you would be protected.
A note on cost
While doing all of the above would cost a considerable sum, it’s worth noting that if you live in the same property for a good number of years you could save thousands in the long term.
It will no doubt also make your home more desirable if you want to sell it, as a high level of energy efficiency is increasingly becoming a ‘must have’ for buyers.
There are also Government grants available for homes in certain areas or self-builds.
If all of these measures require more investment than you can make, don’t forget that changes in behaviour can have a big impact too. Make sure you fill your washing machine or dishwasher every time you run it and when you boil a kettle, only fill it with the amount of water you actually require.
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Published 13th December 2018