All of us want to make our houses more energy efficient, not only to save money but also to make our homes more comfortable and pleasant to live in. There are many changes, large and small, which you can make to help save energy.
Switch it off:
Little everyday actions can allow you to reduce your energy consumption. Be sure to turn off any unnecessary lights and switch off appliances at the plug when you have finished using them, rather than leaving them on standby. In the kitchen, set the washing machine to 30°C and be sure to only boil as much water as you need when using your kettle. In the bathroom, avoid leaving the hot tap running whilst washing or shaving, and take showers instead of baths.
Turn it down:
Whether you power your boiler using gas or heating oil, you can make significant fuel savings by turning your thermostat down by just one or two degrees. The difference to you will be negligible, yet it’s estimated that this can reduce your fuel consumption by as much as 10%. You can also try turning the heat down in rooms which you use less often.
One of the best ways you can save energy is to improve your insulation, particularly if you have an older property. There are many different types of insulation, though each must be considered carefully depending on the build of your house. Some modern homes have cavity walls, making injected wall insulation an effective method of heat conservation. Older properties typically have solid walls which can lose a lot of heat and can be insulated with external cladding, although this option is usually more expensive and involves a lot of work.
A relatively quick and easy way to improve heat retention in your home is to insulate the roof space, which simply involves laying thick fibreglass matting over the joists. This is particularly easy and effective if you have a large area of pitched roof. The costs of this type of insulation are not very high and you can expect to make considerable savings on heating once it is installed.
There are various methods you can use to eliminate draughts around doors, windows or other apertures. These can range from simply putting down a draught excluder to applying silicone sealant to skirting boards or floors.
If you have an older model of boiler, consider getting it replaced. Modern condensing gas and oil boilers are significantly more fuel efficient, as they make use of the flue heat that would usually be wasted in a conventional boiler. Depending on where you live, it may also be possible to get a grant to cover the costs of the replacement. In addition, it may be worth considering upgrading your thermostat and other heating controls. This will make it easier for you to accurately regulate the temperature throughout your home, sending the heat where it is most needed quickly and efficiently.
Upgrading your windows and doors is another excellent way of reducing heat loss. You can opt to have modern PVC double-glazed units fitted into the existing brickwork or, if this is not possible, another option is to install secondary glazing to the inside of your current windows.