National Cut Your Energy Costs Day takes place every January, which means now is the ideal time to get your home winter ready. You’ll need to insulate to accumulate energy and cost savings, so let’s start at the top of the house, and the 20% of heat that escapes through your roof.
Savings start at the top
Installing loft insulation is a job that any DIYer can tackle, although adding a thermilate roof coating is best left to the professionals. Both will do an outstanding job of saving energy and have other benefits, too. For example, a roof coating will provide a fast acting insulating barrier that prevents condensation and mould growth whilst also leaving your roof tiles looking like new. You’ll save on energy costs and reduce carbon emissions, making this a cost effective and sustainable way to reduce those energy bills.
Loft insulation should be laid between the joists, then across the joists to the required thickness. If you want to use your loft for storage or as an extra room, you’ll need to lay mineral wool insulation between the joists, then nail down insulation boards, then flooring boards. If you crush the insulation material, it will be less effective. Insulation will last about 50 years, so you’ll recoup your outlay and continue to make energy savings for many years to come.
Turn it down
Over 50% of your energy bills go to heat and light your home. Turn your room thermostat down by just 1 degree, and you can save nearly £90 a year. Fit thermostatic radiator valves and a timer and you can make a significant saving on your energy bills of up to £165 a year.
If you invest in a smart heating control, you’ll be able to switch your heating on and off when you need it, wherever you are. There really is an app for that and it’s all about only heating the rooms you need to heat, when you need to heat them.
Shut down drafts
Heat loss from doors and windows is around 15% of all heat loss, so it makes sense to hunt down draughts and eliminate them. Use silicone to fill gaps in door and window frames, fit draught proofing strips and think about blocking up chimneys and letterboxes.
In many older properties, air gaps were essential to promote airflow and keep the property cool in summer and warm in winter. Now we have central heating, so keeping your property as draught proof as possible makes sense to keep the warm air in. Your boiler will work harder and age faster, and your bills will be much higher, if you allow heat to escape unnecessarily from your home.
Switch it off
It’s a simple rule, but so many of us forget it: when you’re not in a room, switch the light off! This little energy saving tip alone will save you £15 a year.
One big switch you can make in your household is to change your bulbs from old style to ‘compact fluorescent lamps’ or CFLs. Using CFLs and LED spots instead of halogens could save you £35 a year and significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your home. Those savings matter now for you and your family, and in the future when you come to resell.
However, it all starts with great insulation. So pay attention to your roof – you’ll be thankful in the long run, when you’re running a leaner, greener household!