With energy costs soaring, many of us are concerned about how we will keep warm this winter. But did you know that there are some straightforward and cost-effective ways you can quickly improve the energy efficiency of your home? Act now and you’ll reap the rewards for this winter and ahead.
1. Automate your heating
Add individual controls to each radiator in the home. In doing this you can create heating zones and you won't waste money warming the rooms you are not using. It is quite easy and economical to retrofit radiator control valves in older homes, or design in-control zones in new builds. Set up your heating on timers, so you are only heating your home when you are there. Modern control panels are compatible with mobile phones, meaning you'll be able to control the temperature in your home even when you are miles away. Say goodbye to the days of inadvertently leaving the heating on while you're out at work!
2. Glaze carefully
If you are in the early stages of designing an extension, conversion or orangery ask your architectural designer to consider the orientation of any glazing. Glazing positioning is key to blocking the summer sun and harnessing its warmth in winter. We recommend no more than 25% of a roof should be glazed, while clever and interesting roof design can both insulate and bring light into your home.
3. Add insulation
Where have you been for the last 10+ years if the walls of your home are still not insulated? If they are still uninsulated, then you could be losing up to 33% of heat through them. Thanks to the government's support schemes, most people have been made aware of the benefits of wall insulation. But did you know that floor insulation can also help your home stay toasty? Up to 15% of lost heat can escape through the ground floor. And while upstairs floors don't normally need to be insulated, you should consider it if the room is positioned directly above a cold area, such as a garage.
4. Add more insulation!
To the roof this time. We all know heat rises so it makes sense to insulate the area the most heat is escaping through. In the vast majority of cases it is fine to even over-insulate the roof slightly.
5. Banish single glazing
If you are not planning on replacing your windows in the near future and they are single glazed, then adding a secondary glazing can be a good option as a transitional measure to enable you to benefit from a double-glazed approach. If you are at the point of replacing windows anyway then consider opting for triple glazing to reap both soundproofing and heating benefits.
6. Position heat sources carefully
If you are undertaking a home build project and will be able to influence the positioning of boilers and hot water tanks, then ensure they are placed centrally in the house to capture the heat in the heart of the home. To further drive down heating costs, consider investing in a low carbon heating system such as a heat pump. While not a huge money saver, making use of a fireplace or log burner can supplement the central heating in that area of the home.
7. Put a jacket on
Not on you; but on your hot water tank. A lot of the heat is generated by hot water tanks but can be lost when a cylinder jacket is not used. Buy a well fitting cylinder jacket of at least 80mm thickness to keep the heat in, and you can also wrap visible hot water pipes with foam tubing. All these materials are easy to find and fit, and will quickly pay for themselves.
8. Draught proof your home
While we need some ventilation flowing through the home to prevent damp and condensation, be sure to put a stop to rogue draughts coming in through letterboxes and poorly fitting doors and windows. There are plenty of reasonably priced, off-the-shelf DIY products to help achieve this.
9. Install energy efficient lightbulbs
Using low-energy LEDs are more expensive to buy, but they use around 90% less energy and can last up to fifteen times longer!
10. Check what help you can get
You may be eligible for the government's Help to Heat funding scheme, or for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which is open until 2025.
To find out about further ways to make your home more energy efficientt, book in to talk to one of the BetterLivingSpace architectural designers.