Make your home more energy efficient. 5 Great Tips!
With rising energy bills, many people are looking for ways to improve energy efficiency around the home. This article will provide some helpful tips on how you can make your home more energy efficient while reducing your electricity and gas bills.
- Insulation (Lots of Insulation)
Most of the required insulation work can be done for free if you are eligible! Contact your local council or search on the internet for free (type of insulation A,B or C from below)+(your area) on the internet and contact one of the companies to see if they are part of the government scheme.
Insulation not only helps your home become more energy efficient it also improves the sound proofing.
A: Loft insulation
Insulating your loft space could save you £135-£300 per year depending on your property. Loft insulation works as a barrier between the rooms below and the cold loft space above so it is one of the major contributors to the overall energy performance of the home.
This one is one of the easiest and most affordable ways of making the home increasingly warmer, it also offers one of the best returns as loft insulation will pay for itself many times over in just a few years.
It is important to check the thermal performance of the loft rolls or discussing the thermal performance prior to installation so that you know you are getting a thermally efficient product.
B. External Wall Insulation
Cavity Wall Insulation: This is free for most homes in the UK that were constructed after 1920. The process involves having the gap between the external wall and the internal wall filled with foam. This creates an insulated layer in the middle of the two walls; it improves energy efficiency throughout the home by keeping the cold out and by retaining the heat in your home for longer. Most people lose more heat through uninsulated external walls than they actually do through non energy efficient windows and doors.
Non Cavity Wall Insulation: These are also known as solid wall construction homes, built before the 1920’s, the bad news with this kind of property is that uninsulated external walls in non cavity wall homes let twice as much heat out compared to uninsulated cavity wall homes. The other bad news is that it costs more and can’t always be done for free although there are some grants available like the green deal that may help towards the costs. It is also much harder to do than cavity wall insulation. You have two options;
Option A: Insulate your external wall from the outside
The only downside to this method is that, if you have a stone built property then you will no longer be able to see the stone as an insulating layer will be applied over it. If it’s not stone or you don’t mind loosing the old look for the gains in energy efficiency then it’s all savings and it is also a great way of adding an extra layer of protection to the outside of your property.
Option B: Insulate the external wall from the inside
There are various ways of insulating external walls from the inside. The most common method is to build a timber frame on the wall, place insulation inside, screw plaster boards on and then plaster over it. The problem is that this method can take space and this can usually be off putting unless you already have large rooms or don’t mind sacrificing the space for energy efficiency.
A better way would be to remove the old plasterwork and go down to the brick work, use thin timber, fill any space with insulation then use insulated plasterboard’s and plaster over. Alternatively insulated plaster boards could even be directly applied to the wall and plastered over. This method will cost more when it comes to insulating the external wall internally because of the high cost of insulated plasterboard’s. This method is however just as energy efficient if not more than the previous method mentioned in Option B and it takes up non to very little extra space.
C. Ground Insulation
This is important if you are having any kind of groundwork done or having a new floor. Whether you are having a new conservatory built, installing a floor, damp proofing a cellar or having an extension; you MUST do this. Insulating under floorboards keeps the heat in rooms for longer, it retains it and makes floors feel warmer for longer and it also keeps the floor warm when the heating is off due to its heating retaining abilities.
- Energy Efficient Products and Household Appliances
Making more energy conscience choices is a great way of reducing you energy bills in the long term. Check appliances to check their energy rating before buying and as your old appliances let you down replace them with new Energy Rated ones (A rated if possible). Most home appliances now come with information on their energy ratings so make sure that you do a side by side comparison and choose the product that will be the most cost-effective to run.
A non energy efficient boiler also does not heat as efficiently and costs more to run than an energy efficient boiler. This is also a home improvement that most whom are eligible can have done for free via various government grants. Contact your local council for more information or search for free boiler (your city) on the internet. If you are looking to buy a new boiler then please look at the energy rating before purchasing and remember that A is the most energy efficient.
Smaller items like light bulbs should also be replaced with energy efficient light bulbs. Although they cost more, energy efficient light bulbs will last much longer and help reduce the cost of electricity bills. The Energy Saving Trust states that switching to a Compact Fluorescent Light bulb would save £3 a year on energy bill, while changing to LED lighting could save up to £40 a year.
- Energy Management
Don’t leave household appliances on standby. It’s not only safer to turn them off but it will also save you money on your electricity bills. Although this doesn’t tend to use up too much electricity, you can still save valuable pounds by making sure appliances are not left on standby.
To further reduce energy costs, it is also a good idea to switch off light bulbs that are not in use or to install a timer/censor so that lights are only switched on when you need them.
- Smart Meters
Smart meters will soon be introduced into every household and they can be a useful way of helping householders to understand which appliances are costing them the most to run. The official installation of smart meters will begin in late 2015, however, some energy providers are already installing them and various companies online sell smart meters if you don’t wish to wait. These will help make your home more energy efficient by identifying appliances that are using too much energy.
- Replacement Windows and Doors
20% of heating is lost through non energy efficient windows and doors. However, by taking steps such as installing energy efficient Double Glazing or Triple Glazing homes can significantly reduce the amount of heat loss and draughts. Helping your home become more energy efficient.
Triple Glazing can achieve up to 50% better performance than double glazing and is more than twice as efficient at retaining heat. Triple Glazing like insulation not only improves the energy efficiency of your home but it also makes your home more sound proof.
Triple Glazed Windows can achieve U Values (performance rating) of 0.8 and below; this means that they can meet the criteria of the super energy efficient Passivhaus Standard. A Rated Double Glazing achieves a U Value of 1.4 or below which is good but the Passivhaus standard criteria CANNOT be met with Double Glazed Windows. Contact Warmshield UK for more information or for a free quote on energy efficient Windows, Doors or Conservatories.
Every property is not the same and this information may not necessarily apply to your property. We would advise conducting further research and seeking professional advice from professionals in the relevant fields before carrying out any of the work or methods mentioned above.