Solutions for a more energy efficient home
Heating up your home during the cold spells can amount to a costly sum, especially if your home isn’t well insulated. With that in mind, we’ve gathered together a few long-term and a couple of ‘quick-fix’ solutions to keep your house warmer for longer, as well as being more energy efficient.
Feel the heat – don’t free it!
In most cases, long lasting solutions tend to be the most expensive; insulating your floors, walls and loft require a relatively significant initial outlay, but it is worth remembering that whilst the initial cost can be difficult to swallow, the savings on energy ensure it pays for itself in the long run.
It isn’t just savings you could be making either, but profit; decent insulation can have a dramatic effect on your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC rating), which can add extra value to your home.
Sound, long-term solutions
Roof / loft insulation: It is estimated that without loft insulation, your house loses around a quarter of its heat through the roof. While there are registered fitters who can install it for you, it’s relatively uncomplicated to do yourself and according to the Energy Saving Trust, has the potential to save you up to £240 a year on energy bills (house size dependant).
To install, you’d expect to pay around £300 to £400. The overall cost, the energy and cost savings, the minimal household disruption and ease of installation make this a viable option for many.
Wall insulation: Properly insulated walls can prevent your home from losing about one-third of its heat. There are two common types of insulation: cavity wall insulation for walls with a gap between them or insulation fitted either inside or outside of your home if they are solid. Investment in cavity wall insulation could save up to £275 per year and solid wall insulation as much as £455 per year.
Typical cavity wall installation costs between £300 – £800, depending on the size of your property.
Solid walls cost more to insulate, ranging between £4,000 and £13,000 for internal wall insulation and £8,000 – £22,000 for external walls, but can add the most value to your home.
Floor insulation: Having mineral wool installed under your floorboards by a registered installer is an efficient way of retaining heat, with potential savings of up to £90 a year, depending on the building type and size. Additionally, you can make this extra effective by laying down a thick carpet atop underlay or sealing gaps between floorboards and skirting boards.
Installation costs can vary from around £950 to £2,200, depending on the level of work required.
Quick, low-cost solutions
Insulation behind the radiator: If you’re not yet ready to insulate your walls, a cheap yet effective way to save on those rising heating bills, while also reducing energy consumption, is to use radiator reflectors. By affixing one behind each radiator, the heat is reflected back into the room instead of dissipating through the walls.
Hot water tank and pipe insulation: Keep your hot water hotter for longer with a hot water cylinder jacket (£10 – £25); they can be found in most hardware shops, are simple to fit yourself and, according to Money.co.uk, can reduce heat loss by over 75%. It’s also worth considering pipe insulation; for minimal cost, these foam tubes slide over exposed hot water pipes, ensuring your hot water stays hot.
As added value, pipe insulation can also make effective DIY draught-excluders; just slip them on to the bottom of doors, or around the edges of ill-fitting old windows to block the draught.
Homeowners who take the initiative to make these changes usually discover that the energy savings are more than worth the effort.
Content accurate at time of publishing.