Saving money on your energy bills is one of the main reasons to improve your home’s energy efficiency
Another reason to consider is the negative environmental impact of consuming massive amounts of energy. And if you’re thinking of buying or selling property, the energy efficiency rating becomes a huge factor in the value of your home.
So what are the simplest ways to immediately reduce the consumption of energy?
Here are the top 8 things you can do now to start making improvements:
1) Upgrade your boiler
Older boilers are the biggest culprits when it comes to higher energy costs. They are prone to breaking down more and typically consume more energy in the long run. Modern boilers are manufactured to be more energy efficient.
Sometimes homeowners are better off choosing a different boiler type. For example, smaller households can get along fine with a combi boiler instead of a regular one, thus driving down the costs of their energy bills.
2) Insulate your home
It’s estimated that 25% of the heat your boiler produces is lost through your roof and 35% through the walls. These figures should inspire any homeowner to investigate whether they have sufficient insulation around their home.
Insulating your home doesn’t have to be costly, and prices are as low as £150, depending on the size of your home.
Identify the areas that require additional insulation, such as your loft and cavity walls. Insulation material is environmentally friendly as it’s made of glass mineral wool made from recycled glass.
Wall cavity insulation is the easiest to install and can be finished within a few hours. You should also consider floor insulation, even though heat loss is more significant via the floor or windows.
After installation, you’ll notice the difference; you won’t need to keep the heating on for as long, and your energy bills will gradually decrease.
3) Install draught excluders and door seals
Heat is also lost through doors and windows, causing your central heating to work harder. The good news is that DIY draught-proofing can solve this problem.
Draught excluders are cheap and should be placed on doors closer to the outside of the building or in empty rooms. There are also other off-the-shelf products to draught-proof keyholes and letterboxes.
Rubber or foam seals are also handy for doors and window frames. They’re easy to install, as many have sticky-backed strips ready to be placed around the window.
4) Install a water-saving showerhead
Powers showers are great, especially in wintertime when a blast of heat is all you need to start your day. However, they are also prone to using more water than normal.
So consider changing to a water-saving showerhead if you want to positively impact your energy bills. Newer models are better as you’ll enjoy the same quality as older ones and benefit from improved energy efficiency.
5) Purchase LED light bulbs
Lighting may seem like a small part of your home’s energy consumption, but it’s a significant factor in determining your EPC rating.
Traditional light bulbs are cheaper but don’t last as long as LED bulbs and diminish the chances of achieving a high energy efficiency rating when your property is inspected.
Switching to LED lights will require an upfront investment as they’re most costly than traditional bulbs. Fortunately, you’re likely to gain back your investment after six months to 1 year as your energy bill starts to decline.
6) Buy an energy monitor
To get real-time data on how much energy you consume daily, purchase an energy monitor for as little as £20-60. More sophisticated monitors can tell you whether you’ve left appliances on inside your home.
7) Fit double (or triple) glazing
Heat loss doesn’t just happen around the sides of windows, so draught excluders and seals won’t be enough. Therefore, double or triple-glazed windows are the best way to prevent heat from escaping through windows whilst making the house quieter. Double glazing is the most common choice for windows and consists of two panes of glass with a sealed gap in between, filled with air or inert gas.
8) Add hot water cylinder and pipe insulation
Heat loss through uninsulated water tanks and distribution pipes is another reason for higher energy consumption. Therefore, you should consider fitting a cylinder jacket for your water tank and use off-the-shelf foam tubes to insulate hot water pipes. These are cheap to purchase and don’t require an engineer to fit in.
Furthermore, you can install reflective panels behind radiators to prevent further heat loss through your walls. If your outside walls are uninsulated, your radiators and central heating system will undoubtedly benefit from this technique.
9) Use renewable energy sources
Make use the naturally occurring energy sources and you’ll reduce your reliance on the grid. For example, solar panels in Scotland are an excellent option to reduce your energy bills and improve your efficiency rating. Although it’s an expensive investment, you’ll likely see reduced energy bills in the long run.
In conclusion, many solutions are very cost-effective and require little installation effort. So you can begin to enhance your home with simple measures that can go a long way to improving your home’s energy efficiency.