Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
Many people are just starting to take on board how making some changes to their homes can save them more money in the long run and also aid in reducing their carbon footprint. Every little piece of effort made by each household goes toward the target of reducing emissions and waste over the coming decade for the UK, with an eye on the targets set to be met by 2050 as laid out in the climate change act.
There are many ways in which you can make the change and save yourself money on energy bills. Here are just a few of the most popular ways people are upgrading their homes.
This applies to two areas: the walls and in your loft. Let’s start with the walls. Since most homes built after 1990 will be well insulated, you are probably saved from having any work done here, but it’s always best to get a professional to check. Houses built before 1990 will need some form of filling or insulation depending on how they are built.
The loft in your home is the source of the greatest loss in terms of heat, and therefore energy, but with added insulation you can save more money and improve the thermal comfort of your home. Typically, you will outlay money to have this work done, but when done correctly you save almost double that amount within 5 years.
The important thing to look at with boilers, whether you’re having a combi boiler or a traditional one, is the energy rating. Appliances have an energy rating ranging from A (excellent) to G (very poor), this gives an indication into how well the unit performs and also gives you an idea about how much money you can save if you upgrade. Moving from a G rated boiler upwards would save you hundreds of pounds on energy bills.
Another way in which homes lose heat is through their windows. Single-paned glass or poorly sealed windows are the main offenders, which is why it is recommended to switch to newer double glazed windows. The dual layer helps keep the cold air out and the warm air in, though when purchasing new windows you should ensure that they are B rated or above in their energy efficiency rating.
Other benefits include reducing the noise you hear from outside and reducing drafts in your home – if you can feel a draft then you need to address it immediately as it is costing you money.
To some people, upgrading their home to utilise solar power is still too expensive, but when you look at the long term benefits then there should be little resistance. You can add solar panels to store electricity created using the sun’s rays or even have it integrated into your hot water supply. Solar power is to be used in tandem with regular energy of course but you save hundreds of pounds every month from reduced energy bills, this will likely pay off what you paid for your solar panels if you plan to stay in the property – if you move then it is a great selling point.
Energy Using Habits
Our final point is one that turns the spotlight on you. By changing your habits and getting into the practice of not wasting energy then you will see your bills drop as well as your carbon footprint. Simply switch off lights in the rooms you aren’t using and turn your thermostat down by a degree and you’ll notice the difference over a year. Appliances don’t need to be on all day long and the standby setting is just as bad for wasting money unnecessarily, with a government study claiming the average household spends £50-£86 on standby appliances.