picture showing a wood burner burning wood to link to the article to keep your house warm and consider if you could insulate better

Insulate Your Home to Save Money and the Climate

The increased energy prices mean the average house could be paying nearly £2000 a year for duel fuel this year – that’s a rise of over 50%. Insulate to make your home warmer and keep your bills down with our tips.

by Emma Johnson 

Get Energy Efficient

The massive hike in energy prices looks set to continue. Local traders are on hand to help you to improve the energy efficiency of your home with simple measures to reduce to heat escape from your home. At the same time you will spend less on your energy bills. If you can’t afford to make improvements you may be entitled to grants and other benefits. Follow our guide to make your home warmer:

1.Professional Loft Insulation

Only 35% of UK home meet the government’s recommended 270mm depth of mineral wool insulation.  Home Counties Loft Ladders estimate without insulation you’ll lose 25% of your heat through the roof.

 2. Improve your Windows and Doors

Low emissivity (low-E) in double or triple glazing offers a coating of metal oxide on the internal glass surface, reflecting heating back into your home. Modern frame materials all offer good insulation, choice depends maintenance, environment concerns and planning laws. The British Federation Rating Council (BFRC) will give you the overall energy efficiency score of your proposed windows ,don’t just rely on the u-value measure (how easily heat passes through).

3. Make it Draught Proof

If can feel cold air flowing, warm will be escaping too, draught proof your doors, windows and floor boards. Fit a removable DIY balloon, for under £20, to reduce heat from escaping through your chimney, or cap it if you don’t use it.

4. Insulate the Walls and Floors

Plug wall holes left by unused vents. Lift exposed floorboards, insulate the joists, add a damp proof membrane but don’t compromise air vents. If your home was built before 2005 and doesn’t have wall insulation, you could be entitled to a government grant.

5. Radiators

Bleed the radiators regularly and if they’re leaking, replace. Your plumber may suggest flushing the system to remove residue build-up.

Fit thermostats to individual radiators to enable you to turn them down or off in rooms you don’t use.

Leave space around your radiators – furniture will simply absorb the heat. And, while the heavy duty, thermally-lined curtains will keep heat in, if they cover the radiators they’ll keep the radiator heat out.

Avoid drying your washing on the radiators as your boiler will work harder trying to increase the room temperature as the clothes trap the heat and stop it from being released into the room. The extra condensation it creates could cause damp and mould. A drying rack, heated or not, could be a better option.

6. Keep Your Décor Practical

Throws and blankets shouldn’t just be decorations, they’ll offer warmth when you turn the heating down a notch.

Home is Where the Heart Is

When times are tough and your home is too cold, life can be feel desperate. There is help, it might be limited but hopefully the government will release some more realistic and affordable grants. If you are not sure what to do speak to Citizens Advice who can advise on home improvements and heating options. Keep an eye on government grants at: gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency

10 Tips to Reduce your Utility Bills

  1. Wear your clothes (aside from underwear) at least twice and bed sheets for two weeks before washing.
  2. Pre-treat / pre-soak stubborn stains, your machine and detergent will remove stains or germs at 20-30º. Use less detergent and white vinegar as a softener.
  3. Fill your machine, clean on the shortest cycle, with a high speed spin to remove extra moisture.
  4. Air-dry clothes or use a dryer at a lower temperature with dryer balls without overfilling.
  5. Regularly clean your washing machine and dishwasher and keep your dryer lint free.
  6. Only boil enough water for your planned drink and pour it straight away.
  7. Lower the temperature of your heating and boiler by 1-2º
  8. Use LED light bulbs
  9. Don’t preheat the oven – there is little real evidence to support the need to do this.
  10. Don’t overcrowd your fridge or freezer – allow air to flow around.

Bonus TOP TIP 

Put automatic timers on your lights and extractors fans.

For more ideas about your home check out Essentially Home and Garden