While there are tangible energy-saving gains to be made by installing more efficient appliances, these pale in comparison with the gains that can be made by insulating your home effectively.
Much of the heat that is generated inside the home is quickly lost to the atmosphere through the roof, the doors, the windows, and the walls. By taking steps to improve the insulation of these elements, you can make a huge difference to your energy bills. In fact, a very well insulated home needs very little in the way of heating, whereas a poorly insulated home will never really get warm unless you keep the boiler cranked throughout the winter months. For great deals on house insulation products, visit Wickes.co.uk.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of improving the energy efficiency of your home is to install extra insulating material in your loft. As anyone with a basic knowledge of physics can tell you, hot air rises, which makes the roof the main escape route for heat in the home.
In fact, according to the Energy Saving Trust, over a quarter of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost in this way. Laying fibreglass wool or an equivalent material between the beams in your loft is a fairly easy task that doesn’t require any specialist building knowledge, and the relatively small investment could pay for itself within just a few years in terms of energy savings.
The windows are another obvious escape route for heat in your home, but there are several things you can do to make them better at retaining heat. If you have single-glazed windows, you can make a big difference to the amount of energy that is lost to the atmosphere by installing double or triple-glazed windows. However, this can be expensive and impractical in some cases.
While installing secondary glazing (placing an additional window pane in front of or behind the existing windows) will not reap the performance benefits of installing true double or triple glazing, it is cheaper and easier, and can still help to save quite a bit of energy.
Heavier curtains can also help to retain heat and reduce ambient noise levels. You may also be able to make some savings by weather-stripping your windows and doors, which involves placing foam rubber strips around the little gaps where air could get in.
Installing additional insulation into the walls is an altogether more difficult and expensive option than adding loft insulation or upgrading windows and doors, as it will usually require professional assistance.
However, it is worth considering if you are doing an extensive refurbishment of your home, as it can make a huge difference to the energy efficiency of your home!