Shorter days and longer nights are the first signs that winter is coming, and when the cold sets in, it’s important to keep your home warm and cozy.
But with UK households now dealing with the ongoing energy crisis, it is more important than ever to keep an eye on your energy usage.
Nathan Emerson, propertymark CEO, said, “An energy efficient home is not only important to your bills, it also means you are doing your part for the environment.
“The energy crisis has brought them more into focus for many, so it is important to keep a close eye on what energy you are using and where it is going.
“The key is that your home is only as efficient as you are. So there is a lot you can do to change old habits.
“Other, more practicable ways can still be relatively cheap – be it through heavy curtains, switching to LED light bulbs or sealing off drafts – but they can have a long-term effect.
“Government incentives are also available, such as a £ 5,000 grant from the £ 450m boiler upgrade program, but it will hardly scratch the surface of the cost of getting some properties up to standard. “
Propertymark gives ten top tips for saving energy at home.
- Replace your boiler
Bad boilers are a bane on the home energy bill. More than half of your energy bill comes from your boiler – between 55 and 60 percent. Boilers are rated A to G, with A being the most efficient, so it’s worth checking your rating out.
However, the UK government wants to phase out gas boilers and make all new heating systems low carbon by 2035. As of April, a £ 5,000 grant will be offered to replace gas boilers with a heat pump, although this will only cover a fraction of the average cost of £ 6,000 to £ 18,0000 depending on the size and type of property. It won’t be a viable option for everyone, but hopefully the cost will come down as it grows in popularity.
- Heavy curtains
Curtains made from a thick, insulating material work wonders for storing heat leaks from windows, especially if you are in an older single-pane house. Make sure your curtain rail is 4 to 6 inches higher than the window frame itself for maximum coverage.
- Double glazing
It is now standard for all new homes to have double glazing, but for all older homes it is still a solid investment and one of the most important tips to increase your energy efficiency and future proof your home for years to come. If your property is a listed building or you cannot replace the old windows, the second glazing offers a second pane that is simply pushed behind the existing ones.
- Draft test
One of the easiest ways to make your home more energy efficient is to seal off drafts. Uncovered gaps on windows, doors or even keyholes can be repaired by a simple home improvement or professionally for around £ 200. With an average annual saving of around £ 50 per year, it will pay off easily.
- Heating on low
It’s always tempting to turn your heating on full throttle when you get cold, but heating your home to a consistently low temperature instead not only cuts costs and makes your home more efficient, but also reduces damage to your pipes. A room thermostat could also do the job for you, keeping your home at a constant temperature.
As the warm air rises, it is not surprising that roofs are one of the largest sources of heat loss in houses – up to 25 percent according to research. Homes also lose heat through walls, so it is important that your home is adequately insulated.
- Smart meters
A smart meter is an easy way to keep track of how much you are spending and most importantly, where you are overspending. If you pay enough attention to it, you will likely take other energy-saving measures more seriously as well. A win-win situation!
- Replace older devices
Similar to your boiler, your appliances may not be as energy efficient as they should be if your appliances are older. Be sure to check the labels on your kitchen appliances like the fridge freezer and dishwasher.
- Switch to energy saving light bulbs
Switching to LED lightbulbs not only saves CO2 emissions, but also brightens up your room for less money. Conventional lightbulbs only convert 10 percent of their energy into light, while LEDs convert more than 90 percent, which means far less energy consumption.
- Keep yourself in check too
Our other tips are of little help if you are wasting your own energy consumption. So remember to do the little things too to keep your bad habits in check. Turn off lights or electrics when they are not in use, save water with a water-saving shower head or eco kettle, or use your dishwasher less or only when it is full.