If you are a home owner, you are probably well aware of the soaring price of energy used to heat your property. Too frequently now are we seeing people with stacks of debt due to the increase in inflation and the rise in living costs.
If you can see yourself in this predicament and are frequently pulling the duvet downstairs to keep yourself warm at night, it may be time to make a change. By investing a small amount of time and effort you can drastically improve the efficiency of your home heating. In doing so, you will have to worry less and less about the rising prices of energy, due to the fact that you will already have an energy efficient heating system.
Below I have listed 4 easy ways for you to get started in improving the efficiency of your home heating:
Many houses nowadays are fully insulated, so you shouldn’t really have to worry about this. However, it is always worth checking that your house is fully insulated, because heat tries to find any way possible to escape out of your house, one major way being through the loft, as the old saying goes, heat rises.
The minimum amount of insulation required in any household is 270mm and therefore your house should have at least this much. It is always better for trapping heat to put extra insulation in, maybe an extra 2 or 3 inches, anymore and you may start to find a compression at the bottom, decreasing the efficiency. Make sure your insulation is not compressed by storing items above it.
If you happen to have cavity walls, there should be insulation within the gap between the inside and outside wall. Without insulation, your walls are basically an open door for heat to walk out of. I would recommend getting in touch with a professional and having your house regulated for an optimal amount of insulation. This kind of installation should cost around £140, but could save you anywhere between £120-£180 a year on heating.
DIY Doctor provides more reasons to insulate and draught proof your home and you will find more information and “how to guides” on efficiently insulating your home.
As obvious as it sounds, you really must check your boiler. You have most likely all seen the adverts advising you to upgrade to a new one in order to save on energy; well one thing I will say is that they are not lying about that. Boilers that are over 10 years old tend to work much slower than the new versions. Not only this, but boilers this old will undoubtedly use much more gas than the modern ones.
Upgrading to a high efficiency condensing boiler may leave you out of pocket for a small amount of time, however they are said to use around 30-40% less gas than older models, meaning the money saved on your heating bill will soon pay for itself. As well as this, the benefit it will have on the environment will far surpass the cost of the boiler.
Windows and Garage Doors
Double glazing seems like a given nowadays in every home, but there are still a vast amount of homes that have only single glazed windows. These types of windows let out an unthinkable amount of heat, and therefore cost you a hefty amount at the end of every month. Whilst you still have a little bit of budget, I would recommend upgrading to double glazed.
Houses with garages can be the devil in terms of letting heat out. Many garage doors aren’t fully optimised to keep in heat and let an unimaginable amount of heat escape through the gaps between the doors. This garage DIY guide from Hunters Estate Agents (who have provided the images for this blog) has a good amount of information regarding making your garage ‘green’, including elements such as insulating and filling in air leaks.
Weather-Stripping Doors and Window Frames
Weather-strips are the rubber strips that run around the frame of your doors and windows, most commonly only found on windows. If you do happen to have these on both your doors and windows, over time the friction of opening and closing them will cause the weather-strips to wear down.
When they have become worn down, the windows and doors are much more likely to let draughts in and let hot air escape. By replacing the weather-stripping, or adding it as an addition to your door frames, you are essentially cutting out any air leaks and making the room hold warm air for much longer. ‘This Old House’ have a simple guide to weather stripping and the tools you will need.
There you have it, 4 simple steps to increase the heating efficiency of your home. It doesn’t stop there though, there are loads of ways you can keep your house warm and use much less energy, and you may even discover some of your own little ways of doing so. All I can say is that by putting in the effort to implement any energy saving method, both your bank and the environment are benefiting, it’s a win win situation!