More and more people are making efforts to ensure that their home is more energy efficient to lessen the impact on our increasingly fragile planet. With huge conservation efforts underway to spell out the long-term dangers of global warming, one place that everyone can do their bit is right here at home.
From the small to the large-scale, there’s plenty of ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and transform your abode into an eco-friendly home. To help, the BC Profiles team have put together a set of steps towards making your home energy efficient.
Where am I losing heat in my home?
The best place to start is with the problem areas themselves, so first identify where in your thermal envelope (that’s the collective term for your doors, floor, roof, walls and windows) you’re losing heat.
Generally speaking, you will lose around 35% of the heat produced by your boiler through the walls and gaps around doors and windows, 25% will be lost through the roof and around 10% of heat loss can be attributed to the floor of your home.
Here are a few ways in which you can reduce this heat loss:
- Doors – the external doors in your home can be a problem area for heat loss, after all, they are the main entry point to the cold outdoors! If you notice that things feel a little colder than they should do, you should look at draught-proofing. Draught proofing will keep heated air inside rather than rushing out through gaps in your doors, in turn costing you more money to heat your home.
- Roof – heat rises, so it should be no surprise that one of the main areas that your home will lose heat is through the roof. Thankfully, the steps to reduce this are pretty simple and easy to achieve. The installation of loft insulation is the best thing you can do to decrease heat loss through your home’s roof and increase the energy efficiency of your home.
- Walls – whether you have cavity walls or solid walls (as a rule, anything built pre-1930 will have solid walls) you can insulate to prevent against heat loss. This is trickier with solid walls, given that there’s no cavity to be filled, insulation has to be achieved internally through which you lose floor space, or externally with the addition of cladding.
- Windows – double glazing will always provide superior insulation compared to a single glazed pane, while it also improves soundproofing too. However, it can be expensive and given that the surface area in comparison to your walls is much smaller, it’s often worth looking at insulating your walls first before splashing out on brand new double glazing.
What can I do to make my home more energy efficient?
Thankfully, once you’ve identified these problem areas, there are some simple steps that you can take to make your home more energy-efficient. We’ve touched on some of these eco-friendly fixes briefly, so here’s some more information on making your home energy efficient:
- Draught proofing – perhaps the most cost-effective means of making your house more energy-efficient, draught-proofing is proven to lower your energy bills by stopping precious heated air escaping through gaps in your doors, windows and open chimneys.
- Insulate your radiators, pipes and water tanks – reflective radiator panels, foam tubes for pipes and hot water cylinder jackets are all easy and efficient means of increasing energy efficiency and reducing your bills.
- Sealing your windows and doors – even if your home features double or even triple glazing, quite often you’ll find troublesome gaps or cracks that cause heat loss and require your attention. Keep an eye out for any wear and tear and call in the help of some high-quality sealants to keep your home toasty.
- Keep on top of your roofing and guttering – a defective roofline and guttering can cause leaks and all kinds of knock-on problems that affect the energy efficiency of your home. Whether that’s damp in the walls or holes and cracks in your roof that add to heat loss, these can be easily prevented with regular checks or by opting for sturdy, long-lasting dry roofing rather than mortar.
- Insulate your loft – as mentioned earlier, loft insulation is one of the most effective means of making your home more energy-efficient – and the good news is it’s not too expensive either. Invest in some quality loft insulation and you could save yourself between £120 and £225 per year on energy bills.
- Upgrade your curtains – something as seemingly trivial as your curtains can make a huge amount of difference when it comes to preventing heat loss. Thick, quality curtains not only look cosy and snug, but they stop heat loss via your windows too.
- Insulate your cavity walls – around a third of all heat loss that occurs in the home can be attributed to your walls, so by properly insulating your cavity walls, you’re able to dramatically drop the cost of heating bills and your energy consumption.
Are you on the lookout for more up-to-date DIY advice and information? Browse the BC Profiles blog page where you’ll find helpful energy-saving articles such as How to Winterproof Your Home, How to Seal Windows and The Benefits of Plastic Glazing.