Wrap up your home this winter

By November 29, 2014Knowledge & Tips

How to make your home warmer – and save money + the environment.

The key is to create heat efficiently and retain it as well as possible.   We’ve looked at quick and easy solutions as well as longer-term ways of dramatically reducing your energy bills and carbon footprint

Boiler and central heating

Quick fix

  • Have your boiler and radiators serviced to ensure they are working efficiently
  • Nearly half the heat from standard radiators will radiate into the wall it sits on, so fit an inexpensive, reflective sheet behind the radiator to reduce the heat loss by up to 95% – see http://www.radflek.com
  • Fit a thermostat and programme it so the heating is off when you are not at home

In depth

  • Update your boiler – “Boilers account for about 55 per cent of what you spend in a year on energy bills, so an efficient boiler makes a big difference.”  For more info on costs and savings see the energy saving trust
  • Consider alternative sources of energy – solar panels are the most obvious option in cities, but if you have more space, consider air- or ground-source heat pumps or biomass burners.

Doors and windows

Quick fix – draughtproof doors and windows of your property

  • Adhesive brush strips or rubber seals are reasonably easy to do DIY for some windows – or get an experienced contractor to do the whole property.  They’re also a good option for listed buildings, where permission will be required to install (more efficient) double glazing.
  • More info and best methods here  http://www.cse.org.uk/advice/advice-and-support/diy-draught-proofing

In depth – double or triple glazing.

  • Glass is a conductive material and single glazing quickly loses 20% of the heat in your home.  Double and triple glazing dramatically reduce heat loss through windows as well as improving security, reducing external noise and reducing your energy bills.
  • This article considers the different options available.

Walls and roofs

In the same way that a chain is only as strong as its weakest member, insulating effectively requires you to consider all potential ‘cold bridges’ in your home.  A cold bridge is an area or a material which, effectively, carries heat outside/ cold inside. For example, if you have triple glazing but a single brick wall with no insulation, your walls are a cold bridge and further wall insulation should be considered.

Unfortunately, no real ‘quick fixes’ here

Walls 

There are two main types – cavity and solid – these links will help determine yours-

Cavity walls (most walls built after 1920) will have space for insulation within the void- options and costs here

Solid walls- less straightforward to insulate as they involve applying insulating boards inside (reducing space) or outside (which might require planning permission) – but options here

Roofs

Roofs often lose huge amounts of heat yet can be very simple to insulate – again, various options ranging in price, efficiency and carbon footprint. See here for options and costs.

Soft furnishings – a more beautiful way to retain heat – during the winter, consider changing your curtains and rugs to a thicker heavier material which will help reduce draughts. Changing soft furnishings seasonally is also a great way to keep your interiors looking fresh. When you replace carpets or floorboards, think about fitting a good quality insulating underlay.

No two houses are the same; neither are the families living in them.  Consider how you use your home, how it is built and your budget before making changes.

Arranging renovations and improvements is what we do. Get in contact if you want help managing your renovation