Increasing Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
If you’ve spent a huge amount of money keeping the home heated this winter, you may want to make some changes before next winter. And with the reality of climate change becoming apparent, there’s more at stake than just your wallet.
Here’s a checklist of home improvements you should look at to increase your energy efficiency.
Insulating your loft will stop so much heat escaping through your roof. Laying blanket insulation made from recycled glass or sheep’s wool is an easy way to do this. Rolls of blanket insulation can be bought from most DIY stores and is easy to install. You’ll need to measure the space between your joists first, so you can buy the right size rolls. You should also wear protective clothing whilst laying insulation as it causes skin irritation. And be careful not to compress your insulation as you’ll prevent it from working properly. Aim for a thickness between 270mm and 300mm.
It’s estimated that you could be losing around 20% to 25% of your heat through your windows. So, making sure your windows are as efficient as possible is next on the checklist. There is a Window Energy Rating scheme in place, so look out for ratings when deciding on a product.
Double and triple glazing is a must in homes these days, to ensure your house stays warm and efficient. However, you can also get coated glass that reflects heat back into the room, so that’s worth considering too. If you have double glazing already and notice condensation or moisture between the panes, then the seal has probably blown and won’t be working efficiently anymore. This may not be a costly fix, as window glass replacement is sometimes possible without needing a whole new window.
Retrofitting your home
The most modern and efficient homes on the market are much better in terms of energy efficiency, with improved insulation and airtightness. Whilst it isn’t necessary to completely seal your home, preventing unnecessary draughts and improving all-round efficiency is a good idea. Older homes can be improved significantly too.
However, the amount you can improve your home will depend enormously on the money you have available to invest in it. Adding a thermally insulating façade or solar roof to your home is fairly costly although will reap dividends in the log run alongside switching your home from gas, to air or ground source heating.
If a full retrofit of your home seems too expensive, concentrate on fixing as many small issues as possible. Switch to a more efficient boiler, and A+++ rated appliances. Add draught excluding measures around your home and get a smart meter installed so you can monitor your energy usage.