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A Guide To Making Your Home Energy-Efficient

person holding home energy efficient light bulb up towards a window

here are so many benefits to making your home energy-efficient – which is why so many people are looking for ways they can improve their home and make it an environmentally-friendly one. Energy-efficiency simply means that less fuel or energy is used to achieve the same function – for example, heating a room would use less energy in an energy-efficient home. An energy-efficient home costs significantly less to run than one that isn’t, and is also more comfortable to live in throughout the year. By cutting your carbon emissions and making your home energy-efficient, you could save money and even add to your home’s value. 

When it comes to renovating your home to make it energy-efficient, there are three main ways you can do this – by tracking energy use when not needed, trapping heat inside your home, and finding ways to supplement your energy use with renewable energy sources. Here are 12 key ways you can start your energy-efficiency journey and transform your home.

Install Double Glazing

One of the best ways you can make your home energy-efficient is through installing double glazing. The vast majority of heat inside a home is often lost through the windows – it is considered the achilles’ heel of the home in terms of energy-efficiency!

However, you can add an extra layer of protection by double glazing your home’s windows. This prevents heat from being lost, meaning that you use less heat to keep your home warm. It also adds extra security to your home, as double and triple glazed windows are harder to break than single glazed glass.

Double or triple glazing can add value to your home’s resale value, so if you’re looking to sell in a couple of years – consider it an investment.

Insulation, Insulation, Insulation

By far, one of the most effective ways to keep heat from escaping your home is through installing various insulation types. Many people who have insulation installed report that this is one of the best energy-efficiency improvement methods when it comes to quick results.

Many people who invest in insulation find that they’re a lot warmer and they’re spending a lot less money. Insulation can also help to keep your house cool in the summer months, and raise your property’s value.

Here are 3 of the major types of insulation that you should be considering for your home.

Loft Insulation

Did you know that energy-efficiency experts estimate that over a quarter of energy is lost through the roof of the home? 25% of the money you spend on energy bills could be being lost through your attic or loft – think of how much you could save if this money was in your bank account instead. Installing loft insulation by using mineral wool rolls and sealing draughts in the loft could significantly improve your home’s energy-efficiency – and potentially saving you a quarter of your average bill spend!

Cavity Wall Insulation

Many houses during a certain period of time were built so that the inner and outer walls have a small amount of space in between them. This was initially done to prevent mold and damp from spreading to the inside of the home – however, it can also mean that a large portion of your energy and heat is lost in this empty space. Cavity wall insulation fills this gap with materials that also prevent dampness, so you can keep warm and improve the energy-efficiency of your home without damaging any of the features of your home.

Under Floor Insulation

The savings you can make on floor insulation are smaller compared to other methods, installation for floor insulation is quicker, tidier and cheaper – and could bring significant results. If you live in a two-storey house, a lot of heat could escape through the ground – however, by insulating the ground floor you could keep it warm. You could do this easily through installing carpet. However, if you love the wooden floor look, you could always insulate the space between the suspended timber floor and the ground. Sealing gaps in the floorboards yourself may be a fantastic DIY way to improve your home’s energy-efficiency.

Upgrade Your Boiler

One of the best things you can do if you want to reduce the amount of energy you use is to give your boiler an upgrade. If you have a new boiler, you won’t need to do this for a while! However, older boilers are less energy efficient as they weren’t made with the technology we have today – they’re also slower from natural age.

In the UK, the efficiency of boilers is rated A-G – by switching from an old G boiler to an A boiler, you could save up to £340 on your energy bills. There are many tips and tricks for your gas boiler you can use in order to reduce your energy use, so make sure that you pay attention to these if you want to save money!

White energy efficient gas boiler on a grey wall

Install A Smart Meter

Tracking your energy usage is one of the best ways to get a better idea of just how much energy you use, and how you can use less. Using less energy is a key part of improving energy-efficiency awareness, and using a smart meter can help you keep track of how much money you’re spending on a daily basis.

A smart meter tells you how much energy you’re spending – some meters can tell you how much each room uses! You can even control your home’s heating when you’re away from home and see how much has been used – if you live in the UK, most energy companies are rolling them out at no extra up-front cost. There’s no legal obligation to have one, but it could be very useful to you when making your home more energy-efficient.

Seal Up Any Draughts

If you’re looking for a simple, cheap and quick DIY method to make your home more energy-efficient – meticulously sealing up draughts is one of the best things to do. Draughts are very common and happen in almost every home, but they are responsible for significant energy loss and cold getting into your home.

Looking for ways to seal your draughts with sealants, foam strips, and draught excluders could save you money and help your home become energy-efficient quickly.

Invest In Great Soft Furnishings

This tip might be one of the more unconventional ones on the list, however, there are a lot of reports that this one might actually help your home’s energy-efficiency! Great soft furnishings work to add extra insulation to the home.

Curtains, carpets, rugs, throws and cushions that are made with high quality, thick material can help to trap heat inside your home. Energy-efficient blinds can also prevent heat escaping from your windows. If that isn’t a great excuse to redesign your house, I don’t know what is.

Investing in fantastic soft furnishings might be able to make a huge difference – when you’re choosing soft furnishings, make sure you get thick, high quality products that are designed with energy-efficiency in mind.

Add Heat Pumps

Trying to find ways to supplement the heat you need can be hard, especially in winter. However, heat pumps can be a cost-effective way to get more heat energy for your home.

There are two types of heat pumps –  ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) and air source heat pumps (ASHPs.)

GSHPs circulate water around a looped pipe, which is buried in your garden. This pipe extracts heat from the ground which is then transferred into heating for your home. GSHPs are low maintenance, and you can use them all year round.

ASHPs absorb heat from the surrounding air, which is then used to heat your home. They are easier to install than GSHPs, however they can be less efficient and will require some space outside your home. Many people are using heat pumps to make their home more energy-efficient.

Air source heat pump in garden

Consider Adding Solar Panels

Solar panels are one of the most effective ways you can supplement your energy usage with renewable energy sources. Solar panels use energy from the sun – and they even work when it’s cloudy, so the British weather won’t be a problem!

Although the initial cost of installation can be high, depending on your income, you can get funding to make this much cheaper. Furthermore, many people report that they make their money back in just a few years – solar panels can allow you to cut your energy use and reduce your carbon footprint whilst also being good to your wallet.

In some cases, you may even be able to sell energy back to the energy companies as well as adding significant value to your home! Installing solar paneling should be high on your list if you would like to make your home energy-efficient

Switch To Energy-Efficient Fittings

Preventing heat from escaping is a fantastic way to make your home energy-efficient – however, cutting down energy-wastage doesn’t just stop at heat. Water and electricity wastage should also be prevented to make your home energy-efficient.

Making the big switch to using energy-efficient appliances, fittings and more could go a long way when it comes to making your home environmentally friendly. For example, switching to energy-efficient light bulbs in every room of the home will mean that you could cut your electricity bills way down and prevent wasted energy.

Saving as much water as you possibly can is also a fantastic way to go – water-saving shower heads, reduced capacity baths, low flow taps and toilets can significantly reduce how much water you use. Taking the steps to ensure everything in your home is as energy-efficient as it can be can save you thousands, whilst saving the planet at the same time

Retrofit Your Home All In One Go

If you have an older home, looking for a retrofit installer or company might be one of the best things you can do. Retrofit involves going back and installing more efficient things to an older home, to save you money and ensure your house is up to date with modern regulations. Instead of getting all of these things done at separate times, a retrofit installer and assessor can visit your home and tell you the best ways you can improve energy-efficiency. In some cases, if your assessor has the right retrofit qualifications, they can often install some of these options at the same time, saving you a lot of time. Searching for retrofit installers in your local area can help you find competent people who have plenty of experiences helping homes like yours stop wasting valuable energy. 

You won’t regret making your home energy-efficient. Any money that you invest into your home, you will get back when it comes to money saved on your bills as well as added resale value to the property. We must all take steps to save the planet for the future, so look into energy-efficient homes today.

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