Heat loss through uninsulated walls can be dramatically improved by providing insulation. Walls with air cavities can be filled with insulation such as blown mineral fibre. Solid walls can be improved with the addition of insulated cladding and internal linings.
Windows & doors
Windows are the elements of a building with the poorest insulating properties. Modern high performance double and treble glazed windows can reduce heat loss by five times when compared with old single glazed windows.
Significant savings can also be made from upgrading to a thicker, more insulated door. Many PVC doors are thin so upgrading to a composite door as part of other house upgrades, can save the average household approximately £30 a year.
Current regulations require a 270mm minimum thickness of mineral quilt. If your property is more than ten years old, then there is a good chance it could benefit from additional loft insulation material.
Insulating your ground floor is a great way to keep your property warm. Generally speaking, you only need to insulate the ground floor. If you’re on an upper floor, you don’t usually need to insulate your floor space. However, you should consider insulating any floors that are above unheated spaces such as garages, as you could be losing a lot of heat through those.
Insulating tanks, pipes and radiators
Insulating your water tank, pipes and radiators is a quick and easy way to save money on your bills.
Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy – and money. When draughts are uncontrolled they let in too much cold air and waste too much heat. To draught-proof your home, you should block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. You should be careful not to block up permanent open vents provide to:
- Areas where there are open fires or open flues.
- Rooms where a lot of moisture is produced, such as the kitchen, bathrooms and utility rooms.
Inclusion of a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery unit (MVHR) in your home can be a great way of reducing your heating costs. Your home needs to be as airtight and well insulated as possible. As warm stale air is sucked out of your ‘wet’ rooms it goes through ductwork to the heat exchanger. At this point the heat is removed from the warm stale air and passed to the cool fresh air drawn from outside. These systems can be up to 90% efficient. Ensure dirty filters are cleaned or replaced and controls are set correctly.
If you need help paying for home improvements, you may be able to get a loan through the Green Deal, but you’ll have to pay this back.
Affordable Warmth Obligation – You might be able to get help for energy-saving improvements to your home if you either:
- claim certain benefits and live in private housing (for example you own your home or rent from a private landlord)
- live in social housing