How efficient is my home?
And occasionally some long-term saving, but one which offers a reward that only intensifies as your time in your home goes on?
There are many things you can do, little or large, that will reduce your home’s energy consumption, saving you money and helping to save the planet...
Houses - especially older ones - are not watertight. They let the elements of the outside world in and cause temperature drops within your home. This means you’ll be using more energy to keep warm, whether it be hotter baths and showers or simply maintaining a feasible room temperature. However, this excess use of energy can be prevented, by undertaking a few alterations around the house.
Where to start? The roof!
The simplest task - the roof is where you should start. Similar to a human head, a roof can be responsible for 1/4 of heat loss from an un-insulated home. Laying down a layer of roof insulation can be as easy as putting on a hat and could cost you around £50 - the same price as some hats… After 5 years, this layer of roof insulation could save you £600 in energy expenses.
Wall insulation tends to be a little trickier to manoeuvre, you’ll need to integrate it into the walls, but depending on what type of walls you have it can cost anything from filling cavities at £500 to £10,000 for external insulation, saving from £140 to £490 a year, respectively.
Windows are perhaps the easiest and most instantly rewarding way of energy-proofing your home. A blustery room is not a comfortable room, no matter how high your heating is, so invest in some double-glazing, energy efficient windows. You could save £170 a year on heating bills, and 680kg of CO2 - that’s not to mention the increased levels of peace and quiet.
But what’s the most efficient?
The most expensive and yet overall the most fruitful thing you can do to save energy, is to install solar panels. Put in one lump sum, and then you rarely have to think about electricity bills ever again. A standard system will set you back on average £5,000 at first, but you’ll be saving around £300 a year. It should produce 3/4 of your household's electricity needs. And If you’re lucky enough to have one, don’t forget to include your gate in those needs! They’re cheaper to install than an electric gate, free to run and don’t damage the environment.
If all of Britain took these steps to make their homes energy efficient we could save £7.4 billion in energy bills and more than 50 millions tonnes of CO2. It’s easy to overlook the small things when you have solar panels, but don’t forget to turn off lights and turn down the thermostat a degree or two as well. Consider what you can afford to do and how long you will be in the home to reap the rewards, but remember, a well-insulated home will boost house value as well as a contribute to a greener, safer world.