Image via Flickr creative commons from Red Moon Sanctuary
If your home is not properly insulated, you could be using about half of the heat your boiler is producing. Lost heat is wasted money and rather than having to turn up the thermostat on those long, cold winter nights, make sure you’re properly insulated. There are many ways this can be done, a lot of this is DIY, other times it can be done as part of more extensive work such as with a loft conversion from Econoloft.co.uk.
Proper insulation can save you hundreds of pounds a year, and over time will soon pay for itself. At the same time, the size of your carbon footprint will plummet significantly. Your first port of call should be the doors, fit a few draught excluders around the house. This will probably not help with retaining heat everywhere besides the external doors. But if you are sitting in the living room with a fire on, it will stop head disappearing in the cracks between the door and its frame. Don’t forget to add a trim to your letterbox.
Next, make sure the windows throughout your home are well insulated. Beyond the obvious double glazing, the cracks in the corners, between window and frame can be a place for hot air to escape. The best way to check for this is run the palm of your hand around the window – without touching it. Feel for the bits of cold air. The weaker parts can be bunged up with sealer or putty. If you don’t have double glazing, it is definitely something you should investigate. It is a little more expensive, but will pay for itself sooner than you think.
Keeping your house insulated can also be as simple as changing little habits. Close your curtains as soon as it gets dark, or sooner. It may seem insignificant but they can act as an important barrier between you and huge heating bills. For added protection, invest in curtains with a thermal backing.
One of the best ways to save on your heating bills is with loft insulation. You can reduce your carbon footprint by a huge one tonne a year. You don’t even need an expert to come and do it for you – most of, if not all, is DIY. When you see homes in winter following snow, you will notice there will be a few which lose the ice from their roof almost immediately. This is a sign of how effective proper loft insulation is.
Choose between man-made insulation and natural fibres such as sheep wool. The former is cheaper than most other alternatives and the most common material is fibreglass. If you opt for sheep wool, prepare to pay a little more. The cost is worth it as this wool is much more effective at keeping heat in than anything made by a human being.
Finally, take a look at your boiler. If you have a water tank makes sure it is not left exposed to the elements. You may think it is fine sitting in the middle of your house, but it can still lose a lot of heat. Wrap it in an 8cm think jacket – these can be bought from most DIY stores and will pay for themselves in around six months. They will cut heat loss by around 75 per cent.