How to save on your energy bills this winter
Here are some top tips to help you save on your energy bills this winter.
It's a tight time of year for many households as they desperately try to keep warm but have to juggle the inevitable massive energy bill.
A great way of measuring you energy usage is by using the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating.
When a home is built, sold or rented it needs to have an EPC. This is obviously a great way for homebuyers to figure out whether their dream home is in fact the cosy dwelling they want, or a draughty barn that’s going to need serious work.
Knowing your home’s EPC rating isn’t only useful when it comes to selling or renting out the property, but it can also help you work out your energy consumption and give you an idea of your monthly bills.
If your energy rating isn’t quite where you’d like it to be, there are a number of things you can do that will improve efficiency. Some solutions are more expensive than others, but all will save you money in the long term, and make your home more valuable.
You need a certain amount of ventilation in order to keep air flowing around your home and prevent dangerous moulds from growing, but that doesn’t mean you should be able to feel a force-8 gale coming from under the door!
A simple fix is to add draught excluders to your doors, both exterior and interior, and check the weather stripping on doors and windows. It’s also a good idea to check around electrical outlets, plumbing and skirting boards and sealing up any gaps with either a silicone sealant or foam insulating tape.
You might also want to block up unused chimneys, but be aware that you’ll need to get them cleaned before you can use them again.
Theoretically, your home should have been fully insulated when it was built, realistically this might not be the case – especially if you live in an older building.
Perhaps the quickest and cheapest way of trapping some heat is laying down loft insulation. This is a relatively easy task, but you might want to hire someone to do it, depending on your levels of DIY prowess.Rather more expensive and complicated is wall insulation. Most recently built houses should already have this, and it’s certainly easier to do at the building stage, but if your home is missing this for any reason there are professionals out there who can sort it out for you.
Here’s one you should be doing anyway – getting your boiler serviced regularly! In addition to making sure your boiler is safe, a service will help keep it in tip-top condition.
If you’ve got an older boiler, it might be worth shopping around to see if there’s a more efficient model available. A new boiler is a considerable up-front expense, but it could be worth it in the long run.
There’s no need to go completely off-grid or build a windmill in the back garden to take advantage of renewable energy. Solar panels have become much more affordable and efficient in the past few years, so they’re definitely something to consider if you’re trying to make your home more efficient.
While most new builds will have double-glazing as standard, older houses may need to be retrofitted to make them nice and cosy. Double-glazed houses are warmer in the winter, cooler in summer and cost significantly less to heat.
If you already have double glazing windows but they’re getting old, it is possible to keep your frames but upgrade with energy saving glass, or low-e glass as it is commonly called.
Older double-glazed homes often don’t use low-e glass, which means they aren’t as energy-efficient as they could be. Energy saving glass can be 70% more thermally-efficient than standard double-glazing!
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