With more focus than ever to look towards a green, sustainable way of living, we should naturally look at ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Investing in high efficiency heating such as a wood burning stove is a key part of this, but also so is ensuring your home is well insulated.
A poorly insulated home will cost more to heat. This cost applies to both an environmental and financial viewpoint.
Modern houses are built to a level of thermal efficiency that is a world apart from homes people lived in 50+ years ago. For those living in older houses, now is the time to look at improving their thermal efficiency, and welcome lower fuel costs, a warmer home and a more sustainable way of heating your home.
Lagging hot water tanks and pipes:
Lagging is heat insulation for water tanks and pipes. Insulating behind radiators, along with pipes and hot water tanks will reduce heat loss. You will spend less money heating water up, and it will stay hotter for longer. This is a simple, low cost method and is a quick win in your quest for a more efficient home.
Keeping drafts out:
In an older home, you will be losing heat through air leakage, mainly around doors, windows, and gaps in the flooring and chimneys. The more you can seal your home and eliminate these heat loss areas, the warmer your home will be. Professional draft-proofing of windows, doors and cracks will cost around £180 – £220, and will save around £20-£30 a year in heating costs. DIY draft-proofing will be much cheaper.
Around 25% of heat loss in an uninsulated home is through the roof. You can guard against this with loft insulation. You can do loft insulation yourself, and it could easily save you over £100 a year.
Insulating the walls:
Between 30 and 35% of heat is lost through walls in an uninsulated home. Heat flows from hot to cold areas. So on a cold day, the heat inside a room will be drawn to the cold walls. In an uninsulated home this means major heat loss. Most homes built in the 1990’s onwards have cavity wall insulation. If your home is older you should check if this has been done. If it has not been done, you should have the wall cavity filled, it’s usually done with an insulating foam injected in to the walls. It can save you up to £150 a year.
Upgrade your heating controls:
Room thermostats enable you to set and maintain the temperature at home. Heating can be programmed to turn on and off at certain times of the day to suit your needs. Costs can vary due to the nature of the different heating systems. However, savings could be over £100 a year.
A boiler that is over 10 years old could be far less efficient than a newer model. Replacing it could save you u to £100 a year.
Although we talk at length about the need to consider more environmentally friendly ways to heat a home, ensuring it is as draft free, and as well insulated as possible is essential. Having a poorly insulated home is potentially a weak link in the chain. With a well insulated house, and a high efficiency heating method, you can feel safe in the knowledge you are doing your bit, and contributing to a cleaner, greener environment.