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Your need to know guide to saving energy


“Were you born in a barn? Shut that door!”                   

“It’s like Blackpool Illuminations in here! Switch these lights off.”

When you own a home, or begin to pay your own bills, you’ll find that you start to use phrases like these. Before that, heat loss and energy efficiency probably wouldn’t have even crossed your mind.

energy saving guide

If you’re selling a property, it’s a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate, so making sure that your property is as energy efficient as possible is important. Not least because it can mean savings on your energy bills. Like many home owners though you probably don’t know what’s being wasted or how it’s best avoided? Here are some hints, tips and statistics to help you improve your home’s efficiency. Over 14 million of the homes within the UK will need to be refurbished in order to make them more efficient and meet the Government’s targets. Heat can be lost in a number of ways but there are a few areas that you can focus on specifically.

Your roof

On average, 25% of heat loss in an uninsulated home comes from your roof.* The Government say that you could save around 20% off your energy bill by using loft insulation, and simply topping it up to 270mm, the recommended depth for mineral wool insulation, could save you up to £15 a year.

Your walls

On average 33% of heat loss in an uninsulated home goes through the walls.* Houses built after 1920 generally have cavity walls, while those built before 1920 usually have solid walls. Solid walls can in fact lose heat twice as fast as cavity walls, but whichever you have, if they’re uninsulated then you’ll be losing heat from them, which will be costing you money. Cavity walls can be filled with insulation, while solid walls can have a layer of insulation added to either the inside or outside. Insulating paint can also form a thermal layer that helps to keep your home warm during the winter and cool in summer.

Your windows

On average 20% of heat loss in an uninsulated home is through your windows and doors.* Double glazing will obviously make savings on your heating bills, but when that’s not possible insulating blinds and curtains, with an extra thick layer that traps heat, can also help. Another option is secondary glazing, where an extra layer is added to an existing single glazed window. Filling any gaps around your windows and doors with weatherstripping and caulking can significantly reduce heat loss, it’s a quick and inexpensive way to reduce heat loss.

Your hallway

In your hallway, 27% of the heat loss is through your letterbox alone.** A specific letter box draught excluder can make a significant difference. Putting them around the base of your doors will also help, and if you’re feeling particularly green, you can even make your own by recycling old socks and tights! You’ll find even more information on the following sites:

http://www.which.co.uk/energy/creating-an-energy-saving-home/ http://www.nia-uk.org/householder/

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Take-action/Improve-your-home

*(source - Energy Saving Trust) **(source - Ecoflap)

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