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Save Money on Your Heating Bills
With summer being mid way through it's season and winter on its way and lurking around the corner, If you haven’t had to yet, it will eventually be getting colder and we will all be heating our homes, spending more and more money on heating bills as the months go on. Now everybody no doubt loves a warm home in the winter that is cosy compared to the outdoors, but one thing that i think we can all agree on when it comes to winter, is that with heating our homes comes the dreaded energy costs associated with this luxury. I myself don't mind the cold, but my partner gets affected by the cold extremely easily and requires having the heating on everyday which adds up dramatically.
Because of this, my money saving ways and wanting to have an environmentally friendly home as I possibly can I have gone out of my way by doing numerous things to be able to trap as much heat in to my home, using many different methods and techniques as possible in to stopping the heat escaping and the draught getting in.
Heat Loss is greater through unprotected areas as seen here
Heat loss is the first thing to tackle when it comes to saving money on heating bills as spending a little money now may save a lot of money in the future. Heat loss is greater in areas which are poorly insulated such as:
- through the roof
- through windows
- through gaps around the door
- through the walls
- through the floor
Heat loss is caused in homes by conduction through the walls, floor, roof and windows. It is also transferred from homes by convection. An example for this that is most likely in most houses is that, cold air can enter the house through gaps in doors and windows such as letterboxes, and convection currents can transfer heat energy in the loft to the roof tiles because of poor or no loft insulation
How to stop Heat loss
There are some simple ways to reduce heat loss from your home, including fitting carpets to any bare wood floors, using rugs, replacing any curtains with thicker material and the use of draught excluders.
Preventing heat loss through windows can be reduced dramatically by using double glazing. This works as the gap between the two panes of glass in double glazed windows are filled with air. Heat loss through conduction is thereby reduced due to air being a poor conductor of heat. Double glazing can be expensive however and if you are unable to afford this then there is an alternative that we will cover below!
Heat loss from walls can be reduced by using cavity wall insulation. This is generally a big job in which involves blowing insulating material into the gap between the brick and the inside wall, in which reduces the heat loss by conduction. The material also prevents air circulating inside the cavity! This is something that i would highly recommend for anybody who owns or is in the process of buying their own home but I wouldn't recommend this for anybody that is in a rented property or council house.
Heat loss through the roof can be reduced by laying loft insulation. Again, as above this works in a similar way of how wall insulation works and traps any heat in to the home, As hot air rises the roof of your home is likely to be the biggest culprit to heat loss within your house and I would highly recommend that if you own or are in the process of purchasing your home that you look into this!
Insulate windows and doors
In the winter time, keeping your heat within the four walls of your home is the first goal to help save you costs. Insulate windows and doors with weather stripping to avoid heat and air infiltration. These are easy to come by and require little to no DIY experience to fit.
''Draught proofing around windows and doors could save you £25 to £50 per year. Draught free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures – so you’ll be able to turn down your thermostat. This could save you another 10 per cent off your heating bill.''
-energy saving trust-
Bottom Door Brush Seal
Bottom door brushes seal gaps up to 15mm under doors in which prevent draughts from coming under the door. These can be cut down to size and come in both metal, wood and pvc in various colors to suit your home. I have purchased many of these which work extremely well in keeping the draught out, they come with fixings and screws and have pre-drilled fixing holes for the screws to locate and fix through. The gap size can be adjusted by fitting the brusher higher or lower on the bottom of the door. You can also get these products in rubber form but i would recommend the brush as it runs smoothly over any surface area
Letter Box Cover
Letter Box Covers which can be used on both the inside and outside of the door will help in preventing cold air coming in through the gaps of old letter boxes that are prone to blowing open and that are lacking in internal insulation qualities. There are many designs of letter box covers however this one works because of a twin brush inner that is rain resistant and wind resistant, with a spring loaded metal cover that stops the letterbox from opening in high winds.
Replace any old, damaged draught excluder
Draught excluder is the self adhesive rubber sealant that is used around windows and doors to make them draught proof, However it will only last for 4-5 years. This can easily be replaced by taking out the old strips and purchasing new from any DIY stores. It comes in three profiles of E profile, D profile and P profile that fit different door and window frames. You can also get several color variations which suit different door and window frames. It comes in different sizes but the general size will fit gaps between 2mm-5mm and is Weather, UV and ozone resistant. You do not need any experience to fit or replace this product.
If double glazing is out of the price range for you and your household don't worry, you can easily get double glazing with insulating film that you can easily attach to your windows and take down once the warmer weather comes back around. This is extremely useful in houses that have to stick to regulations due to being historical or if you are renting off a landlord who doesn't want to make your life comfortable. Window insulation film for windows consists of a transparent plastic foil that is fixed to the window frame from the inside using double-sided adhesive tape and made taught by using a hairdryer. Window insulation film works by creating a trapped pocket of air between the film and window pane in which creates a barrier so that the warm air doesn't easily cool from contact with the cold
Make your own draught excluder
If you are a creative type then maybe you'd like to have a go at making your very own draught excluder. My grandparents had a doggy draught excluder for years and it worked a treat in keeping that cold air from gushing in beneath the kitchen door whilst at the same time bringing character to the room in a unique way. I am sure that there is many designs and ideas floating around on the internet for personalized draught excluders but to keep with old memories I have found this tutorial on youtube for you by Debbie Shore.
Carpet and Rugs
Carpets and rugs within houses don't just give us comfort by providing cushioned floors for our footing but also provide greatly in keeping our homes warm. I have always had a thing for rugs within my home due to them helping in keeping stains off of the floor, putting a touch on a bare floor and being beneficial in keeping my home warmer at the same time.
Carpet underlay is another great cheap insulating product that not a lot of homes use in this day and age but is still readily available for anybody to purchase and install themselves or get fitted by a contractor which will help you save money in the long run. It is both soft giving your carpet an additional comfort underfoot and helps keep the heat within your home
Under floor insulation
Not all home insulation work has to be carried out by a professional and it will often work out cheaper to do the smaller jobs yourself with DIY materials. Try sealing any gaps between and around the floorboards when you put them back.
insulating your timber flooring if you have an unheated cellar or basement space underneath the rooms you wish to insulate, can be easily accomplished if you can get into a space to Check that the joists supporting the floorboards are in good condition and don't show any signs of wet or dry rot. you can then fit insulation in between them and hold it in place with netting or additional insulating material.
Suspended Timber Floor Insulation
Fuel bill savings (£/year)
£75 - £95
£45 - £55
£30 - £45
Carbon dioxide savings (kgCO2/year)
320 - 380 kg
190 - 230 kg
140 - 170 kg
Typical installation cost*
From £300 to £750
Roof and Loft Insulation
As everybody should know, heat rises, and in an uninsulated home up to a quarter of heat is lost through the roof everyday which in colder weather is a massive loss of your hard earned money and a huge impact on the climate. Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills dramatically. Most people are put off by roof and loft insulation due to the price that it costs to install but it can be done on your own and does not require a professional to fit it. With that in mind it also lasts for up to 45 years and will pay for itself over and over so long as you stay in your home.
Loft insulation is effective for at least 42 years and it should pay for itself many times over.
If access to your loft is easy and your loft joists are regular you can use rolls of insulation. The first layer is laid between the joists that is the horizontal beams that make up the floor of the loft! then another layer is laid at right angles to cover the joists and make the insulation up to the required depth. There is plenty of green, recycled loft insulation that is available to buy that is both cheap, Eco-friendly and readily available to anybody in all good DIY stores.
Semi detached house
Mid terrace house
Fuel bill savings (£/year)
Typical installation cost*
Carbon dioxide savings (kgCO2/year)
How to Install Loft insulation
Hints and tips
You’ll find draughts coming from any accidental gaps in your home that leads outside, such as:
- doors – including keyholes and letterboxes
- loft hatches
- electrical fittings on walls and ceilings
- suspended floorboards
- pipework leading outside
- ceiling-to-wall joints
You should block all if not most of these but making sure that in areas that need good ventilation, such as areas where there are open fires and flues and rooms where a lot of moisture is produced such as bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens are kept ventilated.
Most if not all of draught-proofing jobs are able to be fitted by yourself and typically cost between £120 to £290 for materials for your entire house. If however you are not confident in doing DIY tasks and you would prefer to get a experienced workman in then you should expect to pay double or more for the jobs to be done. Don't let this put you off however as you will still save money in the long run.
Manage condensation and keep all rooms ventilated even in winter as air needs to flow in and out of your house so it stays fresh, dry and healthy. Make sure you don’t block or seal any intentional ventilation, such as the following:
- Extractor fans take out damp air quickly in rooms where lots of moisture is produced (kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms).
- Under-floor grilles or airbricks help keep wooden beams and floors dry.
- Wall vents which let small amounts of fresh air into rooms.
- Trickle vents in modern windows
If you have a working fireplace and you don’t use your fireplace, your chimney is probably a source of unnecessary draughts. There are two main ways to draught-proof a chimney:
- Fit a cap over the chimney pot. this might be better done by a professional; or
- buy a chimney draught excluder. devices that help stop draughts and heat loss through the chimney, usually fitted within the chimney or around the fireplace.
Remember to remove the draught-proofing if you decide to light a fire and make use of your fireplace.