16 October 2014 4 min read 1. Fit double glazing on your windows
Single-glazed windows are often to blame when we wince at our latest high heating bills. It is much easier for heat to escape through a single pane glass than through brick walls, so looking at installing double-glazing around your house, would dramatically reduce heat loss.
Double glazing consists of two layers of glass with a small cushion of air in between. It is this air cushion that helps keep the heat from escaping, due to the fact that air is a poor conductor of heat.
Initially expensive perhaps, but you will soon benefit from lower heating bills as well as a better quality of life.
2. Upgrade your doors or check your door seals
As well as sorting out heat loss through the windows, getting double glazing also usually means an upgrade to your doors. Single pane doors are responsible for a lot of heat loss, so upgrading to thermally efficient doors will also help greatly in bringing down the cost of your heating bills.
If upgrading your doors is not financially possible, then there are still things you can do to reduce heat loss. Fix any gaps in the seals of your doors with a sealant or a foam or use a draught excluder to block any gaps across the bottom. Get a letter box brush and flap to reduce hot air escaping. It’s even worth getting a keyhole flap that covers the gap where the key goes into the lock. These are cheaper options than energy efficient doors but will still make a huge difference.
3. Install loft insulation
Because hot air rises, your roof is one of the main areas that heat can escape from your house. Heat loss through the roof can be massively reduced if you install insulation in your loft.
Loft insulation comes in a range of materials, including mineral wool and sheeps wool. It usually comes in thick quilted rolls and behaves like a thick blanket for your loft, drastically reducing the amount of heat that escapes. An added benefit is it helps to keep bedrooms cool in the summer, by keeping hot air out.
Loft insulation will help reduce your gas bills in winter but will also reduce your electricity bills in summer if your have air-conditioning, as you will not need to use it quite so much.
4. Turn down your central heating by 1°C
This is actually a very simple and common sensical tip, however it’s surprising how many of us don’t think to do it. If you turn down your thermostat down even by 1°C you’ll see the difference in your bills, without noticing the slight reduction in the temperature in your house. It’s been estimated that reducing the heat by 1°C can reduce heating bills by as much as 10%, so it’s definitely worth considering.
Additionally, make the most of the timer on your central heating system to ensure the heating is only on when you need it. Time it to go off at some point in the night and to go on again shortly before you usually get up. Make sure it’s not on during the day if there’s nobody at home and time it to come back on just before you return from work. Clever use of the timer will make a difference to your bills.
5. Close curtains at night & don't block radiators
Another simple tip, but again, it’s something that is often overlooked. Curtains, and especially thick curtains, provide an extra barrier to heat escaping through doors and windows. Close them at night in all rooms, not just the ones you mainly use, and then open them again in the morning to get the most from the natural warmth of the sun.
If space allows, consider installing radiators underneath windows and making sure that the room is arranged so that furniture is not blocking the radiator. A sofa right in front of a radiator will absorb a large amount of heat that would otherwise go into the room. If you do have to have large pieces of furniture in front of radiators, make sure you pull the furniture forward, away from the radiator to allow as much hot air to circulate as possible.
Article by Benjamin Clarke