Energy efficient home improvements
Energy efficient homes sit higher up on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating scale, typically in grades C up to A. EPCs not only tell you your home’s current energy efficiency rating but also its potential rating, giving you an improvement to work towards.
Here are some of our top tips on achieving a more energy efficient home:
Upgrading your windows to double or triple glazing will help keep the heat within your home and stop the cold from creeping in. This will not only require less energy to keep your house warm, the extra glazing will also help with the reduction of any external noise pollution too.
Secondary glazing is also an option to help keep the heat in your home. This is added to the window glazing already in place as an extra layer of protection to make them more energy efficient. This is a useful choice if replacing all of your windows isn’t an option, for example, if you rent your property.
Old boilers are a huge contributor to a poor carbon footprint as they use a lot of energy for central heating and hot water. Newer boilers are typically cheaper to run and use less energy.
The UK government is aiming to be a net zero country by 2050, which means we produce net-zero emissions, therefore older style boilers are being phased out with restrictions on gas boilers eventually expected. To replace your current boiler, you can choose between a system or combi boiler type. System boilers sit separately to a water cylinder, where the hot water is stored until you need it; perfect for bigger homes that have lots of sinks and bathrooms. A combi boiler is smaller, takes up much less space, and heats water directly from the water mains as and when you need it.
Home insulation acts as another barrier between your home and outdoors, helping to keep it warm without the need for extensive energy usage. It’s also a perk in the hotter months, as it helps to keep your home cooler.
The best energy efficient buildings utilise insulation to keep temperatures regulated and use up less energy. Insulation can be installed in the roof, within the walls of the home, or on the floor - the main places where a lot of the home’s heat escapes.
Mineral wool or spray foam insulation can be used within the roofing area of your home to prevent the heat from escaping. Insulation boarding is the typical type used on solid walls, whereas cavity wall insulation fills the hollow space that sits between outside and inside walls. Filling this space with insulation can be a seamless and easy way to provide an extra layer around the house and help keep energy bills low.
Draughts occur when air travels through the small holes and gaps within your home. These can be around your windows, doors, or near the home’s pipes. Draughts are a big way homes can waste energy, as they let the hot air out and invite the cold air in, so reducing them can be a small step that results in a big eco-friendly home improvement.
One way to achieve more energy efficient doors is to seal the gaps that sit around them, reducing draughts and keeping the heat in the home. Installing a curtain behind your door can also trap any cold air coming in from your letterbox or keyhole, keeping the warmth inside.
Taken into consideration during an EPC assessment, lighting is one of the more significant factors in ensuring your home is energy efficient. LED bulbs are an effective, energy-saving way to brighten up your home space.
Traditional lightbulbs are now being phased out, pushing modern technologies to respond with eco-friendly lighting that is just as good.
If you’re looking for a bigger lifestyle change rather than a DIY style of home improvement, choosing renewable energy sources can have a big impact on how energy efficient your home is. Solar panels provide long term benefits to a more environmentally friendly household.
Smaller home improvements for an energy efficient home
If you’re not in a position to make any big changes to your home then looking after the little things can still have a significant impact.
Small steps can help make your home much more energy efficient, like the following:
- Investing in thicker, higher-quality blinds and curtains
- Replacing your shower head with a water-saving one
- Swap for more energy efficient appliances when they’re ready to be replaced
- Turning off lights and electrical equipment when not in use (a big one if you work from home)
- Taking quicker showers
However you choose to become more eco-conscious at home, making your home more energy efficient can help reduce your carbon footprint, as well as ease some of the energy costs.