With the clocks going back and Bonfire Night taking place, Winter is officially here! That means colder weather is coming and it is time to take measures to ensure you have a cosy and well heated home this Winter. But this doesn’t mean just whacking up the heating and spending a fortune. Before you adjust the heating to come on at a greater rate think about where you might be losing heat to start with. Simple physics dictate if you can stop heat escaping, you don’t need to spend the money and energy by creating more for the property. Here are six ways you can prepare your home for colder weather.
1. Have an energy audit
An energy audit is an assessment and analysis of your homes’ energy use. An Energy performance certificate will provide a rating scheme to summarise the energy efficiency of your building. The building will be given a rating between A – G. The EPC will include basic tips on the most cost effective ways to improve your homes’ energy rating. A more sophisticated audit of the kind offered by Zing, includes branch analysis of your energy habits, based on an interview and testing the function of your energy system. This can lead to a bespoke solution for your home’s needs and reduce your energy use as well as keeping you warm.
2. Deal with drafts
Doing simple things can make a massive difference to your energy bills. Heavy lined heavy curtains can help to retain warmth in a room. Also, a draft excluder works wonders at keeping the cold at bay and also reduce the bills. Another simple step is to close doors throughout a property, this will also help trap the existing heat within rooms, without the need to replace it. However in the longer term you should consider an insulation solution as the most efficient way of increasing energy efficiency and the best way to prepare your home for colder weather.
3. Insulate your property
If you just turn up the heat in an uninsulated home, you will just lose the heat, costing more money by burning more fossil fuels. By trapping heat in through insulation you reduce the need to spend money putting heat back in. The different types of insulation include:
Roof and loft insulation: Up to a quarter of your heat in homes leaves through the roof due to heat rising and seeking out an escape route. Insulating your roof or loft with insulating material is the best way of stopping this heat from escaping.
Floor insulation prevents heat loss through the floor. Insulating will also block draughts coming in.
Cavity insulation: A cavity wall is a type of wall with a hollow centre, which have two walls leaving a small space in the form of a cavity. Insulating cavity walls, which are more prevalent in newer homes will save energy and can dramatically cut your heating bills.
Solid wall insulation: If your home was built before the 1920s, the wall is likely to have solid walls. Solid wall insulation can lead to even bigger savings than cavity wall insulation.
There are a variety of grants available for insulation which Zing Energy can help you unlock.
4. Bleed your radiators
This may sound obvious to many, but we often find homeowners who forget this simple step to increase a boiler’s efficiency. Bleeding a radiator means letting out air that has become trapped inside an un-vented system. If air is trapped it can prevent water from heating the whole radiator, creating cold spots. A simple feel of the radiator once the heat is turned up should let you know if you need to do this.
5. Check your boiler’s performance
Once any insulation, draft and and radiator issues have been addressed the heat source needs to be examined. Any energy audit would of course include this. Modern gas boilers, heat far more efficiently than boilers that were manufactured even ten years ago. An efficient combi boiler helps to provide heat on demand, but crucially also saves money because it doesn’t need to run all day, like old gas boilers. There are grants available for boilers and it may prove a worthwhile investment to save you money and also boost the value of your home.
6. Put on an extra layer of clothing
The traditional Dad’s favourite solution! Just as you would take measures to keep yourself insulated when going outside, no reason not to apply the same for the inside. If it is effective and warms you up, then there no need to then turn up the heat, waste energy and burn more fossil fuels. Surely a win/win. Unless of course you have very dodgy taste in jumpers!