Preparing Your home for Winter
Long established households in the UK, know that as winter approaches, the budget for staying warm and dry is inevitably going to increase. Tenants and homeowners alike, constantly look for new ways to save energy and in so doing also to save money. The cost of energy is such a hot potato amongst consumers that it frequently becomes a political hotbed of discussion too.
The first step to saving money on energy bills is to conserve and retain what you already have. Many homes just leak the warmth that so much has been spent on to create. There are a number of methods that can be implemented to fight this battle:
One of the most basic physics lessons we will learn at school is that hot air rises and cold air sinks. As we warm our homes the warmth rises to our ceilings and when there is insufficient insulation it leaves through the roof. This is the first and natural direction of energy loss in the home. Insulation in the homes is so important that it is subsided by energy companies and by the government and millions are spent to support those on low incomes to access home insulation offers, keeping their heating bills down.
Those on low incomes can access these home insulation grants through their own energy suppliers.
Wall and Roof insulation
Once the roof / loft has been insulated, warm air will nevertheless still seek a route of escape from the home. The next point of departure is the windows, doors and walls. There are also grants to cover Wall insulation, plus at Zing Energy, we can provide competitive prices for double-glazing. Even when a household does not qualify for a grant, the long term cost effectiveness of insulation such as loft insulation and external wall insulation pays off.
Dealing with drafts
Doing simple things can make a significant improvement to the energy bills of a home. Where double-glazing is not possible because conservation rules dictate single glazed sash windows, it is possible to install secondary glazing. Even lined heavy curtains can help to retain warmth in a room. A properly made draft excluder works a treat to keep the cold at bay and can reduce the bills proportionately too.
It is however wiser to seek a long term solution to an insulation problem and by ensuring that most of a home is well insulated, in the walls and ceiling it becomes easier to manage the cold issues such as windows and doors.
Once the insulation issues have been addressed the heat source should be the next that is examined. Modern gas boilers, heat far more efficiently than boilers that were manufactured even ten years ago. But it is not only the boiler that should be looked to for savings. Faulty radiators, leaking pipes and valves that don’t work properly all add to the extra costs that keep pushing the bill up. Even a faulty thermostat can increase a bill significantly.
Some homeowners are secure in the belief that by keeping their thermostat at a constant 19 degrees in a well-insulated home, the boiler does not have to work as hard and use as much energy as it would otherwise. This argument is still out being debated and there are many that set their heating on a timer only for the hours that they will spend in their home. When this time is significantly reduced this approach makes sense, as long as the home is insulated and there is little chance of damp settling in.
An efficient combi boiler helps to provide heat on demand, but also saves the bills because it does not have to run all day. With grants available for boilers and efficiency savings that these boilers bring, there is no time like the present to invest in one. In the same way that insulation increases the value of a home so does an efficiently central heating system.
Investing in a new boiler is not only an investment to save money in the future, but also an investment in the value of your most prized possession: your home!
We use more energy not only in the form gas, but also in the form of electricity
The first energy saving item on anyone’s list across the year should be energy saving lightbulbs. Once these have replaced all the lightbulbs in the home with an average saving of £7 per year per lightbulb and you’ll soon realise that an average home will save £100 a year just by replacing their lightbulbs.
In homes where there are children that leave rooms with lights burning light sockets such as the bathroom or toilet can have timers installed. This means that if one of the children goes to the toilet in the middle of the night, the switch may turn off automatically after fifteen minutes preventing unnecessary expense.
As you prepare for winter, consider the insulation and how you will keep the home warm, and then consider how you will get your home warm once the insulation has been sorted out.
Contact Zing Energy today and see how we can help you lower your energy bills and become more energy efficient!