A well-insulated home can increase comfort and help you to save on your energy bills, ensuring the amount of heat your home loses is kept to a minimum, keeping you warm when you need heat most. This checklist is intended to introduce you to energy saving improvements you can act on today.
1. Draught proof your home and prevent the warm air escaping
External doors: if there is a gap underneath consider getting a door draught excluder.
Gaps around your windows: check if your windows need draught proofing by holding a candle or lighter near the edge of the glass: if you get a flicker, there is a draught. The solution depends on the type and materials of your window, but could involve silicone sealant or, window insulation film.
Chimneys: if you have one and do not use it as a fireplace, make sure you use a chimney draught excluder. This will stop warm air escaping from your home. You can also get the top of the chimney pot capped by an expert for extra measure.
Floorboards and skirting boards: if you have gaps where your floor meets the wall, you can plug this to prevent draughts. You’ll need to use a filler that can flex as our homes tend to move around a little over time, especially floorboards as people walk on them or they settle over time.
Pipework: if you have pipes coming through your walls, check they are sealed. Again, you’ll need a filler than can flex and silicone fillers are a good option.
Cracks in walls: assuming there is nothing structurally wrong with the crack in your wall (seek professional advice if you are worried), you can fill in cracks in the walls using cements or hard-setting fillers.
Old extractor fan outlets: these should be filled from both inside and outside for maximum efficiency.
A note on ventilation: some air movement is good; in fact, we need a little bit of air movement around our homes, so it stays fresh and dry. We don’t recommend you seal everything, especially extractor fans in use, underfloor grilles or airbricks, wall vents or trickle vents.
2. Have a look in your attic
A typical uninsulated home will lose 25% of its heat through its roof, attic or loft. Most loft insulation will last upwards of 40 years and pay for itself may times over.
It is worth noting, if you have a damp or mould problem then this should be fixed first before installing insulation.
There are lots of options when it comes to insulating a loft or attic, many depend on if you want to use the space for storage or as a living space.
Insulating your roof, loft or attic is also likely to be eligible for Government funding so we recommend you check this site for more information.
3. Quick wins with curtains
If you can feel a draft coming near your windows, or you have single glazing, consider getting thermal curtains. This can help reduce the amount of heat lost through your windows saving you money on your winter heating bill and reducing your carbon footprint. In the summer, curtains with a white plastic backing can also reduce heat gains helping you to stay cooler.
4. Check your windows
Whether you have single or double glazing, the seals around your windows are important in stopping heat escaping. If you have double glazing with condensation in between the glass panels, moisture on the windows or mould visible - it's likely the window seals need to be replaced or serviced and are not as efficient as they could be. Repairing seals on double glazing is quite tricky so we recommend getting a professional to take a look. In the short term, you could consider using window insulation film to minimise heat loss whilst a long-term repair is planned.
Picture: in this example there are quite a few signs that these windows need some attention: condensation in between the double glazing, rubber seals that are deteriorating and cracks on the wall joining the window frames. All are signs that the window is not working as efficiently as possible.
5. Hot water
If you have a hot water tank, ensure you have an insulating jacket around the tank. This could help save you up to 15% of hot water heating and you will recoup the cost in about a year. Also, consider insulating the pipes that come from your boiler to the hot water tank to minimise any heat loss.
If you have a hot water tank, ensure you use a timer or smart thermostat to control when you heat up your hot water. Matching your hot water heating to the times when you need it is the best way to save energy.