Whether you’re living in a new-build or a Victorian or Edwardian terrace, the key to saving on heating bills is being airtight – as reported by Patrick Collinson in an article for The Guardian. It’s all about keeping the heat in, which might involve stripping a house back to its brickwork if you’re not building from scratch.
Insulation – lots of insulation – is a must for keeping your home airtight, which might involve heavyweight construction using lots of concrete (a material that helps to iron out hot and cold weather) if you’re planning a new build. The concrete will heat up from the sun and retain the heat for days. A well planned ventilation system will then distribute the heat throughout the house.
When it comes to an existing property, stripping back in an effort to force a gap between the bricks and the insulation will allow condensation to form outside the envelope of the house rather than inside it. As well as insulating the roof and walls to keep heat in, triple glazing windows and doors is likely to knock some pounds of your energy bill.
Energy-saving initiatives can be costly and only produce savings in the long term but there are ‘quick fix’ solutions that can make a difference now. Here are some ideas:
- Chimney balloons, which cost a mere £20 and apparently save as much as half a tone of CO2 a year per chimney, as well as providing at the minute insulation.
- Switch off standby and save around £30 a year.
- In the kitchen; use a bowl to wash up rather than a running tap and cut energy bills by £30 a year. Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need and save around £7 a year. Cutback your washing machine use by just one cycle per week and save £5 a year on energy, and a further £8 a year on metered water bills.
- Have quick showers; one minute less in the shower each day will save around £10 each year per person. With a water meter this could save a further £10 off annual water and sewage bills. If everyone in a four person family did this it would lead to a total saving of £80 a year.
- Install an energy saving monitor. Theycost around £25 and show you how much power you are using and where your cash is going.
- Low energy LED lightbulbs cost more than regular bulbs but save in the long run.
For more detail on how to cut down your energy bill, read “A three-bed house with £500 energy bills? How you too can slash your costs” at Theguardian.com.