How to Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency: From Smart Heating to Solid Wall Insulation Grants
Improving your home’s energy efficiency can be done in many ways and it will help lower your heating bills as well as keep your home at an optimal temperature all year round. Improving your home’s energy efficiency also helps lower your carbon emissions and improve your carbon footprint, which goes a long way in helping the planet.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can improve your home's energy efficiency, whether with solid wall insulation or eco heating, we’ll cover everything you need to know in this blog.
What is energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency simply means reducing the amount of energy it takes to complete a specific job. In this case, it means lowering the amount of gas needed to heat your home. This can be done by implementing changes within your home’s structure that prevent heat escaping or installing better equipment that is more efficient and can do the job better with less energy.
Energy efficiency is graded with an EPC rating. An EPC rating uses two rating bands and your home will get a grade between A (most efficient) and G (least efficient). This is a good way of understanding what rating your home currently is and what the potential rating could be.
Here’s how you can improve your energy efficiency.
Add solid wall insulation
Solid wall insulation is used to insulate the external walls of your home, to prevent hot air escaping and cold air from entering. You may need to determine what kind of wall you have, as cavity walls are much easier to insulate. If your house was built before 1920, you may have solid walls, which are a bit trickier to insulate - but it can still be done. You can usually get a grant for this if you are a low income or vulnerable household.
Solid wall insulation can be installed around the external walls of your home and then fully plastered to allow you to decorate it how you wish. This will dramatically reduce your heating bills and is well worth the investment. However, if you cannot afford to pay for the insulation, you may be eligible for solid wall insulation grants that will fully cover the cost of the installation. This is a great way to improve the energy efficiency of your home, reduce your energy bills and save yourself money, at no extra cost.
It may also be worth enquiring about internal wall insulation and finding out how this can help improve the energy efficiency of your home. Internal wall insulation helps keep your home warm by adding insulation in the cavities of each internal wall.
Install smart heating
Smart heating is a great way to increase the comfort in your home while also improving your energy efficiency. With smart heating, you can control the temperature in different rooms, at different times, remotely and in different locations without having to turn the boiler on and off. It allows you to have much more control over your heating and avoid frustrating moments where you’ve left the house for the day and remember you didn’t turn the heating off before you left.
Depending on what smart heating you choose, you can control your boiler through remote control, an app on your phone or both. So if you’ve left for a week's holiday, you don’t have to panic and call your neighbours to turn it off for you. Everything can be done with a click of a button. Another perk of smart heating is that your energy usage is sent directly to your provider so you don’t have to go out in the cold to read your meter.
Insulate the loft
As we all know, hot air rises, so if you haven’t got any insulation in your roof, you’ll likely be losing a significant amount of heat through the roof of your house. This means that your boiler has to work even harder to heat up all the rooms in your home. Loft insulation is easy to do for most households and can make a significant difference to your energy bills. Loft insulations can often reduce your heating costs by 30%, which is a huge increase and makes loft insulation a worthwhile investment.
The insulation works by trapping hot air inside your home and stopping any hot air from escaping. Having a warmer attic will help keep your entire house warmer, which is essential in the cold winter months. There are also loft insulation government grants available to help low income or vulnerable households with the costs. This means the cost of your insulation will be completely free so you can reap the benefits of a more energy-efficient home without spending a penny!
Get a new boiler
Half of your energy bills will be spent on heating and hot water, so it’s vital you have a boiler that is energy efficient. Older boilers just can’t compete with newer models so it will help save you a lot of money if you switch to a more efficient boiler. Older boilers lose some heat in the hot gases that escape up the flue. Modern boilers are more efficient because they are ‘condensing’. This means it recovers more heat from the exhaust flue gas and uses it to also heat the central heating water, so it is much more efficient than older boilers.
When you make the switch to a new boiler, you’ll need to consider which will work best for you and try to find boilers that are a low or zero carbon emission heating system. From 2025, there will be a ban on gas and oil boilers in new homes as the government plans to reach net-zero emissions. This means it will only be a matter of time before everyone switches their boilers. Why not get a head start and save yourself some money? Find out more about boiler grants here.
Fit double glazing
Single glazed windows let in a lot of cold air and allow heat to escape. This means your boiler has to work overtime to keep your house warm and uses much more energy to do so. Both double and triple glazed windows are considered energy efficient because they are able to keep warm air inside the house. This helps to massively decrease your energy consumption because you won’t need to even turn your boiler on even when it’s only slightly cooler outside.
Double or triple glazing uses two or more glass planes in a sealed unit to reduce draughts and cold spots. They also work well at blocking out noise, so if you live near a busy road, they are a great choice. Another benefit is that you’ll find a reduction in condensation which will help reduce the risk of dampness or mould in your home. You may also be eligible for a government grant for your double glazing, but only as a secondary measure, so you will need to have insulation or renewable heating installed first.
The water you drink, shower with and cook with has required large amounts of energy to transport, treat, and deliver to your home. Therefore, the more water you use, the more energy is required. Not only this, but when you take a shower or bath, wash your hands or do the washing up, the water needs to be heated by your boiler. This means we can cut down on our energy usage by reducing the amount of water we use.
Here are a few ways you can reduce the amount of hot water your household uses:
- Take shorter showers instead of baths
- Turn down the temperature when using hot water
- Install a low-flow fixture in your shower
- Insulate exposed pipes
- Don’t leave the water running
- Only run your dishwasher when it's completely full
- Wash your clothes in colder temperatures
UK Energy Management (NE) Ltd: Helping You Improve Your Energy Efficiency
UK Energy Management (NE) Ltd can help you improve the energy efficiency of your home in a variety of ways. We work with energy companies in Great Britain to find people like you who are eligible for energy-efficient upgrades. By making use of the government scheme, we are able to give your solutions to your home’s energy efficiency at no cost to you. We can help you with solid wall insulation grants, loft insulation, gas heating, cavity wall extraction and much more. So don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact us today and one of our friendly members of staff will be happy to help you.