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Think Smart: The Ultimate Guide To Maximising Your Home’s Efficiency

When we consider our houses, we tend to think of family, relaxation and safety. Obviously a home is so much more than this, but while living spaces serve a multitude of purposes, their primary function is to keep us warm, dry and comfortable. Of course, running a home is never cheap, and it can be a real strain on the bank account to keep it warm during colder months and cool through summer.


What’s more, we are living through a period of uncertainty. The ongoing climate crisis, coupled with a soaring cost of living means that drastic changes must be made on both a global and individual level. While this can seem like an overwhelming and impossible challenge there are steps that can be taken to help reduce the impact our homes have on both the environment and our bank balances.


One of the many steps that we can take as individuals is to improve the energy efficiency of our properties. While the extent of changes needed will differ from home to home, there are a number of sure solutions that can help to make a real difference and, with the help of government funding, they may not cost you a penny.


Here’s our guide to maximising your home’s energy efficiency.



Smart app

What Is Energy Efficiency?

Sure, it seems obvious, but understanding energy efficiency is important when trying to improve it. Essentially, your home’s energy efficiency is how much energy is needed to perform a task. An efficient home may only use half the energy of an inefficient home to perform the same task, such as heating.


Improving the efficiency of a property has numerous benefits; it saves money, reduces your carbon footprint and lowers the emission of pollutants.


Heating Upgrades

A great start to improving your home’s efficiency is to consider the amount of energy used when heating it. While this may not seem like an issue during the warmer months, considering and improving it before the winter hits is the surest way to maximise savings.


There are a few different means of upgrading your heating system but no matter which you choose, it is sure to save money as well as reducing your impact on the environment.


Consider A New Boiler

First on the list of heating upgrades are boilers, the powerhouse of the home. Boilers are crucial to a comfortable and hygienic home here in the UK. Over time however, boilers become far less efficient, struggling to provide ample heat and costing more than they should.


By upgrading to a new boiler, homeowners can simultaneously improve comfort and reduce living costs. New boilers take up less space, allow more precise control over temperature settings and also increase property value and sellability. What’s more, newer boilers are far more environmentally friendly, leaving a smaller carbon footprint and helping to reduce our impact on climate change.


Air Source Heat Pumps

Often overlooked in the discussion of home efficiency and eco heating improvements, air source heat pumps are an incredibly effective means of heating a home and reducing fuel bills.


By compressing and extracting heat from the air outside of your home, air source heat pumps are able to provide far more heat energy than the electrical energy used to heat them. Due to their simple design and easy installation, they are also typically a lot cheaper to run than a traditional heating system.


When implemented correctly, alongside underfloor heating or water tanks, air source heat pumps are a great choice for those attempting to cut down their carbon emissions and save money too.


Electric Heaters

In addition to the installation of a new boiler or air source heat pump, electric storage heaters are another effective means of reducing costs and improving efficiency at home. Electric heaters are a brilliant alternative to gas powered heating systems, costing very little to run and automatically adjusting to the surrounding temperature.


What’s more, under the terms of the UK government’s new ECO4 scheme, eligible homeowners could receive installation of their new heating systems for free, be it a boiler, electric heater or air source heat pump. Don’t worry, we’ll discuss this in more detail shortly.


Insulation

In addition to the importance of heating a home in a way that is cost effective and energy efficient, it is equally important to consider the effectiveness of your home’s insulation. Good insulation and efficient heating systems should work together to create and retain heat, allowing you to control the temperature of your property without throwing endless money away. After all, there is no point heating a home if the warmth is lost.


Cavity Wall Insulation

When it comes to insulation, one of the most effective forms of retaining heat is through cavity wall insulation. This form of insulation consists of inserting insulating material in-between the two layers of brick that make up exterior walls. In doing so buildings become far better equipped to keep the cold out and the warmth in.


The issue with many older buildings is that the cavity within the exterior walls is unfilled, meaning that the heat generated by your boiler and radiators is easily lost. Fortunately, this can be treated through the injection of cavity wall insulation.

Loft Insulation

As well as making sure that a little heat is escaping from your home’s walls as possible, it is also crucial to consider the effectiveness of roof and loft insulation. As hot air rises, poorly insulated loft spaces provide an easy exit for warmth, meaning that your heating system is working twice as hard to keep your house warm and costing you far more money than it should be.


Fortunately, both cavity wall and loft insulation are covered under the terms of the UK government’s new ECO4 grant, meaning that eligible homeowners and tenants could receive free surveys and installations of heating and insulation systems.


Smart Controls

One of the many benefits of the world we live in is the constant advancement of technology. Over recent years, devices designed to make our lives easier have improved rapidly, allowing us to gain further insight into out habits, energy usage and spending. A prime example of this tech is smart controls.


Through the implementation of smart technology, such as devices made by Wiser, homeowners are presented with increased control and functionality of their home’s heating systems. From wireless control of individual room temperatures to smart thermostats and energy saving modes, smart controls are an extremely effective means of regulating your property’s temperature and using energy as efficiently as possible, saving you money on your bills and reducing carbon emissions.


ECO4: Free Heating Grants

As mentioned previously in the article, under the government’s new ECO4 scheme, certain homeowners in the UK are eligible for free upgrades to their heating and insulation. Though it may sound too good to be true, the ECO4 scheme is a legitimate attempt to tackle the rising cost of living and offset the climate crisis.


Providing free surveys and installation to eligibale homeowners, the grant covers a wide range of individual circumstances and upgrades. By supporting low-income households as well as properties that fall under bands F and G for energy efficiency, the grant allows those struggling with heating bills to save money and reap the long term savings.

Applying for a grant is a simple and fast process, allowing homeowners to check eligibility easily at absolutely no cost; all you have to do is fill out a short form. If you’re eligible, an engineer will be in touch to arrange a survey and installation date.


UK Energy Management

Here at UK Energy management, we work with homeowners across the country, doing all we can to ensure everyone receives the basic living benefits they deserve. We take great pride in assisting individuals throughout their journey, guiding them through the process of grant application and providing the best options available for home upgrades.


No matter your situation, it is worth getting in touch with us do discuss your needs and consider the ways in which we can help. We believe that everyone has a right to a safe, warm and comfortable home and, through the work we do, this is made possible.


Don’t wait to get in touch with a member of our friendly team; we’re always happy to help. Give us a call today on 0191 466 1185 or send an email to info@ukem.co.uk.

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