When winter kicks in, our energy bills can shoot through the roof. We can’t control the weather, but we can insulate our home to keep it warmer, and save money in the process.
It can be a very expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be. By following a few simple steps, we can insulate our homes on a budget.
Free insulation scheme
The Government offer something called The Green Deal, which offers grants to help insulate your home. The grants can help towards loads of things, from new boilers to loft insulation. The service is currently only offered to certain areas of the UK and certain types of homes. To find out if you’re eligible, check out The Green Deal page on the government’s website.
Use double-glazing film
Our homes lose a lot of heat through draughty windows. If you’re in an old property, there’s a high chance you’ll have single-glazed windows. Double glazing is a very expensive option, but double glazing film is cheap as chips, and does almostas good a job. The film is placed over the window pane and then neatened up with a hairdryer, which removes bubbles and wrinkles. Kits usually cost less than £10, and are available from most DIY stores.
Set your thermostat
Setting up our thermostats efficiently can save us money as well as reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. So, by lowering our thermostat by just one degree, you can expect to save around £75 per year. You’ll also reduce your carbon dioxide emission by 340kg per year, meaning more money and a greener home.
Bleed the radiators
If your home uses radiators, bleeding them can make them more efficient and generate more heat, without raising your energy bill. If your radiators have any cold spots, or take a long time to heat up, they may well need bleeding. Another sign they need bleeding is if they are noisy when first turned on – a sign of trapped air. It’s recommended that you bleed your radiators once a year at least, even if they’re working fine. It’s an easy job, with just a few steps, that anyone can do. SSE have a step by step guide to bleeding your radiators, here.
Cut out drafts
Drafts make our homes colder. Fortunately, they’re often quite easy to fix on the cheap. Draft excluders under doors can be bought online for next to nothing, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try making one yourself. This quick guide shows you how to, and uses materials that cost less than a hot water bottle. For cracks in walls, plaster is a cheap, effective way of sealing them up.
For windows, curtains lined with fleece (or even PVC) are a relatively affordable option, and help keep the heat in. Also, cheap rugs are a great way to stop drafts through floorboards. You can pick up rugs for a few pounds on sites like eBay or Shpock.
Switch energy supplier
Although not an actual insulation tip, we can save serious money by switching energy suppliers. The money saved can then be used to better insulate our homes. Bingo! As with many service providers, from insurance to mobile tariffs, it usually pays to switch each year. Energy suppliers are locked into competition with each other, and often offer their best prices to new customers. Use comparison sites to find the cheapest deals on the market and, if you’re not locked into a contract, switch. We have a whole guide to switching energy providers here and a guide to using comparison sites here.
If you follow these few, simple steps, your home will be warmer as a result, and your energy bill will be lower. For loads more info and tips on insulating your home on a budget, check out this article on the BBC website.