Keeping you cosy and costs down this winter

With temperatures dropping and energy prices rising, how do you keep cosy whilst saving energy and money?  Your initial response might be to put on a jumper or snuggle under the blanket, but by making just a few simple changes it’s surprising how much energy you can save. Here are 10 energy-efficiency suggestions you can do to help keep your home warm, so snuggling under the blanket becomes optional rather than essential.

1. Insulate to Accumulate

Insulating your loft or roof is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and lower your heating bills.  While most loft spaces will already have some insulation, are you achieving maximum benefit?  Topping up your roof insulation from 120mm to 270mm will save you money on your energy bill but essentially helps your home feel warmer.

2. Befriend your Boiler

Show your boiler some love with an annual boiler service, ideally before heating becomes essential in case there is a problem.  If your boiler is more than 10 years old it will be far less efficient than a newer model and spares become harder to find, so consider replacing it. Costs and savings vary but the benefit can be significant. Boiler Cover with annual servicing is another great way to show your boiler you care!

3. Tanks a lot

Most hot water cylinders have some insulation, but just like in your loft, increasing tank insulation from 25mm to an 80mm could save you money by retaining heat.  A British Standard hot water tank jacket costs around £15.  Although it may only save you a few pounds a year on your bills, you could also save approximately 110kg of carbon dioxide emissions, so the planet will ‘tank’ you too.

4. Pimp your pipes

Insulating your pipes reduces heat loss from your system but can also prevent pipes from bursting in cold weather. Simply slip foam tubes, available from most DIY stores, over any exposed pipes in your system.  It will typically cost around £20, and although it may only save you a small amount a year on your heating costs, it will reduce the possibility of burst pipes and a subsequent expensive repair bill.

5. Bleed and Reflect

Are your radiators cool at the top but warm at the bottom?  Regularly bleed your radiators to release the trapped air that prevents them from filling with hot water.  Use a bleed key to turn a small valve on the side at the top of the radiator to expel any air trapped in the system. When the hissing sound is replaced by dripping water (have a paper towel ready) you can close the valve.

Reflect heat from your radiators back into your home, instead of letting it escape through external walls, by using a heat reflector behind your radiator. Investing in radiator reflector panels will prove most beneficial, but aluminium kitchen foil is still very effective.  For extra efficiency keep heat absorbent furniture away from your radiators and tuck any curtains behind the radiator when you close them.

6. Take Control

Room thermostats set the temperature of your home, while a programmer sets the time the heating comes on and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) let you control the temperature of each radiator.  Utilising a full set of heating controls ensures you are warm exactly when and where you want in your home, making considerable savings compared with an uncontrolled system.  When it’s very cold, set your heating to switch on earlier rather than turning up the thermostat.

7. Best Foot First

Did you know 10% of heat loss in homes is through uninsulated floors? If you are not planning renovations that would allow you to update the floor insulation you can still seal any gaps and cracks in your floors and skirting boards to prevent heat loss.  If you’re looking for a quick fix, rugs and carpets will keep your feet and your home warmer and may help you resist turning up the thermostat.

8. Mind the Gap

Draught-proof your home by sealing unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out, especially around doors and windows. Not only will it save money it will help your home feel snug and warm. If you have an unused open chimney consider investing in a chimney balloon and don’t forget keyholes, letterboxes and cat flaps could also be draughty, however never cover air vents.

9. Drawing your own conclusion

Windows can be responsible for up to 40% of the heat loss in your home. Even with double-glazing you can still retain heat by closing curtains, blinds or shutters when the sun goes down. If you have curtains, consider lining them during the winter to make them more effective.  Door curtains in front of glass doors or draughty front doors can also make a big difference.

10. Cover up

Spend a cosy afternoon in your energy-efficient and wonderfully warm home familiarising yourself with your current Home Insurance policy.  Make sure it covers you and your home for any winter related emergencies or issues.  If it seems ‘draughty’, give us a call –  It doesn’t cost you anything to let us quote, but think about what it could save you.  Trust us, it will give you an overall cosy feeling knowing you have the right cover.