When it’s feeling wintery, it’s more important than ever to take steps to prevent heat escaping through your windows and doors. This will allow your home to stay warm and at a comfortable temperature, as well as ensuring your energy bills stay under control during the colder months.
We’ve got lots of advice on how to reduce home heat loss to help winterproof your home this year. Plus, we’ve put together some top energy saving tips for you here – from low-cost options to improvements that need a bigger investment.
Insulate your pipes
Pipe insulation consists of a foam tube that covers the exposed pipes between your hot water cylinder and boiler, reducing the amount of heat lost and, therefore, keeping your water hotter for longer.
It’s usually as simple as choosing the correct size from a DIY store and then slipping it around the pipes. Pipe insulation can prevent your condensate waste pipe from freezing, and stopping your condensing boiler working in extreme temperatures.
Check your hot water cylinder
Insulating your hot water cylinder is another easy way to reduce heat loss, save energy and cut your energy bills. A hot water cylinder jacket costs about £15, and fitting it is a straightforward job if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you already have a jacket fitted around your tank, check the thickness. It should be at least 80mm thick; if it isn’t, consider buying a new one.
Topping up your hot water tank insulation from 25mm to 80mm thick, using a British Standard jacket, could save you around £20 a year, which is more than the cost of the jacket.
Install draught excluders
Draught-proofing of windows, doors and unwanted gaps around your home can be a great way to stop heat from escaping. If you’re a homeowner or a renter, you can buy draught-proofing products in DIY stores, which can be fitted quickly and easily.
Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £30 a year. If you have an open chimney, draught-proofing your chimney when you’re not using it could save around £20 a year. We have a blog that explains everything you need to know about draught-proofing your chimney.
Fit radiator reflector panels
Fix these behind your radiators to reflect heat from radiators back into the room, instead of letting it out through an external wall.
Reflector panels will be most beneficial when installed on uninsulated walls, where they could save you £15 a year if you have cavity walls, or £17 on solid walls. Remember, you only need to put reflector panels behind radiators on external walls.
Ensure your walls are insulated
Wall insulation will provide the greatest savings and warmest homes overall. If your home was built after 1920, the chances are that its external walls are made of two layers of brick with a gap or cavity between them. Cavity wall insulation fills that gap, keeping the warmth in to save energy. The average installation cost for cavity wall insulation is around £475 and it can save up to £185 a year for a typical semi-detached home in Great Britain.
If your home doesn’t have cavity walls, then it’s highly likely that it will be a solid wall property. Insulating the solid walls of a home could cut your heating costs considerably. The good news is they can be insulated – from the inside or outside – and this can save around £255 a year in a typical three-bed semi or even £425 a year in a detached home (in Great Britain). However, the up-front costs are high and will vary significantly depending on the level of work required.
Consider reducing insulation costs by carrying out the work at the same time as other home improvements, or spreading out the work over a longer time-period and tackling your home’s insulation needs on a room-by-room basis.
Don't forget your loft
While most loft spaces in UK homes will have some insulation fitted already, often it’s thinner than the recommended standard to gain the maximum benefit. Topping up your roof insulation from 120mm to 270mm could save you an extra £15 a year (in a typical GB semi-detached home), in addition to keeping your home feeling warmer.
And check the floor too
Insulating your ground floor if you live in a house, bungalow or ground floor flat is another great way to keep your property warm. Usually, you only need to insulate the ground floor – so if you live on an upper floor, you don’t need to insulate your floor space.
Insulating under the floorboards on the ground floor could save you about £50 a year in an average property, or up to £85 if you live in a detached house.