Going Green in 2021: The Ultimate Energy Saving Home Improvements
Many of us have spent more time at home recently, using extra gas and electricity as we work or self-isolate. So, could 2021 be the year to make some energy-saving home improvement changes? Follow these tips to save energy, lessen your impact on the environment, and cut those energy bills for good.
Install roof insulation
Don’t waste energy heating a home that lets the hot air escape straight out of the roof. With effective insulation, your home will be warmer in winter and cooler in summer, and your energy bills will remain reassuringly low. If you have a loft conversion, roof insulation between and under the rafters is likely to be the most effective option for insulating your attic. In addition to its energy-saving benefits, you’ll notice it makes the space much quieter, damping down the noise from outside.
Switch to double glazing
Two panes are better than one! Old-style, single-glazed windows can make your home draughty and uncomfortable, and you’ll find that you are paying over the odds in order to keep the place warm. Double glazing is significantly more energy-efficient: according to the Energy Saving Trust, homeowners could save up to £95 on heating bills and 405kg of carbon dioxide by installing the highest-rated double glazed windows in an entirely single-glazed house. And if you’re really keen to maximise the energy efficiency of your windows, you could even opt for triple glazing, which will reduce condensation and noise pollution even further, as well as delivering a “U value” as low as 0.8 (compared to 5 for single glazed windows, 1.6 for efficient double glazing and 0.3 for a wall).
Opt for energy-efficient lighting
Are you wasting energy while lighting your home? Although traditional, incandescent lightbulbs are no longer sold, and inefficient halogen lightbulbs are being phased out, you might still be using old-style bulbs in your rooms and appliances. If so, switching to LED lights could save you up to £30 per year on your electricity bills. Of course, it’s also important to get into good, energy-saving improvement habits when it comes to the lights in your home. Always switch off the lights in rooms you’re not using, and consider using timers or motion sensors on your outside lights, so they’re only using energy when it’s really needed.
Do some DIY draught-proofing
Sometimes, a small change can make a big difference. Simple DIY measures like applying sealant around an old window frame, fixing broken door hinges, and investing in a draught excluder for the bottom of your door can all reduce the amount of heat escaping from your home. Blocking off old chimneys is another great way to keep the warm air in, and an inflatable chimney balloon is one simple fix that will also stop debris from falling through.
Consider low-carbon heating systems
The energy used to produce heat and hot water for your home probably accounts for about 50% of your energy bills, so there’s plenty of potential to cut down on energy expenditure! If you’re thinking of replacing your boiler, it’s worth considering renewable energy heat sources, such as air source heat pumps and biomass boilers. An air-source heat pump is a low-carbon option that absorbs heat from the air outside your home. Alternatively, biomass heating systems are fuelled by wood and other organic matter and use considerably less carbon than gas boilers. These may look like more expensive options, but with a grant from the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, they could work out cheaper overall.
Adopt energy-saving gadgets
These days, many energy companies provide smart meters that allow you to monitor your energy usage and better understand what’s really eating up electricity. These are excellent options to help you get a feel for the unique energy usage in your home.
There are many other energy-saving home improvement devices and apps that can also make a difference to your energy consumption:
- Smart thermostats can ensure that your heating only goes on when you need it
- Water-saving showerheads can cut your usage by 30%
- Radiator reflectors reflect the heat energy that would normally be wasted by your radiator, back into the room
- Eco chargers automatically turn off when your device is fully charged.
At Abbey Partnership, we provide energy-efficient loft conversions and home extensions. For more information, call us on 0330 108 8838 or fill in our contact form to request a call back at your convenience.