10 home renovations to save on your energy bills

When you’re planning home renovations, it’s a good time to think about ways you can make your home more energy efficient. While some changes are more expensive, the long term savings can make the upfront cost worthwhile.

But even small, quick changes can have a significant effect, and you don’t need to be an expert in DIY to tackle them.

Here are 10 home renovations that could help you save money on your energy bills.

1. Loft insulation

Up to 26% of heat escapes through the roof of a typical, uninsulated 3 bedroom home. While insulation won’t stop the heat loss completely, it will slow it down. 

If your home has no loft insulation, installing the recommended 270mm of new insulation could save up to £135 and 550kg of CO2 each year.

If you already have some loft insulation, topping it up could increase your savings. For example, increasing your insulation from 120mm to a depth of 270mm could save an additional £12 a year on your energy bills and 50kg of CO2 every year.

2. Wall insulation

Over 30% of UK homes have no insulation in their walls. Adding cavity wall insulation can save up to £150 a year and 620kg of CO2. 

If you’re living in one of the 8.5 million homes in the UK with solid walls, then internal or external solid wall insulation can save you around £260 and 1,050kg of CO2 a year.

3. Floor insulation 

Around 8% of heat is lost through the floor of an uninsulated home. There are different types of floor insulation available. Solid floor insulation and suspended timber floor insulation each save around £40 and 160kg of CO2 a year.

4. Hot water cylinder insulation 

Most hot water cylinders in the UK have some insulation in the form of a water tank jacket, but you could save an extra £20 and 100kg of CO2 a year by increasing the thickness of the jacket from 25mm to 80mm. 

If your hot water cylinder has no insulation, adding an 80mm jacket could save around £80 and 430kg of CO2 a year.

5. Pipe jackets

Pipe jackets decrease the time it takes for the water in your taps to turn hot and they can help reduce your energy usage. Adding a pipe jacket to exposed pipes could save you up to £7, and between 15 and 35kg of CO2 a year.

6. Draught proofing 

You can usually feel the areas around doors and windows where the cold air comes in. You could save around £20 a year by blocking those drafts, whether that’s with thick curtains, more traditional draught excluders or modern seals. Self-adhesive window strips are the cheaper alternative to metal or plastic strips, but won’t last as long.

If your fireplace isn’t in use, insulating your chimney will make your home feel warmer. A chimney draught excluder can save you around £15 and 70kg of CO2 a year.

7. Double glazing 

Installing A++ rated double glazing in your home could save up to £85 and 340kg of CO2 a year. Or you could install A- rated double glazing, which may be a little cheaper, and will still save around £75 a year on your energy bills.

8. Boilers 

Boilers, like appliances and double-glazing, must clearly display an EU Energy Label when they’re offered for sale. Appliances are rated in terms of energy efficiency ‘classes’, from A to G. ‘A’ is the most efficient and ‘G’ is the least efficient. 

Replacing an old G-rated boiler with an A-rated boiler with a full set of heating controls could save around £205 and 990kg of CO2 a year.

9. Storage heaters 

If your home uses storage heaters, upgrading to a modern slim line or fan storage heater that comes with advanced controls could save you up to £225 on your annual energy bills. A high heat retention storage heater uses low cost, off-peak energy to provide the most economical heating. Upgrading to one of these would save you £470 and 1,410kg of CO2 a year.

10. Radiator panels 

Some of the heat from your radiator is absorbed by the wall behind the heating unit. Reflective radiator panels reflect heat evenly back into the room. Installing radiator panels could save you around £20 and 100kg of CO2 each year.

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