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Ten top tips to make your home more energy efficient

Shorter days and longer nights are the first sign that winter is coming, and as the cold snap arrives it is important to keep your home warm and cosy.

But with UK households now footing the bill of the on-going energy crisis, keeping a closer eye on your energy consumption is more important than ever.

Nathan Emerson, Propertymark CEO, said: “An energy-efficient home is important not only for your bills, but also means you do your part for the environment.

“The energy crisis has brought it into sharper focus for many, so keeping a closer eye on what energy you are using and where it is going is essential.

“Crucially your home is only as efficient as you, so there is plenty you can do to change old habits.

“Other more practical ways can still be relatively cheap – whether that’s through heavy curtains, switching to LED light bulbs, or sealing drafts – but can make a long-term impact.

“Government incentives are also available such as a £5,000 grant from £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme, but it will barely scratch the surface of the cost to bring some properties up to standard.”

Here Propertymark shares ten top tips to help save energy at home.

  1. Replace your boiler

Bad boilers are a bane on home energy bills. More than half of your energy bill comes from your boiler – somewhere between 55 to 60 per cent. Boilers are rated between A to G with A the most efficient, so its worth checking your rating.

However, the UK Government wants to phase out gas boilers and make all new heating systems low carbon from 2035. A £5,000 grant is offered from next April to replace gas boilers with a heat pump, although this will only cover a fraction of the average £6,000 to £18,0000 cost depending on the size and type of the property. It won’t be a viable option for all, but the cost is hoped to fall as they increase in popularity.

  1. Heavy curtains

Curtains made of a thick, insulating material will do wonders to help retain the heat lost from windows, especially if you’re in an older home with single glazing. Make sure your curtain rail is four to six inches higher than the window frame itself to allow for maximum coverage.

  1. Double glazing

It is standard for all new homes to have double glazing now, but for any older homes it is still a sound investment and one of the top tips to increase your energy efficiency, future proofing your home for years to come. If your property is listed or you can’t swap the old windows, secondary glazing provides a secondary window pane that simply slots behind the existing ones.

  1. Draught proofing

One of the easiest ways to make your home more energy efficient is to seal any draughts. Uncovered gaps around windows, doors, or even keyholes can be fixed by a simple DIY job or professionally for around £200. With average annual savings of around £50 a year, it’ll easily pay itself off.

  1. Heating on low

It’s always tempting to put your heating on full throttle when you feel cold, however heating your home on a consistent low temperature instead will not only reduce the cost and make heating your home more efficient, but it will also reduce damage to your pipes. A room thermostat could also do the job for you, keeping your house at a consistent temperature.

  1. Insulation

Hot air rises so it is no surprise roofs are one of the greatest sources of heat loss within homes – as much as 25 per cent according to research. Homes also lose heat through walls, so ensuring your home is sufficiently insulated is vital.

  1. Smart meters

A smart meter is an easy way to keep an eye on how much you’re spending, and crucially where you are spending too much. If you pay enough attention to it, it means you’re likely to take other energy-saving actions more seriously too. A win-win!

  1. Replace older appliances

Similarly to your boiler, if your appliances are older their energy rating might not be as efficient as it should be. Be sure to check the labels on your kitchen appliances, such as your fridge freezer and dishwasher.

  1. Switch to energy-saving light bulbs 

A switch to LED light bulbs will not only save carbon emissions, but also light up your room for less. Traditional incandescent bulbs convert only 10 per cent of their energy to light, while LED’s convert more than 90 per cent, meaning a far lower energy consumption.

  1. Keep yourself in check, too

Our other tips will count for little if you are wasteful in your own energy consumption, so remember to do the little things too to keep your bad habits in check. Switch off lights or electrics when they are not in use, save water through a water-saving shower head or eco-kettle, or use your dishwasher less or only when its full.