Cost-of-living: Expert shares advice to save money on bills
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As the colder months approach and energy bills continue to rise, making your home as energy-efficient as possible sounds more appealing than it ever has before. Dave Johnson, Head of Technical at The Underfloor Heating Store has revealed five of the best ways to make your home more energy-efficient for the winter months approaching.
1. Insulate you home
Insulation is a “cost-effective option” that will ensure you’re only using the necessary amount of energy in your home, according to the expert.
He said: “Around a quarter of a home’s heating will be lost through the roof if it isn’t insulated properly.
“An insulated roof will lower your fuel bills as it keeps your heating system working efficiently.
“Loft insulation blanket rolls can cost as little as £20 for a roll which will cover around eight metres squared. Depending on the size of your loft, you can insulate it yourself for less than £100.”
2. Ensure your home is draught-proof
Fixing any droughts is a really rewarding way of energy-proofing a home on a budget.
Dave said: “Preventing heat from escaping through unwanted gaps is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to make your home energy-efficient, avoiding any excess heat loss.
“To draught-proof your home, you need to identify the ‘problem areas’. These could include doors, windows, chimneys and floorboards.”
Britons can block unwanted gaps by using draught-proofing strips around their windows and doors, or flexible silicone-based filler to fill the gaps in their floorboards.
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3. Consider upgrading to smart thermostats
Upgrading your thermostat to a smart thermostat could provide for greater accuracy in thermostat-to-boiler communication, preventing energy from being wasted, and saving you money.
The expert explained: “Smart thermostats learn your personal heating routine and needs and adjust accordingly over time.
“A great benefit of smart thermostats is the ability to control your heating virtually from anywhere – whether you have accidentally left your heating on or didn’t predict a cold snap before you left for a day out, a smart thermostat will allow you to use your heating efficiently.”
4. Assess your boiler
According to Dave, defective boilers can increase heating bills massively as they will need to work significantly harder to bring a home up to the desired temperature.
A boiler actually accounts for 55 percent of your energy bills – that’s more than the rest of electrical appliances combined.
The expert advised: “If your boiler hasn’t been serviced in a while, we recommend booking one in to ensure your unit is working to the best of its ability.
“If you think you are in need of a new unit altogether, it may be wise to invest. New boilers use much less energy to heat up your home, resulting in lower energy bills.”
5. Check your appliance capacity
When appliances are overfilled or over-exhausted, they are less efficient on the whole and will likely cost more money to run.
For example, Dave said: “Defrosting your freezer every time it develops a thick build-up of ice on its inside surfaces will help to maintain the efficiency of the freezer which in turn will save you money.”
A build-up of ice means that your freezer’s airflow will be obstructed and the unit will have a harder time circulating cold air. This means that the motor will have to work for longer – using more energy and therefore costing more money.
The energy pro added: “We recommend conducting frequent checks of your heating system components and all large appliances in order to ensure that you are not unknowingly losing and using excess energy amid rising bill costs.
“Boosting your home’s energy efficiency now will ensure you are fully prepared for the upcoming winter months and shouldn’t have to pay out any more than necessary.”
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