Engineers share how to save money on energy bills with 'cheap' DIY jobs

Engineers share how to save money on energy bills with ‘cheap’ DIY jobs

With homes responsible for 40 per cent of carbon emissions in the UK, making small changes can make a big difference. Insulation and draft resistance are double essentials, and even if DIY isn’t your thing for sure, these simple ideas can help make your home more energy efficient—and lower your energy bills, too.

1. Fit the hot water cylinder jacket

For those who have hot water tanks, their insulation is really important. The tank is where the hot water comes from and is stored after being heated by the boiler, and if it is poorly insulated, it will lose heat faster.

This then means that the boiler requires more energy to reheat this water, in order to ensure you get a hot shower when you get off work.

Experts warned: “Without one, your hot water cylinder can lose up to three-quarters of its heat. It’s widely available in DIY stores, is easy to install and can save energy and therefore money year-round.”

2. Isolate the loft and walls properly

According to engineers, up to a quarter of your home’s heat can be lost through the roof, and a third of the heat lost in uninsulated homes is through walls.

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They said: ‘Loft insulation can save you up to £315 a year on your energy bills, so it pays for itself quickly. If you have easy access to your loft, it’s not difficult to insulate yourself. Wall insulation is even harder. So it is best to contact the experts to do so.”

If access is easy and loft joists are regular, households can use rolls of mineral wool insulation. The first layer is placed between the joists – the horizontal beams that make up the loft floor – then another layer is placed at right angles to cover the joists and bring the insulation to the required depth.

3. Install lagging on all your pipes

Lagging simply means coating water pipes with insulation to help delay the onset of freezing. It is fairly easy and cheap. It’s something that, with a little knowledge, homeowners can do on their own.

Experts at British Gas said: “Insulating your pipes stops heat leakage and can help prevent them from freezing in the winter as well. Most DIY products stock leftover foam stock, which you can cut to fit and then simply slot over your pipes. and secure it in place with insulating tape.”

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Families need to do this before winter hits, and it can take anywhere from two hours to a half a day, depending on the number of exposed water pipes in the house.

4. Move furniture away from radiators

While this seems like an obvious thing to do, many families still have furniture that blocks their heaters.

The engineers cautioned, “While placing the sofa against the wall is great for maximizing space, if it’s facing the radiator, it can prevent hot air from circulating properly from the radiator. Your room feels cooler — so you can use heating to compensate.”

5. Put TRVs on all radiators

With thermostatic radiator valves, households can adjust the temperature of each room individually, so they don’t waste energy by heating up empty spaces.

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According to experts, there are many markets that are easy to install, and a quick tap on the app allows households to adjust room temperature one by one.

6. Anti-slip windows, doors and chimneys

Draft auditing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and money in any type of building.

The team at British Gas proposed several ways to combat air leakage from windows, doors and chimneys. They said, “Self-adhesive foam strips are easy to install on windows, while vent screens are ideal if there’s a gap between the door and the floor.

“If you use your own fireplace, a chimney cap is a cheap option that you can remove when you want to light a fire. Alternatively, contact a professional to install a chimney cap if you are no longer using the fireplace.”

Even keyholes and mailboxes can let cool air into homes. Keyhole covers and letterbox brush strips are inexpensive, quick, and easy to install and will stop those drafts.

7. Make sure to bleed radiators regularly

There are many home maintenance tasks that can be neglected or forgotten, and one of them may be bleeding your radiators regularly. With so much focus on central heating and the boiler itself, it’s easy to forget to check the actual radiators themselves around your home.

Bleeding radiators are important to an optimal heating system and can also help save money by producing heat more effectively in homes.

The experts said: “This will keep them running efficiently, and they may take longer to warm up and stop giving off the same amount of heat if this is not done.”

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