Keeping your home warm can be pricey, but there are many things you can do over winter to heat the house up while also saving money. This can be even more challenging if your house is a bit older, built before most of the building standards were introduced. But why pay more when you can adopt efficient and eco-friendly measures that could help you stay warm and cut down on heating costs significantly?
So, if you’re looking to stay warm this winter but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Below is a list of some of the most effective ways to keep your home warm, but also save a good amount of money.
Get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Perhaps you’ve had or heard about domestic EPCs, especially if you’ve built, sold, or rented your property before. This is a compulsory legal document that shows how energy efficient your domestic property is. The law requires that a certified domestic energy assessor, like one of our EPC London assessors, conducts the survey in areas including your ventilation, lighting, heating, and cooling systems, in order to produce a report. The certificate contains the energy ratings of these areas and the relevant recommendations the surveying expert(s) have for your home improvement, as far as energy efficiency is concerned.
Enhance Your Roof’s Insulation
Proper insulation in your home this winter is essential. According to Energy Saving Trust, about 25% of heat is lost through the roof, especially in poorly insulated homes. Even with a cranked-up furnace, poor insulation in your roof will result in significant heat losses – heat will escape, and you’ll be left with huge heating bills. Your house will hardly reach the desired thermostat temperature, and the furnace will constantly be running with no better results.
Your roof will also let in a lot of cold air from outside. Fortunately, most home roof designs are easy to insulate, even for DIYs. Consider insulating your loft correctly. The recommended insulation for effective results is about 25cm of insulation all around the loft. You can also take advantage of energy suppliers who might be offering insulation schemes.
Keep Curtains Closed at Night
It’s winter, so you’ll probably experience small amounts of heat from the sun. And it’s absolutely free! You need to make good use of this priceless radiant energy as much as possible. During a sunny day, open your curtains to let the heat in, and when the night falls or when it gets cloudy, close the curtains to keep the warmth inside the rooms. Curtains act as an additional layer of insulation to help keep the warm air from escaping and to prevent cold air from entering, as well.
However, you’ll need to ensure you’ve sealed all the leaks and gaps. What if you have double-glazed windows in place, will you still need to close the curtains? Well, yes. Even such windows can get cold (though not as single-glazed windows) and could result in some energy losses. Therefore, lower your blinds and close your curtains immediately after, or just before sunset.
Focus On Keeping Yourself Warm Vs. the House
When it’s cold, the house will not complain about feeling a little chilly. So, don’t focus on heating the house. Make yourself warm and comfortable. Sip on hot tea or coffee all day, get some warm robes, throw on sweaters and hoodies, and break out the bed sheets and thick blankets. Position yourself where there’s warmth, such as closer to the inside of your house.
Mind Your Wood-Burning Fireplace
Having a fireplace where you can sit and enjoy a warm romantic moment on a chilly evening can be a great winter idea. However, you need to beware of the stack effect – as you warm the part of the house with a fireplace, the heated air will rise up through the chimney, and cold air will enter through any openings in other rooms. But how, exactly, can you counter this stack effect? Ensure to have a glass front and to help keep some of the heated air from escaping through the chimney once the roaring flames go out.
Also, close all the doors, windows, and any openings that could let cold air inside the house. If you haven’t used your fireplace before, consult a professional to advise you on the necessary steps to take. Remember, any open flame is a hazard. Proper cleanliness and maintenance of your chimney are essential; schedule annual maintenance to properly clean the chimney.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, your property is already as green as it can be, but if not, then acquiring an Energy Performance Certificate can give you a stepping start. Not only will this help you on heating your home as energy efficiently as possible, if you plan on selling your house in the near future, you will be one step ahead of the game. Follow the recommendations on the EPC report and create an efficient house that works for you.