With constantly rising heating and electricity bills, and the usual reluctance to cut down on usage, technology often comes to the aid to save some money over the longer term. This article looks at the best way to make your house a bit more green with a £500 budget. Not only will you be doing the earth a favour, but you’ll probably get that £500 back in savings on bills.
Insulation keeps the heat in when it’s cold, and the high temperatures out on the 3 or 4 days it makes a difference on our western European island. With enough insulation, altering your home’s temperature is not even necessary. However as we can’t all have 1 meter thick walls, insulation makes up for it and is usually considered the best way to keep heat in. Even if you already have loft insulation, it is worth reviewing the thickness of it and upgrading to exceed the current recommended insulation thickness 270mm on current houses (introduced in 2003). All insulation does is trap air, so the technology may improve in the future and be worth changing.
If your house is old enough and has absolutely no insulation in the loft, you maybe able to even get it for free due to government targets in getting the country’s energy consumption down. It’s worth checking on latest rules because we all know politicians like to play around with them. Otherwise you can DIY it yourself within a few hours, just roll it out and save the money! Remember to keep it plump and not squashed to increase its efficiency.
This roll from B&Q is made from polyester and sheep wool, so you can install it without the usual safety equipment required for glass based insulation, plus who doesn’t want sheep technology in their attic?
Cost: £0-150 installed, depending on loft floor size.
Heating: Pipe Lagging
Lagging to pipes is what roof insulation is to your house. It keeps the heat in and where it should be rather than emitting into the atmosphere uncontrolled and ultimately lost. Wherever your central heating pipes run, they can be lagged to increase efficiency, this is especially true it the pipes run through unused spaces such as edges of walls and in the loft.
There are plenty to choose from on Amazon, get the size you need and wrap those pipes up warm.
Cost: £0-50, depending on amount required.
Now that the heat in being kept in the house effectively, it’s time to control when it is actually used. Most boilers have 2 time periods for switching on and off, but that’s not really flexible enough for a lot of people. Which is where the latest smart thermostats come into their own. They learn your routine and can adjust the central heating temperature as required. Features such as holiday mode and compatibility with apps and other devices just help their argument going into the future too.
Cost: £170 fitting it yourself, more if you require installation, less for a second hand unit.