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As seen on the Guardian Energy efficient tips and advice

Ten Top Tips to Keep Old Homes Energy Efficient and Save Money

Rhodri Andrews

Ten Top Tips to Keep Old Homes Energy Efficient and Save Money

Older homes have a significantly different build to modern homes and sometimes some attention to minor details in an old house can make the biggest difference. The following article will talk you through the top ten tips to keeping an old home energy efficient and save you as much money as possible.

1 – Get some draught excluders

Draught excluders around letterboxes and doors can make a hell of a difference when trying to stop heat from escaping from your home. It has been noted by the Energy Saving Trust that you could save between £20- £50 a year simply by blocking out heat yourself (1). This is a very low cost, simple way of being energy efficient in an old home, after all every little helps!

2- Acquire Thick curtains

This may be something you have never thought of when trying to stop heat from escaping your property but really is as simple as getting some thick curtains. You’ll be surprised at how much heat escapes from windows alone (roughly around 10% according to the Washington Post, [2]). By acquiring thick curtains you will reduce the amount of air escaping your property and stop cold air from coming in!

3 – Try not to block your radiators.

If you have a sofa in front of your radiator then the sofa can absorb the majority of the heat escaping from it, making it harder to heat your home (3). The money you may be wasting trying to heat your room when it is basically been extracted by the sofa could shock you. Maybe think about a little bit of furniture manoeuvring in your living room.

4- Simple Maintenance of Your Home.

Mending broken window panes or even clearing gutters and drains that may cool down or dampen walls can not only contribute to saving energy and reducing your energy bills, but it could also improve the heritage value of your property  (4). Similar to draft excluding and acquiring thick curtains, fixing cracks in windows can prevent heat from escaping. Gutters and draining can cool down stone in your wall, making the property cooler, so make sure to give them a good clean!

5 – Don’t heat every room or programme each room to come on at certain times.

Pre 1919 houses were created to heat one room at a time through old cold fires, therefore make yourself aware that heat does not have to be on in every room, just the rooms you are using. You use significantly less energy, and essentially spend less money when you use radiators in certain rooms as opposed to all (5).  If you fancy being a bit more tech savvy, then programmable wifi radiator valves are now available on the market, allowing you to programme a time when each radiator comes on – perhaps this would be a good idea when you move to certain rooms at certain times, saving yourself a few pounds in the long run.

6 – Get a boiler timer.

By getting a timer on your boiler you can plan ahead when you need the house heated the most and programme the time you want the heating to go on and off. This is particularly useful if you spend the majority of your day at work or out and about – you can set the boiler to turn on 40 minutes or so before you arrive home so your house is warm for when you get there without having to waste energy all day long. Boiler timers are not particularly expensive to buy and fit.

7 – Insulate your loft

With 25% of heat being lost through your roof alone, it may be worth looking at getting some loft insulation in your property if you do not already do so (1). Loft insulation through Tempo is funded through ECO 9 out of 10 times, so will probably not cost you a penny. All you need to do is book in for a free survey (if your loft is accessible) and we can take it from there – it is definitely worth a try as it can make a huge difference to your energy bill prices and the heat of your home.

8- Change to LED lighting

LED lighting in your home is now proving to be another great investment when trying to reduce energy bill prices and energy consumption in the home. They can be fitted into any age property and they use up to 90% electricity than a normal lightbulb. Not only this but LED lights can last between 12-20 years, and come in a variety of beam angles and shades, dependant on your preference. The money you save on changing to LED lights could see you paying back the price of all the install and light bulbs within just 6-9 months! For more information on LED lights check out the ‘All You Need To Know About LED Lighting’ article previously written on the ‘News’ page on the Tempo website.

9- Get a wood burning stove with a back biomass boiler

Biomass wood burning stoves can look great in an old home and can also be fitted with a back boiler to provide water as well a central heating. If you a looking for a bigger investment to heat you home efficiently then biomass is the choice for you!
They are basically heating systems that burn wood pellets, chips or logs also known as biomass that comes from plants. The biomass boiler uses just the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as a plant would over the time it would have been growing – so it is completely sustainable!
This could potentially save you up to £650 a year on your energy bill prices and you could also be eligible for quarterly payments through the renewable heat incentive (1).  These are available through Tempo so just one phone call could start you saving sooner rather than later.

10 – Get yourself a GDA (Green Deal Assessment)

A Green Deal Assessment is basically a thorough examination of your home to assess how much energy you consume in your property at present, and will also recommend energy efficient measures that would be suitable for your home.  This will give you a very specific view on how much you pay for energy and how much you could be paying for your energy with the measures that you could acquire. It’s always a good idea to know exactly what can be done to your home and how much you could save in order for you to accurately plan what would be the best option for you.
If you would like any further information or you are interested in any of the above mentioned, then please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0800 152 2011.

References

(1) -http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/domestic/draught-proofing-your-home
(2) -http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/homeandgarden/daily/graphics/escape_routes_012507.pdf
(3) http://beatcold.org.uk/energy-saving-top-tips/
(4) http://www.homebuilding.co.uk/advice/existing-homes/renovating/ways-to-add-value
(5) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/energy-bills/11171016/Are-you-using-your-thermostat-wrongly-Five-home-heating-errors-pushing-up-energy-bills.html
(6) http://www.which.co.uk/energy/creating-an-energy-saving-home/guides/the-green-deal-explained/getting-a-green-deal-assessment/

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