How to Improve Energy Efficiency in UK HomesSeptember 28, 2021
Improving the efficiency of your home is vital if you want to reduce your energy bills and waste less energy. With so many different methods on the market, making the right decisions to improve your home’s energy efficiency can be tricky. With the right techniques, you can guarantee that you’ll be significantly reducing your energy bills, as well as doing your bit for the planet – a win-win in our eyes.
So… What are the Different Ways to Improve Efficiency?
From small every-day changes to structural improvements, there are many ways to improve your home’s efficiency. We place emphasis on the fact that even the smallest changes can make a huge impact on your home’s efficiency. So whether you are installing brand-new floor insulation or simply installing a smart meter, you can rest assured knowing that you are still taking the steps towards a cheaper and greener future.
Insulate your Home
Insulation is one of the most significant changes you can make to improve your home’s efficiency. A properly insulated home helps you retain heat in the winter months and significantly lowers your risk of damp. Sufficient insulation can also keep your home cooler during the heat of the summer, and can have an impact on your property’s value.
A well-insulated loft can make a huge difference to your home’s insulation. When installed correctly, loft insulation can prevent 25% of your home’s total heat loss. As one of the most cost-effective and simple insulation techniques, loft insulation remains a staple in homes with high energy efficiency.
During the winter months, heat loss through external walls can total up to 40%. Not only is that significant loss of valuable heat, but in order to compensate for this loss homeowner’s will find themselves having to use more energy. Sufficient wall insulation ensures that thermal energy is retained, and that homeowner’s can keep their energy usage to a minimum.
Insulating the floor of your home is a lesser known insulation technique despite it having a huge impact on the energy efficiency of a home. Not only does floor insulation draught-proof your home, it also means a significant amount of heat is retained in your home. Well-retained heat in your home means a homeowner will not have to rely as heavily on a heating system, leading to reduction of their energy usage and bills.
Out With the Old, In With the New
Outdated heating systems and boilers are often highly inefficient and costly alternatives for homeowners. Gas and oil water heating systems require a large cylinder tank of water to be heated before a household has access to hot water, which has numerable disadvantages. Most notably, heating a large tank of water is an extremely time-consuming and inefficient method of creating hot water. Often a full tank of heated water goes unused, meaning the energy used to heat the water is wasted as the majority of the water remains in the tank to be reheated again.
The economical use of electric energy in modern water heating systems leads to a noticeable reduction in harmful gas emissions, as well as a significant monetary saving. Due to many UK households making the decision to switch to renewable energy sources there has been a notable decrease in overall polluting emissions in the UK. Many homes are now choosing to replace their outdated gas and oil heating systems for more renewable electric options. When compared to modern electric storage heaters, the vast drawbacks of gas and oil heating systems become clearly apparent.
Modern electric heating systems often include thermostatic control. By incorporating room by room thermostats into your home, you can individually heat the room you are using to a comfort temperature and leave the other rooms on an Economy temperature. This control allows you to be warm, as well as save on energy.
Typically, most households frequent only a few rooms at a time. In order to heat your home with an outdated heating system, homeowners will need to power a full 35kW boiler system to heat just a few rooms. This is highly wasteful and drastically lowers your homes overall efficiency.
Powered by the Sun
Solar PV – or Solar Photovoltaics – refers to the generation of electricity using energy from the sun.
Through the installation of Solar PV, homeowners are able to generate their own electricity, leading to decreased energy bills due to less reliance on the grid and a reduced carbon footprint. Home’s with Solar technology installed are often more efficient, as there will be little energy wasted due to the homeowners’ own provision.
The use of renewable energy sources is increasing more than ever. From wind to solar, these renewable methods of producing electricity contribute virtually zero carbon emissions. Additionally, these renewable electricity sources do not rely on the consumption of finite natural resources, and therefore greatly reduce our carbon footprints.
The Carbon Dioxide (CO₂) formed during the process of producing energy from fossil fuels has extremely detrimental effects on our planet. Studies have found that the burning of natural gas and coal produces a staggering average of 1.9 pounds of CO₂ per kilowatt-hour. In comparison, the average CO₂ produced per kWh by wind and solar is only 0.08 pounds, a drastic reduction in harmful pollutants being released into our atmosphere.
Be Smart – Use a Smart Meter!
If a homeowner isn’t using their smart meter correctly, they may find themselves wasting energy and not using energy in the smartest way.
Homeowners should ensure that their smart meters are set up correctly and are situated somewhere with good signal in order for the meter to produce accurate readings. They should also ensure that they remain up to date, particularly if they have switched providers, as the smart meter may not operate correctly.
In regards to thermostats, it is wise to have one in each room so that the temperature can be tailored accordingly. If homeowners are limited to just one thermostat for the entire house, they may find some rooms will not be suitably heated. This will lead to wasted energy and higher energy bills for the homeowner.
So what are you waiting for?
The benefits of improving your home’s efficiency are clearly apparent, the immense reduction of energy wastage is a huge step in the direction of achieving carbon neutrality. Less energy waste means a significant reduction of CO₂ levels in our atmosphere. This will have a considerable impact on our health and the health of our planet.
Make the improvements in your home today, and enjoy a healthier planet tomorrow!