THE National House Building Council brings you tips on how to keep your home cosy and draught free for less this winter.
1. Look after your boiler – Central heating boilers should be checked and serviced at least once a year by a Gas Safe Registered engineer to ensure they remain safe and efficient. If you have a boiler older than 10 years you may want to think about having it replaced to a more energy-efficient condensing boiler.
2. Reduce draughts – Check the weather-stripping on windows and seal doors to keep heat from escaping. At night, close curtains to help insulate windows against heat loss but open curtains during daylight hours to let the sun’s natural warmth in.
3. Bleed radiators – If you notice a radiator is warm at the bottom but cool at the top, this could mean there is air in the system, which prevents the warm circulating water from reaching the top. The radiator may require bleeding to ensure maximum efficiency.
4. Top up your loft insulation – Heat rises and in an uninsulated home a quarter of the heat is lost through the roof. Insulating your loft is a simple and effective way to reduce that waste and lower heating bills. The amount of heat lost and the energy savings gained will directly relate to the current thickness and condition of loft insulation. The latest government guidelines recommend 270mm.
5. Turn down the thermostat – According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning down your room thermostat by one degree could save you around £65 a year.
6. Floor insulation – Insulating under the floorboards on your ground floor could save you money. Older properties with suspended timber floors can be insulated by ideally a fibrous insulation such as mineral wool or sheep’s wool as. Newer homes will have a ground floor made of solid concrete which can be insulated if it needs to be replaced or can have rigid insulation laid on top.
7. Radiators are not washing lines – Hanging clothes on radiators means you’re stopping the heat getting to the rest of the room.
8. Do not heat empty rooms – Only switch radiators on in rooms you use, make sure you shut the doors to keep the rest of the house warm.
9. Compare suppliers – There are so many energy prices and offers available that it can be hard to work out what the best deals are. However, comparing offers from energy companies can often help you identify a cheaper tariff.
The NHBC is the UK’s largest provider of new home warranties and its primary purpose is to help raise standards to protect homeowners. Established more than 75 years ago, it is an independent non-profit distributing company, reinvesting all resources in further research and work to improve the construction standard of new UK houses for the benefit of homeowners.