It’s about that time of year when the seasons tangibly change, the prospect of an Indian Summer dissipates and the warm weather clothes get brought down from the attic. For a large majority of us the onset of winter is positive change, a let-up from the lack of water or just a preference for colder temperatures.
There is one result of the colder months which none of us like to witness; the increase in our heating bills. Energy prices continue to increase whilst our necessity to stay warm remains, resulting in months and months of guaranteed scowling.
There are however ways to combat these rising costs, ways which are often a lot easier and cheaper than you might think. We have outlined below what we consider to be the three best ways to reduce your energy consumption this winter. So put away your indoor hats and gloves and instead head down to your local DIY shop.
1. Insulate, insulate and insulate some more
Without a doubt the single most important group of home improvement changes you can make to positively affect your energy consumption are insulation upgrades. Some are easier than others and some are subsequently lighter on your wallet than others. If you are just beginning your insulation upgrade we typically recommend starting in the attic, where 25% of your homes heat escapes and more often than not the upgrades can be made yourself.
Following the loft we typically recommend home owners (especially if your home was built from brick after 1920) look into cavity wall insulation. Cavity wall insulation is the filling of gap between the inner and outer wall of your home. The results can save you up to $200 per year, which is roughly what you would pay for the update. Which mean from year two onwards you are saving around 550kg of carbon dioxide per year.
2. Install new windows or doors
Roughly 25% of your homes heat lost can be attributed to windows and doors. If you have single glazed or older wooden frames and doors there is a good chance you will be literally leaking money every winter. Replacing doors and windows although a big project will pay for itself over a longer period of time and will instantly make a difference to the look and feel of the house. If you do decide to upgrade look for U-value ratings on each product you review; U-values are a scientific measure of how quickly heat is lost through an area. You are looking for as low a U-value rating as possible (anywhere between 1 & 1.8 W/(m2.K).
3. Replace your heater filter
We all look at filters around the house and appreciate their importance, but the majority of us fail to change them when required. Changing your furnace filter when required could save you up to 5% of your homes energy bills. Set up calendar alerts or just get into more of a routine to make sure you keep on top of replacements.
Not convinced you will keep on top of the changes? Switch to an electrostatic filter; electrostatic filters are much more efficient at trapping bacteria, mould, pollen and viruses than regular filters. More importantly though electrostatic filters trap around 90% of the debris as opposed to between 10&40% for regular disposable filters.
These ways of reducing your energy consumption over winter were brought to you by Yale composite doors. Yale front doors UK meet the strict new door U value standards, with every door scoring between 1.0 and 1.8 W/(m2.K).