We all crave the comfort of a warm home and a hot bath or shower but the rising costs of having central heating are becoming a difficult pill to swallow for the essentials of central heating and hot water.
With prices for gas, electricity or, like 3.5m UK homes, an oil burner, our heating bills seem to rise like a rocket and fall like a feather. Often never going back to the level they shot up from.
Heating or Eating
None of us want to be cold and we certainly don't want to face the awful choice between heating or eating, so we've prepared some hints and tips on some home improvements to keep those costs down in the long term.
Insulate Your Loft
It's estimated that around 15% of the loss of your heating escapes through roofs which haven't been insulated. The good news is that insulating your loft is a relatively cheap job that you could do yourself. Laying loft insulation blankets could save you around £110 on your heating bills and cut around one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Fill Wall Cavities
Filling the cavity in your wall is an excellent way to reduce your heating bills by approximately 15%. It'll also significantly improve the in-house climate by spreading the domestic heating more evenly. Around a third of your heat lost in your home escapes through the walls.
Exclude Those Drafts
To avoid your money quite literally flying out the window, make sure that all doors and windows are properly sealed. Draughts are the cause of 20% of heat loss in a typical home, and putting in draught proofing materials is a simple DIY task. Use self-adhesive strips for doors and windows and fit brushes to doors and letterboxes.
Buy A Jacket
No, we're not suggesting you sit around at home in a coat but your water cylinder should; don’t make it work harder than it needs to. Simply ensuring that your hot water cylinder is properly insulated – by fitting a ‘jacket’ at least 75mm thick – you 'll reduce heat loss by over 75% and could save around £20 per year.
Drop The Temperature
If you drop the room thermostat by just 1°c degree, it’s highly unlikely that you feel the difference. However, amazing as it sounds, by doing so you could cut your heating bills by up to 10% as well as reducing the wear and tear of the boiler.
(First published 28th January 2013)