With heating and energy costs often straining household budgets, many homeowners are looking for the most cost-effective and energy-efficient way to heat their homes. However, making changes to your home’s heating system should be a manageable task. It’s actually simple to conserve energy, save money, and contribute to lowering your carbon footprint – all in a day’s work!
According to Eurostat Statistics, energy consumption in households accounted for 62% of final energy consumption in 2020 in the residential sector. Now that you know how much heating accounts for, you likely want to reduce that number by a few percentage points. From short-term solutions to long-term investments, here are some of the most effective and budget-friendly changes you can make today to secure a buck tomorrow.
Draught-Proof Your Home
Draught-proofing your home is an easy and quick way to improve your dwelling’s energy efficiency. You can effectively tackle heat loss and retain the heat in your rooms by checking open fireplaces, keyholes, windows, and doors for incoming draughts of cold air.
If you have old windows, cover the gaps by fixing the seals with a draught excluder. Door draught excluders are also suitable for putting under doors. If your fireplace is not being used, you can purchase a chimney balloon to keep cold air out.
The heat may escape through the windows at night, so closing the curtains in the evening is a great idea to retain it. However, you should open them in the morning to maximise natural daylight and heat. Furthermore, window glazing sheets prevent heat from escaping through your windows and are particularly helpful in old conservatories.
If you can’t identify the source of the draught, you can reach out to an expert.
Install a Log Burner
Some time ago, fires were the primary source of energy for everyone. Now, they’re seen as a classy way to slow down and enjoy the comfort and homelike feeling of your dwelling. If you like taking care of your home, owning and tending to a log burner can become a satisfying routine.
When most of your time is spent where your appliance is located, you can turn off the heating during certain times of the day. Therefore, you’ll save energy and money. You’ll eliminate the need for any costly boiler repairs that may happen when the heating system is overworked and only pay for yearly check-ups.
Wood burners are cheaper than central gas heating for the average household. Plus, they provide energy independence. You decide how much you want to burn without worrying about blackouts or power cuts.
Since the cost of living is rising, log burners are in higher demand. They reduce the heating bill and can increase the value of your property. As fuel demand grows and electricity and gas bills are expected to rise this year, it’s best to plan ahead.
Install a Heat Pump System
There are several heat pump systems available that extract heat from different sources like the ground, air, or water. Air-source heat pumps are the most popular type and work by converting the air surrounding your home into heat. These compressors capture heat from the outside and use it to heat your water and house, drawing heat from temperatures as low as -20 degrees.
Heat pumps are an efficient alternative to fossil fuel heating systems, reduce carbon footprints, and help users save on their energy bills. Generally, the better insulated the property, the cheaper it is to run, so heat pumps aren’t recommended for poorly insulated households.
If you want a constant, comfortable room temperature, a heat pump might suit your home. They’re not good at quickly heating a home to a high temperature in a short period of time. Plus, they only work in households with a BER of at least B3 or higher.
Install Geothermal Heating
The concept of deriving energy from mother earth to heat the home and never needing to pay for oil again was introduced in the 90s and met with scepticism. However, the desire to be independent of oil has driven the popularity of geothermal and, to some extent, aqua thermal.
It’s seen as a viable alternative to traditional fuels and heating systems such as electricity and oil. It is among the greenest ways to warm your dwelling up and the running water since it doesn’t rely heavily on fossil fuels.
Geothermal extracts the heat from the ground and transports it into your home, moving it from one place to another. You can imagine a fridge in reverse to understand how it works. Plus, when summer comes, they work reversely and draw unpleasant hot air from inside your rooms out.
Although finding a contractor ten years ago would’ve been difficult, nowadays you can find them more easily.
Use Radiator Reflectors
Radiator reflectors are a clever and inexpensive technique to prevent heat loss from your radiators. They reflect the radiator’s heat back into the rooms instead of having it lost to the window or wall behind. Reflectors are rolls of thermal wrap or foil and minimise heat loss significantly. Additionally, they’re easy to install and can be cut to measure.
Ensure your hot water tank is insulated adequately, as a tank with a proper lagging jacket can more than halve the heat lost. Plus, exposed pipes should also have fitted insulation. The significant impact it can have on your energy use and budget can be surprising.
Get a Smart Thermostat.
A smart thermostat can be controlled remotely through a web interface or mobile phone. There are many different smart thermostat brands, each offering its unique set of advantages and features.
Some of the best benefits of using one are:
- Controlling your home’s temperature from everywhere
- Saving money on your energy bill
- Receiving alerts if your home’s temperature changes.
And since you’re reducing the temperature in your home when you’re gone or in unused rooms, you could lower the temperature of your water, too.