Creating an energy efficient home does not just mean adding insulation or getting a new boiler fitted. If you are redecorating you can opt for naturally insulating materials and make changes to help decrease the energy use of your home. We’ve outlined a few of the key areas where you can improve.
Underfloor heating is considered by some as a luxury, but in fact it can be more energy efficient than using traditional radiators. By producing an even heat that rises steadily upwards, it eliminates the risk of cold spots or draughts that can occur when a room is heated by just one radiator. Bathrooms can particularly benefit from underfloor heating, as the smaller floor space means it costs less to run, and bathroom floor tiles are excellent conductors of heat. Underfloor heating mats can be installed underneath existing flooring, to help keep costs down.
If you are contemplating new flooring then carpet is the most energy efficient material as it provides a certain level of insulation. Carpet is one of the cheaper flooring options, but often does not last as long as tiled or wooden flooring. High-traffic areas such as hallways will require a hard wearing carpet as the heavy use will cause it to wear quicker. If you are fitting underfloor heating in a larger downstairs room, floor tiles are not your only option. Engineered timber flooring can also be fitted over an underfloor heating system.
One of the main ways that a house can lose heat is by having badly fitted or damaged windows. Providing there are no planning restrictions on your house, replacing single pane sash windows with PVC double glazing is a change that will quickly pay for itself thanks to the decrease in your heating bills. A quicker update that you can make to help keep drafts out is to add thick curtains. A heavy fabric will make the room look and feel cosier.
Energy efficient lightbulbs are widely available and can be used in most light fittings. The extra cost is quickly balanced by the savings they can help you make on your energy bills. Some homes choose to swap having main lights overhead switched on for lamps dotted around a larger room, to create a low background light and save on electricity. Another way to help reduce lighting costs is to install dimmer switches. These enable you to adjust the light levels in a room while saving energy and conserving the lifespan of your bulb.