To quote one of our favourite TV shows: “winter is coming.” If you feel like your winter bills are always higher than they should be, it could be that your home’s insulation might not be up to scratch. However, that doesn’t mean you need to go through the costly process of double glazing or tearing out your old heating system. Here are a few home insulation tips that needn’t cost a glove and a woolly sock.
Heat loss, foiled
Many of us don’t realise, but lots of heat in our homes can often disappear into the walls. Rather than installing costly insulation, a quick and easy way to maximise the efficiency of your radiators is to put heat reflective foil behind them. You can buy specially-made foil or just use the regular kitchen kind – either will help reflect heat back into your home.
Little gaps in windows, doors and floors can be the largest source of heat loss in your home, as well as letting in chilly draughts. Sealant tape, soft foam and draught excluders can all be used around windows and doors, while filler is recommended if you have a hard wood floor with cracks that let lots of heat out.
Old copper pipes are highly conductive, meaning they can be responsible for a lot of the heat loss in your heating system. There’s no need to call out a plumber just yet though; pop into your nearest DIY store and pick up some pipe lagging. This nifty foam can be fitted quickly and easily to your pipes to keep your hot water hotter for longer.
It’s curtains for heat loss
Windows can be terrible for letting the heat out, especially if they’re not double glazed. Rather than blinds, which won’t do much to keep heat in, opt for thick, heavy curtains instead. These provide a great barrier that traps heat and insulates your home without too much work or expense. Normal curtains will work fine, but special curtains with a thermal layer can also be purchased for extra insulation.
While windows are bad for letting heat escape, uncovered floors are estimated to be one of the biggest culprits when it comes to heat loss. In fact, an estimated 10% of heat lost in the home is a direct result of bare floors. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to replace your uncovered floors with a nice cosy carpet that will do a much better job of keeping that heat in.
Many people think that installing insulation has to be a professional (and therefore expensive) job, but that’s not always the case. While you’ll need an expert to tackle walls, your loft can actually be insulated fairly cheaply and easily. A few rolls of low-cost insulating foam should be adequate to cover most lofts, and will make a real difference.
Bank balance shivering at the prospect of double glazing a whole house? Don’t worry – it’s not the only option. Buy some cheap glazing film instead. This can be easily stuck onto your window frames and just requires fixing with a hairdryer. It’s not a permanent solution – opening the window will break the seal – but can be really helpful during the winter months.
If you’ve got an open chimney in your fireplace, it can be responsible for a lot of heat loss when not being used. For chimneys that are solely decorative, it’s worth investing in a chimney balloon. This nifty gadget can be placed inside the chimney and inflated until it stops all draughts getting through and heat getting out. Just remember to remove it if you are going to use the fire!