Well, after years of scraping and saving, my husband and I finally got enough together to put down a deposit on home of our own! The place is admittedly a fixer-upper, but the area is lovely and but the asking price was too good to ignore. We both felt that the money saved on the asking price could have been better spent improving the basic structure of the house and making the place more energy efficient so that’s exactly what we set out to do.
As much 25% of energy can be lost through heat escaping through the roof, and 35% through uninsulated walls. We weren’t too sure how to go about sorting the walls out but fixing the loft up was a relatively easy step.
My husband and I were able to buy loft insulation at our local hardware store and made sure to buy sheets of at least the recommended thickness of 270mm. Our research had told us that we could saving between £100 and £175 a year to our energy costs with insulation so this seemed a worthwhile investment. We could have saved more by installing the insulation ourselves but neither of us are experts so we decided it was probably better done by a local workman who could make sure everything was installed correctly.
Something else high on our priority list was to change the water boiler. Most traditional boilers have a lifespan of 8-12 years and this one was well past it’s best. Running out of hot water for the shower during the morning rush was not much fun!
We spent a long time debating weather to go for a best tankless water heater or a more traditional boiler. Tankless heaters are much smaller, store less water at one time and can be 30% more efficient at bringing down energy bills in the long run. They’re lifespan is longer than the traditional type and can last for over 20 years. There were however, additional costs in the start up as the pipes from our old style boiler had to be changed. In the long run we were happy to do that as we hoped to be living in our home for many years to come.
The third thing we did to make our home more economical was to install a Smart Meter. These are great little gadgets which not only tell you the total energy you’re using but how much this costs. We were able to connect it to our gas and electricity to measure our total energy use and make sure we weren’t using any more than we needed too. It’s amazing to see how much the meter spikes from making a cup of tea – some things however, are a necessity.
There are loads more things that we have done, and are planning to do, in order to make our home more energy efficient. We do feel however that these three things have got us off to a good start. What are your experiences of making your home’s more efficient? We’d love to hear!