Faced with ever-present headlines about ever-rising energy prices, it’s easy to feel helpless. But, if you’re willing to invest a little time and money in some basic DIY, you and your home can fight back.
One of the best ways to make your home more energy efficient is to insulate the loft. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a quarter of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost through the roof.
They say that laying 27cm of insulation, which is the recommended depth for mineral wool (other materials may vary), in an uninsulated loft will save you up to £180 a year (based on a three-bed semi with gas central heating). Even if your loft has insulation, it may not be thick enough.
Insulating the loft is usually a straightforward DIY job and can make a big difference to how warm your home, particularly the upstairs, feels. Some people can currently qualify for free energy-saving measures, including loft insulation. If this applies to you, do something about it now, in case the schemes are watered down or withdrawn.
Don’t forget to insulate any water pipes and boiler tanks in the loft, as insulating the loft floor will make the loft colder because less heat will get through from the rooms below. One of the hazards of winter is burst pipes, so don’t take any risks.
If your home’s radiators aren’t as powerful as you’d like, bleed them. At the bottom of the door, use a fabric ‘sausage’ draught excluder.
Fit a curtain pole above the door and hang a heavy curtain across it, especially if the door is partially or fully glazed.