5 Energy Saving Home Improvements

By Jamie Orr
Date 12/08/2022
3 energy saving home improvements

With bills at an all-time high, energy-saving home improvements are more important than ever. They allow you to minimise your energy use going forward to save yourself money, as well as reducing your environmental footprint.

So, what can you actually do? Read on as we look at five of the best options…

Energy-saving home improvements

1.   Keep an eye on energy-efficiency ratings

With the cost of living rising and wages failing to keep up, we’re not going to recommend everyone forks out on new energy-efficient appliances. However, it’s definitely worth keeping in mind when your old appliances need replacing.

Whether it’s a TV, refrigerator or washing machine, all appliances are tested for how much energy they use – and rated from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient. While it might cost fractionally more to get a better-rated appliance, it will pay off as you use it throughout the years.

That’s certainly the case for boilers, which actually have to be A-rated nowadays with an efficiency of 90% or more. That makes a huge difference compared to an old model, which could be as low as 60%. So, if there’s one appliance you do want to fork out on, this should be the one.

2.   Try renewable heating

Another energy saving home improvement is to swap your source of heating altogether. The most popular alternative is the air source heat pump, which is seen as the successor to the conventional gas boiler. It works using the same principle as a refrigerator, but in reverse.

After being absorbed from the air outside, a liquid refrigerant is compressed to increase its temperature, with heat released as it condenses. That’s then used to heat water, radiators or underfloor heating in your home.

While they do use a bit of power, air source heat pumps typically have coefficient of performance (CoP) of three. That means they provide 3kW of energy for every 1kW they use. The result is much lower energy bills without compromising on comfort.

Again, we understand that swapping your heating source might seem expensive. However, the government does have a Boiler Upgrade Scheme which can cover a significant amount of the cost. If you’re upgrading a gas boiler to an air source heat pump or ground source heat pump, you could be eligible for a grant of up to £7,500. Alternatively, you can apply for as much as £5,000 off the cost of a biomass boiler.

There are a few terms and conditions, such as what you’re replacing and your Energy Performance Certificate, so it’s worth checking your eligibility on the government’s website.

3.   Insulate your walls

The majority of your home’s thermal envelope is made up by bricks and mortar. But all too often, walls are ignored when it comes to insulation. People assume their cavity wall insulation from yesteryear will do the job. Or they simply leave their home uninsulated, especially if it has solid walls.

The solution? Wall insulation that’s breathable, thermally efficient and discreet. Yes, such a thing does exist. SprayCork is an innovative cork-based coating that’s spray applied to walls in an impressively thin layer.

Despite having little to no impact visually and spatially, it can reduce your heating bills by 15%. Choose from external wall insulation as an alternative to render or an internal coating with a plaster overskim.

4. Replace your windows and doors

Windows and doors are a key part of your home’s thermal envelope. But all too often, they’re the weak link that lets heat escape from a building. Even if your walls are well insulated, heat will be drawn to an inefficient window or door.

There are a few ways to tell whether your windows and doors need work. The simplest is standing near them to see if it feels colder than the rest of the room. You can also hold a flame around the edges of your fixtures to see if cold air is getting through (the flame will flicker because of the draught).

When it comes to energy-saving home improvements, the most obvious route is to replace your windows or doors with modern, efficient alternatives. Swapping single glazing for double glazing can have a massive impact on heat retention. But so too can swapping old double-glazed windows for new well sealed units.

If you live in a heritage property or just don’t want to replace your windows altogether, consider secondary glazing. This achieves the same effect as double glazing, installing a secondary panel on the interior recess of your existing windows. Like new windows, it can have a big impact on heat retention so you can spend less money cranking the heating up.

5 Energy Saving Home Improvements

Switch to energy-efficient lights

Compared to other energy-saving home improvements, lighting might seem trivial. But every little helps, especially in a cost-of-living crisis.

While it’s easy to forget about energy efficiency when you switch a dud bulb, being a little more proactive could leave a bit more in your pocket. Above all else, this switch is easy to make and definitely affordable.

According to Ideal Home, an efficient LED light would cost just over 20% of an incandescent or halogen bulb each hour. Now think of how many bulbs are in your home and how many hours are in the year.

On top of that, LED bulbs last longer than their predecessors. That means less money spent on bulbs – not to mention less hassle having to replace them. Most importantly, modern energy-efficient lighting provides plenty of light, so there’s no compromise on brightness.

Get started on your energy-saving home improvements

If you’re looking to make energy saving home improvements and reduce the cost of your bills, CorkSol can help. We have a national network of contractors fully trained in the application of SprayCork for wall insulation.

Our cork-based coating can provide impressive insulation to reduce your energy bills by 15%. Crucially, it does so without the bulk of alternative wall insulation types, which eat away at internal space or require external fixtures to be adjusted. It’s also breathable, noise-reducing and damp-resistant as a bonus!

Contact our team today, who can put you in touch with your local approved applicators for a no-obligation quote. Call 01484 442420 or email [email protected].

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