Energy efficiency in your home is very important and should not be overlooked in 2021. Energy efficiency not only affects your home’s bills, but also its carbon footprint. So, making sure that you make your home is as energy efficient as it can be is vital for 2021. Reading through this article will give you 5 steps towards making this happen!
Replace your old boiler
To start with, you will want to look at replacing your old boiler. If you have a boiler that is older than 15 years, it could have an energy efficiency rating as low as 60%. Meaning that you are losing 40% of all energy that is generated. Modern boilers however are rated at around 90%+ efficiency, meaning at most only 10% of the energy generated will be lost. This is why replacing your old boiler should be the first step.
Choosing your replacement
When it comes to choosing a replacement boiler, it is all about what type of boiler you choose. Make sure that you are choosing the same type of boiler that you currently have. This way your home has enough space to support your new boiler and it will produce enough heat and hot water to support your home.
Make sure that you set yourself a budget and look at a number of different boilers brands and see what each of them has to offer. You will also want to take the warranty into account and see what each company’s warranty can offer you.
When it comes to choosing an installer for your boiler replacement, you will want to make sure you are using a gas safe registered engineer. It is illegal to use a non-gas safe registered heating engineer and it will also breach your warranty.
Switch to LED bulbs
The next item on your list should be switching out your old incandescent bulbs to LEDs. LED bulbs are energy efficient due to the low amount of wattage that they need to power them. They can produce 1,600 lumens, which is the standard brightness of a bulb, using only 20 watts. It takes an incandescent bulb 5x the amount of energy to produce the same light level. LED bulbs also last 20x longer than an incandescent bulb. So, while they cost more, you will be getting a lot more life out of them.
Replace old kitchen appliances
Replacing your old kitchen appliances is next up on your list. The appliances in your kitchen, other than your TV and computer, will be the ones that are running most. A washing machine will run around 270 washes a year, if not more with a larger family. So, making sure that you are replacing an old machine with a new higher efficiency model is important.
When you are replacing the white goods in your kitchen, try to go for the highest energy efficiency rating of A+++. This way you will be getting an appliance that used the least kWh. While this can be expensive it is worth it in the long run.
Draught proof your home
Draught proofing your home is the process of making sure that gaps around your home, doors and windows especially, are sealed so cold air cannot get in. It should take you anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete this depending on how large your home is and if you have done any draught-proofing before.
You will want to start by draught-proofing your windows. This is a simple process and only requires some self-adhesive foam strips. You will then want to open your windows and attach these strips to your window frame so that they are covering the gap between your window and the frame. This way there is no room for cold air to enter your home and hot air to escape.
When it comes to draught-proofing your front and back doors, there are a few more options than adding self-adhesive strips. These are:
- Door brush: You can attach a brush to the bottom of your door that will cover the space between your door and the floor. This way cold air is blocked out.
- Letterbox brush: You can also add a brush to your letterbox that will stop draughts.
- Adhesive strips: If you have any space around the edge of your door frame and your door, you can use adhesive strips as you did for your windows. However, make sure that your door can still shut properly after they have been applied.
If you find yourself struggling with draught-proofing, there are a range of in-depth tutorials online that you can follow.
Insulate your loft and walls
Finally, insulating your loft and walls. If you do not have your loft and roof insulated, you could be losing lots of the heat that you are generating for your home. So, making sure that these areas are insulated is vital.
Up to 25% of all heat that you generate can be lost through an uninsulated loft. You will first want to check if your loft is insulated. To do this you will want to get into your loft with a tape measure and see how thick your insulation is. This is the recommended thickness for each type of loft insulation:
- Glass wool - 270mm (27cm)
- Rock wool - 250mm (25cm)
- Cellulose - 220mm (22cm)
If you find that you have no insulation up there or what you have is not that thickness, it is time to add some more. There are people that you can hire to do this for you if you do not feel confident enough to do it yourself.
Up to 35% of all heat that you generate can be lost through uninsulated walls. Unlike with your loft, you cannot tell how insulated your walls are yourself. You will need to hire a registered installer to check this for you. The installer will drill a small hole in your wall and then use a borescope to see if your walls are insulated or not.
If he finds that your walls are not insulated, then you can hire the same installer to insulate the walls for you. While this will cost a fair bit of money you will see a return on this investment in a few years!
Those are 5 ways that you can begin to increase your energy efficiency in 2021. This is only the beginning of what you can do. So, make sure that you carry on!
partnered post • cc-licensed image by Joel