Up to a quarter of the heat in your home can be lost through an uninsulated roof and you could save hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills by insulating your roof and loft space. If your home is built within the last 25 years, it is likely to have wall insulation as standard. If it’s older than this, the likelihood is that the walls aren’t insulated. If you have cavity walls, where two layers of brick are used, leaving a gap in between, you can have cavity wall insulation installed, where the cavity is filled up. If you have solid walls, a layer of insulation board can be placed on top of these, but these then need to be covered with plasterboard or cladding, making it a more expensive process. If you want to install roof, loft or wall insulation, it’s worth checking with your energy firm, as it may offer free insulation if you meet its qualifying criteria.
Poorly fitted windows haemorrhage heat. If you plan on staying in your home for the long-term, it’s worth investing in new double, or even triple, glazed windows. Look for windows glazed in low-emissivity glass, which reflects heat back into the home and an energy efficiency rating of at least A+, A++ is even better. If you don’t want the hassle or expense of replacing the windows, opt for secondary glazing instead, where an additional frame of glass is placed in front of the existing windows. And, for a real budget alternative, try window film, which you tape to your windows and then heat with a hairdryer to cover any gaps – you can’t open the windows with this method, however.
To plug draughty gaps, replace old sealant around windows and doors and run self-adhesive draught sealant tape around door frames. Fit a cover over any exposed door locks and a draught excluder on your letterbox and cat flap. And, if you have a fireplace that is never used and only serves an ornamental purpose, inflate a chimney balloon into the chimney flue to stop heat from escaping up there.
Windows dressings aren’t just for privacy and shutting out daylight, thick, lined floor-skimming curtains are very effective in stopping draughts from entering a room. If you double up with blinds and a pelmet too, you get a further layer of protection.
Whilst it is fashionable to expose the original floorboards or install engineered wooden flooring, stone flooring or tile, solid floors are far less warming than carpet. A thick pile fitted carpet, with underlay, will go a long way to stopping draughts coming up from the floor. If you live in rented accommodation and this isn’t possible, bring in a few thick rugs instead.
And tip No 6. Consider sealing your skirting boards with clear seal. It’s astonishing how much heat is lost through them.