UK energy prices are skyrocketing, but there are easy ways to cut costs.


EEnergy costs went up in April, and this week we had more warnings of what might appear on cards at the end of the year. On Monday, the head of Scottish Power said the price cap could rise from £1,000 to less than £3,000. year.

This is a staggering sum for any household, and many are looking for ways to save money. A study by the Mortgage Advice Bureau found that 1 in 6 households are willing to replace new windows (double or triple glazing), with 1 in 7 more energy efficient and 11% solar It appears that you are willing to install a light panel.

These energy-saving modifications are expensive. However, there are many small improvements that can save you money on heating.

Spring is the perfect time to repair and upgrade your home. Warmer weather dries the sealant faster and gives you longer days to complete the job.

Here is a guide to some of the most popular DIY actions and improvements that can be done easily and safely without the help of a professional.

Foil behind the radiator

Radiator reflector foil reduces heat loss by reflecting warmth back into the room. You can use regular kitchen foil, but a 1.2m roll of radiator reflector foil £1.49 at ToolStationAs part of a store clearance sale.

Installation is also very easy. Just measure the distance between the radiator brackets, cut the foil to fit between them, then slide them into place. Make sure that the reflective surface faces outward. You can use PVA glue or double-sided adhesive tape to hold it in place.

Fitting Radiator Reflective Foil
Radiator reflector foil reduces heat loss by reflecting it back into the room. photo: chimney sheep

Another consideration is the type of paint used for the radiator. Distributor Director Daniel Nezhad british radiator, say that painting the radiator can affect the heat output. He says: A radiator coated with metallic paint was shown. emits less heatOther than similar radiators coated with non-metallic paint under the same conditions.”

bleed radiator

Another way to increase the energy efficiency of radiators is to radiate them. This releases the air trapped inside, which means that the heat is not distributed as evenly as usual.

It’s quick and simple. Start by turning on the heating in your home to find a radiator that needs to bleed. These radiators are either not heating properly (the top half will feel cooler) or they are squeaking.

hand turning radiator bleed valve
Is air trapped inside the radiator? Photo: Panther Media GmbH/Alamy

Then turn off the heating again and wait for all radiators to cool completely. Then you need to place an old towel and a container for water under the radiator that will bleed.

Locate the bleed valve (usually at the top on one end) and use the radiator valve key to loosen it slightly to allow the accumulated air to escape. Valve keys are widely available at hardware stores as 79p (Screwfix). When the hissing stops, you can re-tighten the valve, clear the mess, and turn the heating back on.

sealing windows and doors

windows and doors are responsible About 25% of heat loss At home, but draft protection can save you about 45 pounds per yearAccording to the Energy Saving Trust.

Window weather seal application
About 25% of heat loss in a home occurs through windows and doors. Photo: BanksPhotos/Getty Images

The problems may be obvious, with rattling windows and mailboxes, and the feeling of wind on your skin, but identifying a few drafts requires more careful investigation.

If it’s not sunny yet and you own a cordless or standard hair dryer and long extension leads, one easy way is to go outside and blow on the windows and door frames. You need a helper inside to feel the movement of the air. .

Or buy a smoke pen. The price is £20. Choose a day with good wind but no strong winds and warm the house to normal temperature. Then light a pen and walk around the house. If there is a draft, the smoke will blow away.

Arctic Haze Smoke Pen
Arctic Hayes smoke pen available on Amazon. Photo: Arctic Haze

To solve the problem, buy foam, metal or plastic draft strips or brush seals for sash windows, cut to size and attach around the opening hinges. Use a thicker option for the door.

There are two main types: self-adhesive and nail-on. The former is the fastest and most labor intensive, but does not last long. But in either case, it’s an easy and effective way to block drafts and keep your home warm.

Costs vary by length and brand, but you can save even more on bulk purchases by buying a 9 meter long waterproof strip from Amazon for £2.75 or paying £6.99 for an additional 7 meter thick strip from Screwfix.

plug the chimney

Chimneys can also be a source of ventilation and heat loss. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that installing a chimney draft deflector can save you £65 per year.

The chimney can be easily plugged with a chimney balloon inflated to the size of the hole. You can get it on Amazon for £18.99.

A slightly cheaper option is a non-draft product like Chimney Sheep’s wool at £17.50.

Chimney Volume 12
Chimney Volume 12″ Chimney Draft Excluder. Photo: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chimney-Sheep-chimney-draught-excluder/dp/B009ECTZWY

Both the balloon and draft excluder must first measure the chimney to find the right size product for the chimney. If you decide to use a fireplace, you can easily remove it.

close the curtains

Curtains are an easy way to reduce drafts and retain heat in your home. Depending on the size, the sturdy thermal-lined curtains are available online at Curtains Direct 2 U for £14.99. Argos sells thermal door curtains for £15.

Alternatively, you can purchase thermal linings for existing curtains. It is currently available on Amazon for £3.49. Attaching the lining is definitely a bit tricky. There are two main ways. The idea is to iron fusible header tape to the top of the curtain, then attach a hook to the tape and hang the lining there or sew the lining directly to the material. When sewing the lining, it is necessary to take into account the specific design features of the curtains. For example, if your curtains have holes, make sure the lining does not cover the holes.

For heavier curtains, make sure the posts are strong and secure enough to handle the additional weight. Avoid hanging over radiators as this prevents heat from circulating properly in the room.

delay pipe

Insulated (or lag) pipes help retain heat and prevent damage during the cold winter months.

There are several types of materials used for lagging, from rubber to mineral fibers, but the most popular is polyethylene foam. It’s mainly because of how cheap and easy it is to install. It is basically a tube with a slit on one side and can easily slide out of the pipe. This type of pipe lagging is very cheap. It’s currently on sale at Wickes for just 86p per meter.

Home attic roof space with lags in pipes and cold water storage tanks to reduce the risk of freezing and pipe rupture.
Retard pipes not only help retain heat, but also prevent damage during the cold winter months. Photo: Justin Kase zsixz/Alamy

The downside is that if you don’t have easy access to the pipe, you may have to lift the floorboards or damage the wall to get to the pipe. Fortunately, there are many pipes that can be delayed without taking drastic measures.

If you have a hot water tank, pay attention to the pipe leading to and from the boiler. The central heating pipe to the radiator and the hot water pipe under the sink and behind the bathtub panel should also be delayed as much as possible.

Filling gaps between floorboards

Cold air naturally circulates under the floorboards on the first floor, so ideally the floorboards should be insulated to reduce heat loss. Doing so doesn’t come cheap. You can get it back between £1,300 and £2,700 depending on the price. Types of insulation, the size of the floor and the room. You will also have to lift the floorboards.

An easier DIY option is to fill the small gaps between the boards using silicone-based filler, decorator caulk, or other professional sealant.

Floorboards expand, contract, and move slightly with age and use, so make sure the filler you buy is flexible. Available in a variety of colors to match flooring and suitable for wood and laminates, a tube of No Nonsense sealant costs £4.99 from Screwfix.

Spring and summer are the best times to do this. During the cold winter months, central heating dries the air and shrinks the floorboards, creating unsightly crevices. But filling it means that in warm, sultry weather the material used is often squeezed as the floorboard expands. It is best to fill the floor when the humidity in the house is high.

Attic insulation

According to which?, a properly insulated loft can help save you up to £315 a year on energy costs. As long as the attic is accessible, there are no moisture issues and you don’t have a flat roof, you can install it yourself.

Rolls of mineral wool insulation are readily available in DIY stores. Wickes, for example, sells rolls for £22.50. There are many more green options on the market, from wool to recycled insulation. The latter is cheaper at B&Q at £17.

Start by laying insulation between the horizontal joists that make up the loft floor. Just roll out, being careful not to compress and reduce efficiency. For detailed instructions and advice on how to install safely, see youtube or a hardware store website such as Weeks or home base.

The government-approved Simple Energy Advice website recommends adding a second layer at right angles to cover the joists, raising the insulation to the recommended depth of 270 mm. Always remember to wear a mask, goggles and gloves when handling material.

Some energy suppliers offer free loft insulation to eligible households under the official Energy Company mandated plan designed to reduce carbon emissions and address fuel poverty.

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