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POSTED 29 January 2016 Guides and Top Tips

Ultimate Energy Saving Tips for the Home

energy saving guide 

We’ve compiled some of the best energy saving advice for homeowners to ensure your properties are energy efficient and cost-effective especially during winter.

Whether you own a range of properties or just the one home, you’ll always be on the lookout for savings ideas. During winter when the days can be bitterly cold, it is important to ensure they are kept warm to create a comfortable atmosphere. This can often ramp up energy costs though, so forming an energy efficient home is important to keep costs down.

With a little bit of work, any building old or new can improve its energy usage. Protect your properties against the elements with the following energy-saving tips suitable for ensuring every area of your home is highly efficient.

Where Heat is Lost

Approximate Percentage










Roof Improvements

Heat rises and around 25% of energy is lost through the roof of any property which isn’t properly insulated. That means around a quarter of the money you’re spending on heating your home is (almost) literally flying out of the roof.

Depending on your type of property, installing loft insulation can save between £135 and £240 on bills a year along with 550 to 990kg of CO2.

Installing loft insulation can be done by yourself where access is easy and there are no damp or condensation problems. Even if you choose to pay someone else, the amount spent will be recouped within one to two years depending on the property type and your energy usage will significantly drop.   

Expert tip: Insulate any pipes and water tanks in the loft as there will be cooler air above the newly laid insulation, making them more likely to freeze.

Wall Insulation

About a third of heat is lost through uninsulated walls. Most properties built in the past 25 years have been constructed with wall insulation built in to combat this, but if your home is older, it is unlikely to have this. There are two types of walls, cavity and solid, both of which can be properly insulated.

The majority of homes built in the last 100 years feature cavity walls, where the external wall has two layers with a gap in between. This can be easily filled where the cavity is 50mm or wider, meaning you would save between £90 and £275 and 360 to 1,100kg of CO2 emissions.

Solid walls which are usually found on houses built pre-1920 are more expensive to insulate internally or externally. Insulation boards are fitted to the interior wall while externally a layer of insulation material is fitted and covered with render or cladding. This costs more to install but can save between £145 and £455 along with 610 to 1,900kg of CO2.

Expert tip: Install internal insulation boards at the same time as having other decorating work done, room by room to spread and reduce the costs.


Even though heat rises, around 15% of heat is still lost through the floor. Only ground floors and those above-unheated spaces (such as a garage) will benefit from insulation.

Suspended floors can be insulated from below, where the property has a cellar, or above by pulling up floorboards to insert material into the gaps.

Solid concrete or screed floors lose less heat but still benefit from insulation. Lay rigid insulation with chipboard and the floor covering on top; this raises the floor level meaning certain sockets and skirting boards may need refitting. Either floor insulation type can save between £30 and £95 and 120 to 380kg of CO2.   

Expert tip: Put in a carpet or rug to provide extra comfort, heat and insulation to your floors.

Draught Protection

The final 25% of heat lost in properties is through windows and doors. Windows can let essential heat escape during winter and cool air in summer, increasing energy usage with few warming or cooling benefits. 

Double glazed windows are vital and a vinyl frame is more efficient than an aluminium one as it doesn’t conduct anywhere near as much heat. Use foam seal and brush strips to cover any other gaps letting out the air around the window.

Other areas to draught-proof include doors, keyholes, letterboxes, fireplaces and skirting boards. Eco-flaps can be bought to fit many letterboxes and increase airtightness along with keyhole covers that drop a flap over the hole to keep air out or in. A foam and brush strip along the edge and bottom of doors also improves efficiency without impacting on the door’s movement.

Expert tip: Draw the blinds or curtains at dusk to reduce heat loss by 13 and 17%, with curtains the slightly better insulators.

Heating Systems

Over half the money spent on energy in the average home goes towards heating the property and creating hot water.

Therefore having an efficient heating system in place will be a cost-effective choice for homeowners. Using renewable energy sources such as solar power reduces your carbon footprint but can be costly to install, although the energy savings soon recoup this amount.

All gas boilers made after 2005 are condensing boilers which are a lot more efficient, recovering more heat than older models. It is always a lot more efficient to only have your heating turned on when you need it, rather than the myth that maintaining a low heat all day is most efficient. If you live in an old house then installing a brand new boiler is a necessity.

Expert Tip: Insulate the condensate pipe, as this can freeze in winter and stop your boiler from working.

Water Saving

A lot of energy is wasted heating up and using too much water in many households, with the level of water used by individuals having increased by 1% a year since 1930.

Various bits of energy saving advice include using eco shower heads which use significantly less water and heating energy while still providing a clean and relaxing experience.

More efficient washing machines and dishwashers can be found on the market too. Common sense energy saving tips such as only boiling a kettle with the amount of water required help too.

Where water is heated by a boiler, adding a jacket to it will increase its efficiency throughout the year at a minimal cost.  

Expert Tip: Fit flow regulators to shower heads and taps so not as much water is wasted down the sink when washing or brushing teeth.

Efficient Lighting

Levels of natural lighting may be at their lowest throughout winter, resulting in the need to turn many on indoors, but there’s no need to go overboard on energy consumption.

Replacing traditional halogen and incandescent bulbs with LED ones can cut down on the amount of energy used by up to 90%, having a big impact on your bills.

Cosy atmospheres can still be created as many have dimmable options. You could change every light bulb in your home at once or go room by room. LED bulbs last a lot longer than traditional ones as well.

Expert Tip: Use a sensor or timer for all external lights so they are not on for longer than is necessary.