Category - Green Homes
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Will Scholfield, Engineer

3 Oct : Updated 17 May ● 6 min read

How to make your home more energy efficient

Energy efficiency is a big talking point at the moment. Whether you're trying to reduce what you use to save money or are conscious of how much energy you use and its impact on the environment, improving your home's energy efficiency doesn't hurt.

To help you save energy and reduce carbon emissions, here are 10 ways to improve your home's efficiency, with tips for all budgets.

10 ways to improve home efficiency

1. Insulate your home

As well as keeping the cold at bay, insulating your home helps to reduce heat loss too. Research from the Energy Saving Trust found that floor insulation can save you up to £85 a year. While having cavity wall insulation installed could save you up to £500 per year, depending on the type of home you live in. 

Other types of insulation that will help you use less energy include roof and loft insulation and solid wall insulation.

2. Upgrade your windows

Over time, window units, fittings and sealings can start to break down, so hot air from your home can be replaced by chilly air from outside. To make your home more energy efficient, inspect your windows to see where any sealant may be decaying and if there is any noticeable wear on the window frames and panes.

Alternatively, you may need to upgrade your windows completely. Typically, windows will last around 25-30 years, so you could be nearing the end of their lifespan. If you buy new windows, invest in low emissivity (low-E) double or triple glazing; these windows have thin coatings of metal oxide that help reflect heat into your home.

3. Switch to LED lighting

Replacing traditional light bulbs with more efficient LED bulbs, which last longer, will help you to consume less energy and save money. Unlike the energy-saving light bulbs of old, LED ones offer full brightness as soon as you turn them on.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, switching from incandescent to LED lightbulbs can save the average household up £15 per bulb per year.

4. Use smart technology

Implementing smart technology in your home will help you to get the most out of your energy usage. Smart thermostats, for example, are designed so you can control your heating from wherever you are.

Your heating system significantly impacts your fuel bills, especially in winter, so it makes sense to use smart thermostats that give you greater control over when your heating comes on and at what temperature.

Additionally, smart light bulbs and plug sockets are available to control the amount of light and electricity you use. Better still, you can use a smart meter to understand how you use energy - this will help you identify areas for improvement and reduce your energy use even further.

5. Keep the air in

Sealing gaps in windows, walls, and doors will help to keep heat in your home, so you'll feel warmer and need to rely on the heating less. Draught proofing, in particular, is a cost-effective way of saving energy, and you could knock up to £50 a year off your bills.

6. Buy energy-efficient appliances

Check the energy efficiency labels on products when shopping for white goods like washing machines, fridges or dishwashers, or even a new boiler. These stickers tell you how effectively the appliances work and indicate how much you'll spend by using them - the lower the efficiency rating, the higher the cost of running.

7. Avoid standby

When you've finished watching TV, it's easy to press the ‘standby’ button on the remote and go and do something else. In doing this, we aren’t actually switching our TV sets off, meaning they still use electricity when not in use. This is why digital devices like TVs, game consoles and microwaves are sometimes called energy vampires. 

The Energy Saving Trust's 'Powering the Nation' study found appliances and technology left on standby use between 9 and 16% of our total energy consumption, so on an energy bill of £500, this could be as much as £80. That's almost £1,000 per year.

8. Opt for renewable energy sources

If you want to make your home more energy efficient, one of the best things you can do is start generating your own energy. Using solar panels to capture the sun's energy can reduce your reliance on energy suppliers and get energy from the national grid. It can generate savings of up to 90% on your fuel bills.

9. Use natural light

As well as generating electricity from solar panels, you should make the most of the daylight by keeping curtains and blinds open. This reduces the need for artificial lighting and makes your home more efficient - you'll save money on your energy bills, too.

10. Reduce your water usage

Having a more energy-efficient home isn't all about keeping your home warm; you should also try to change how you use water. Reducing how much water you use can significantly affect your bills, too.

Instead of using lots of energy to fill the bath with hot water, take a shower. It is estimated that a 10-minute shower uses around 110 litres of water, while it can take about 315 litres to fill a bath.

Making other minor changes, like turning the tap off when you brush your teeth, only using the dishwasher when it's completely full and fixing leaking taps, will all help you to reduce how much water you use.

The benefits of having an energy-efficient home

You can save money and reduce your carbon footprint by implementing some of the energy efficiency measures above. As well as making for a healthier planet, the benefits of having an energy-efficient home include:

1. Increased property value

Home buyers are increasingly more conscious of their environmental impact (and how much they will spend on bills). If you've already taken steps to boost your home's energy efficiency, i.e., by installing new windows or solar panels, this will stand you in good stead when it comes to selling your home.

Before you sell or rent your home, you'll need to order an energy performance certificate (EPC) for your home too. The EPC rating offers insight into how energy efficient your home currently is and how efficient it could be.

2. You’ll save money

With fuel bills so high and the cost of living crisis stretching our budgets even further, it’s important that we save money where we can. By using energy more efficiently, your appliances reduce the amount of energy your home uses and, in turn, save money on your energy bills. 

3. Cheaper home insurance

Your property's energy efficiency can affect how much home insurance you pay, with some providers even offering discounts to homeowners who have energy-efficient appliances, doors or windows.

Living more efficiently with BOXT

Whether you're looking for advice on reducing your carbon footprint, need your boiler servicing or are ready to produce your own energy with solar installation, we're here to help.

We install smart technology for free, too. So, if you want to modernise your heating controls and improve your home's efficiency, get a smart thermostat from BOXT, and we'll do the rest.

For more tips on living more efficiently, check out the BOXT blog. Here, you'll find information on everything, from how to reduce your gas usage to the most energy-efficient towns and cities.

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