Energy Conservation & Insulating Homes: 4 Simple Tips

This is a special guest post by Ben Saffer, a UK-based green living advocate. 4 good tips for saving energy, the environment, and money.

window blinds

We all know that properly insulating your home can go a long way towards saving energy and cutting your household bills, but many solutions — loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and double glazing — can break the bank to implement. That shouldn’t be an excuse to keep on wasting energy though.

So, if you want to keep the heat in next winter, without spending lots of money, here are 4 quick tips for you:

Tip #1: Conserve in the conservatory

Around 25% of heat lost from your home goes out through the roof and conservatories (sun-rooms, if you speak American) are one of the worst culprits. Conservatory blinds can absorb heat and stop it from escaping. The right fabric will continue to let natural light through at the same time. In the rest of the house, consider investing in heavy curtains or Roman blinds, and make sure you open them during the day — this will let the sunlight (if there is any!) warm the room, and closing them when it gets dark will ensure this heat stays in due to the heavy fabric.

Tip #2: Pipe dreams

Poor insulation around your pipes and boiler can result in substantial heat-loss. To combat this, put foam covers around hot water pipes to prevent loss of heat as the water travels. You can also insulate the spaces between pipes by stuffing steel wool in the gaps and filling with fiberglass or foam insulation. You can buy cheap insulation jackets for your boiler, stopping heat from escaping and ensuring it doesn’t have to work as hard to heat the water up.

Tip #3: Draft dodgers

If you don’t have double-glazing, use weather-stripping around the doors and windows. A roll of the stuff only costs a few dollars, and will help seal up all those annoying cracks that cause draughts. If you don’t already have draught excluders at the base of any external doors, place them there — you’ll be surprised at how much difference it makes.

Tip #4: Hot Hatch

Place a blanket on fold-down stairs leading to the attic before closing the hatch — making sure the blanket is touching the edges. This provides a seal. If you have an ordinary hatch without stairs, spray foam or fiberglass around it to insulate. This will stop some heat from getting into an un-insulated attic and then escaping out through the roof.

Although these changes don’t seem like much, when you add them together they can make a big difference to the temperature of your home — and will help you to save money and energy during the cold winter months.

Photo via Jim was already taken

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