It’s autumn, it’s the UK… and therefore – inevitably and obviously – it’s freezing. So what have you done to winterise your house? Or were you just planning to have the heating on full blast every day (which is both expensive and ecologically unsound)?
Insulation is key and can make a real impact on your fuel bills. Indeed, the government estimates that a combination of sensible insulation and draught exclusion on doors and windows could cut fuel bills by up to £180 every year. All UK homes are eligible for at least 50 per off cavity and loft insulation (and pensioners and households on benefits receive free insulation), so financially it’s the smart thing to do. Lagging pipes and tanks can also keep your water hotter and reduce heat loss.
When looking for lagging, choose from mineral wool blankets, hemp, flax or sheep wool – although some products are more expensive than others. Check out a material’s worth by assessing its 'R- value', too (the higher the R-value, the more effective the product).
And here’s a thought to conjure with from the Energy Saving Trust: if everyone in the UK installed 270mm loft insulation we could save nearly four million tonnes of CO2 every year.
One last thing: while most heat is lost through walls (around 33 per cent, say the National Insulation Association), floor insulation shouldn't be overlooked. So break out the sealant gun and get filling in those gaps under the skirting and between the boards.