How can we reduce the energy consumption of heating?

If you want to reduce the energy consumption of heating, you can install a more energy efficient heating system like an air source or ground source heat pump, or if you are not replacing your heating system, the key will be to reduce the heat loss in your home. This will reduce your home’s carbon emissions and avoid bills being higher than they need to. Insulation and draught-proofing are fundamental to this, and there are various simple yet effective ways to do it. For more information outside the scope of this article visit the Switch Plan website.

Making changes

You can make minor adjustments to quickly improve the efficiency of your heating. An insulating jacket on your hot water cylinder could lead to instant savings in heating costs and CO2 emissions, for example. Whether you are after quick fixes or more substantial changes to your home, this post offers some ideas.

Solid wall insulation

Solid walls can be insulated from the inside or the outside. For internal insulation, rigid boards are fitted to the wall or a stud wall is erected, with insulation material stuffed in between. External wall insulation is usually more expensive, but less disruptive to your interior as it involves a special type of render applied to the outside.

Cavity wall insulation

Houses built in the 1990s onwards usually have wall insulation, but older homes may not. A house built post-1920 is likely to have cavity walls, and this presents an opportunity to install insulation. It usually involves an injection of insulating material into the cavity from the outside. The work must be done by a registered installer and it can make a significant difference to heat loss from your home.

Roof and loft insulation

A lot of heat can escape through the roof of an uninsulated home. The type of roof or loft insulation you get must be chosen carefully, taking into account things like:

  • Storage space
  • Damp
  • Loft temperature
  • Roof type
  • Ventilation

In some cases, you can do the installation yourself, but for more complex jobs you may need to find a good installer.

Draught proofing

This is a cheap and highly effective way to reduce heat loss in the home. Draughts are not part of a controlled ventilation system and they let too much air in and too much heat out. The key to draught-proofing is to fill unwanted gaps that are causing this to happen. It’s typically done around windows, doors and chimneys (among other things) and it can be a DIY job or done by a professional. Be aware of the importance of ventilation.

Insulating pipes, tanks and radiators

Insulation on these things can be a quick way to improve the efficiency of a heating system.

  • Hot water tanks: Fit a hot water cylinder jacket to reduce the amount of heat lost.
  • Pipes: Foam tubing can be fitted around hot water pipes and around the boiler and hot water cylinder, further reducing heat loss.
  • Radiator reflectors: These panels can be fixed behind your radiators to reduce the heat that would otherwise go straight into the wall. It is only necessary for radiators mounted to external walls.

The bottom line

The energy consumption of your heating system can be reduced by cutting down on heat loss in the home. This will mean less need to keep heating the home and a reduction in your CO2 output and energy bills. The steps listed in this article cover the simple, instant fixes and the more extensive home improvements you can make – assess what would make the biggest difference for you and what you can afford.

If you are looking to replace your heating system with a renewable heating system then give us a call on 01603 898904 and we would be happy to help.

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