Member Article

Business leader gives property insulation advice ahead of energy price hikes

It comes as no surprise that homeowners are continuing to seek ways to make their homes more efficient as the government pushes towards its net zero carbon targets.

And with looming fears around Ofgem price increases heading our way in October, homeowners will be keen to ensure their energy costs are kept in check ahead of the colder months. In fact, the term ‘energy loss’ and ‘cheap energy provider’ has regularly reaching peak popularity in Google searches over the last 90 days.

Here, Keith Bastian, CEO of clean energy supplier Outfox the Market and electric home heating provider Fischer Future Heat, explains the six factors that most significantly affect efficiency and energy loss in our homes.

  1. Single Glazing Whether they are open or closed, windows allow a substantial amount of heat to escape, particularly if they are old, or aren’t double glazed. These days, single glazing is simply too thin and causes a loss of both energy and money.

Double glazing is now an essential feature of any home that wishes to improve its efficiency. Double-glazed windows function as to keep more heat in, with the second, thicker layer of glazing, enabling the window to trap heat inside as opposed to letting it escape.

Our own research shows that double glazing can result in a 10% saving as energy consumption is reduced to 9.4kW. Although the typical house loses around 10% of its heat from windows, a home with single glazed windows lose up to 70% of heat and energy.

Not to mention the condensation and potentially damp issues that single glazing can cause. Double glazing reduces bills and condensation, limits heat loss, and increases comfortability. It’s a win-win.

  1. Poor Insulation Walls, loft, and flooring – poor insulation in all or any one of these areas are a huge contributing factor to energy loss within the home.

Almost 25% of heat is lost through the roof a poorly insulated home. This something relatively simple and straightforward to rectify, and the same goes for walls and flooring too.

Insulation can come in a variety of different forms, such as; cavity wall insulation, floor insulation and loft insulation.

Where possible, homeowners should install adequate insulation to ensure that their homes are as efficient as possible. Homeowners may find themselves wasting large amounts of energy due to heat loss without suitable insulation.

The Benefits of Insulation:

• Provides a comfortable temperature all year round • Limits noise pollution • Improves general home and energy efficiency • Reduces energy bills • Reduces carbon footprint as less energy is wasted • Limits condensation

Loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and floor insulation could all equate to a saving of 20% each. If a homeowner chooses to install all three types, they could be saving themselves an impressive 60% on their energy bills.

  1. Smart Meters and Thermostats If homeowners aren’t using their smart meters correctly, this can also cause an increase in energy loss.

Firstly, homeowners should ensure that their smart meters are set up correctly and are situated somewhere with good signal in order for the meter to produce accurate readings. Not only that, but they should also ensure that they remain up to date, particularly if they have switched providers, as the smart meter may lose its functionality and lead to inaccurate readings.

And when it comes to thermostats, it is wise to have one in each room so that the temperature can be tailored accordingly.

If homeowners are limited to just one thermostat for the entire house, then rooms will be being heated that don’t need it, or vice versa.

A thermostat in each room will allow homeowners to create the perfect temperature for their needs, whilst bringing in additional savings. Put simply, what’s the point of heating a room you are not in? There isn’t one, simply leading to wasted energy and money.

  1. Inefficient Heating Systems Many homes with outdated and inefficient heating systems may find themselves experiencing energy loss throughout their home. This inefficient use of energy can lead to higher energy bills and also leads to increased carbon emissions.

Gas central heating systems are significantly less efficient than electric alternatives. And with sustainability at the forefront of people’s minds, as well as seeking ways to minimise energy loss, switching energy sources is the best way to do that.

Modern electric radiators help to control the temperature in each room, particularly when used in conjunction with thermostatic control. These heaters are highly adaptable and respond dynamically to any sudden changes in air temperature, minimising energy waste.

Electricity is an effective renewable source of energy too, and if a homeowner installs solar panels, they can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and improve their overall efficiency.

  1. Doors Similar to windows, doors can also be a common cause of energy loss. Doors made of thin material, or with cracks in may need replacing in order to prevent your home from losing energy and heat.

Also consider glass doors – remember that glass isn’t the best insulator, particularly if it isn’t double glazed, and so it may be a good idea to consider a door with minimal (or no) glass as a feature.

However, if your doors are in fairly good condition but you still want to find new ways of preventing energy loss, then a simple draught excluder may just do the trick. You can also make sure your windows, lofts and floorboards are draught-proof to further increase your home’s efficiency.

  1. Lights Leaving the lights on when they are not needed is one of the most common causes of energy loss in the home. Whilst turning lights off when leaving the room may be incredibly simple, research from a national survey shows that 21% (an estimated 14 million) of people regularly leave lights on when leaving the house. Something as simple as switching lights off can save homeowners up to £200 each year.

As well as wasting energy, leaving lights on can cause incredible financial losses as well as having a significant impact on air pollution rates. Leaving unnecessary lights on in our homes account for a devastating 26,880,000kg of carbon dioxide emissions per day. Not only do all of the above result in wasted energy and loss, but also negatively impacts the environment, and puts a rather hefty dent in our pockets, too.

So by following the above tips, homeowners can ensure this autumn can be a little more cost efficient on their energy needs.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Fischer Future Heat .

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