You’ve just had your new gas appliance fitted by a Gas Safe registered engineer to the highest standard, but what’s next? Now, you need to consider ways you can keep the heat (and the £s) inside your home.
There are many ways you can keep your house warm, so let’s take a look at a few:
One of the biggest reasons you lose heat from your home, are those small gaps between doors, windows and perhaps even the floorboards that let cold draughts of air into your warm home. Look at them as little gaps where you pour your money every time you turn your heating on and you’ll soon find as many as you can to plug up!
For doors, it’s best to make sure outward facing doors are well maintained and made of a suitable and sturdy material. One of the first places to wear on your (wooden or metal) front door is the bottom, where water collects. Many doors have a ‘sill’ at the bottom to stop water from collecting there; check that yours does too. As doors age, they can shrink and subtly change shape, especially if they are wood. This means that small gaps can appear around the frame and the seal may not be as good as it once was. To combat this, you can get small strips of foam to place between the door and the frame to help form a good seal. This is a trick that also works well for internal doors to keep the heat in individual rooms.
Another good tip is to put a draught excluder strip (often made using bristles) at the bottom of your front door to stop the wind from forcing its way in. You should also pay attention to your letterbox, as a loose box flap means the wind will get in and your valuable heat will get out. For double glazed front doors, the above shouldn’t be a problem, as the plastic won’t rust and a good seal is made between the frame and the door; just be sure that your letterbox is secured!
Top and Bottom Loss
Think of your own body. Most body heat is lost through your head, and it’s really difficult for some people to keep their feet warm. To save on your gas bills, you also need to consider your home’s head (roof) and feet (floors). Loft insulation is a must if you’re to stop your pound notes floating away into the atmosphere. On ground level, you can also make a big difference to heat loss and this is a place that many people overlook.
It is essential that air be able to flow beneath your house if you have a suspended timber floor, so there are small air vents that allow fresh air from outside to get into the gap between the floorboards and the foundations. Most newer homes have concrete floors, but it can be good to insulate these also. If you have rooms above places that are not heated, it may be a good idea to insulate them, as they will also loose heat. Good quality underlay can also do a great job, and could kill two birds with one stone if you do the right research before making your purchase. For your roof, you need to get some good quality insulation up there because as we all know, heat rises.
Inside your house, you can do several things relating to your windows and walls to stop heat from escaping.
Aside from cavity wall insulation, having more than one layer of wallpaper on your ceilings and walls can help in the fight against heat loss. Just sit in an unheated room, then cover your legs with some paper and see what a difference it makes. Double glazing is a popular way of stopping heat loss through wooden window framed single pane windows, but what can you do in the meantime? There are products, rather like cling film that you can put around your windows that make them into ‘double glazed’ windows. You could achieve the same effect using cling film, but even better is bubble wrap. With bubble wrap, you lose the ability to use the window, although you’ll still get light through it, so it’s not a tactic you’d want to use on all of your windows, but if there’s a room or a few windows you don’t use, it may still be a good option. Just remember to give the rooms a good airing out every so often.
The front door is a huge area, and when open, it acts like the plughole in your bath, sucking out all of your warm air. Imagine having a door like that on the International Space Station? All of the oxygen would be sucked out and the astronauts would all die! To stop this from happening, they use air locks as a barrier between them and space. I’m sure you’re familiar with films like Alien and Armageddon? Why not make your own airlock? We call them ‘porches’ on earth. A porch will make your house more secure and create a barrier stopping all of your heat from being sucked out into the street.
I know the best thing about gas central heating is that it heats the whole of your house from a single gas boiler, but there’s a trick you can use to reduce how much gas you use. If you’re not using a few of your rooms, how about turning off the radiators in those rooms? Allow the heat to be concentrated in the areas you need it most and save energy!
These are just a few things you could try, so why not share your own energy saving tips in the comments section below? We look forward to hearing from you!