Winters seem to be colder, summers seem to be hotter, and between it all, there is the issue of rising utility costs and a worsening climate structure. Though governments and large corporations will have to be the lead in tackling these global issues, you can do your part right at home and start saving at the same time. Ensuring that your property is more efficient and better at both retaining and keeping out heat will help you live far more comfortably throughout the year.
The good news is that the upgrades and changes cover a range of budgets, so even if you can’t splurge on one of the more premium solutions, there are still a few budget and even DIY options available that will help you enjoy a warmer and more comfortable home.
Start By Understanding Your Property
One of the best ways to get started with improving the efficiency of your property is to first get a baseline. You can get a heat map made up for your home, and this will help you understand just where your property is losing heat the most. This isn’t the only way to improve the heating and efficiency of your property, but it is one of the best places to start.
Improving the Insulation
Improving your insulation will depend on the age of your property and also its needs. Older homes often experience the biggest benefit when it comes to insulating their property, particularly around windows and exterior walls. Despite common belief, you won’t often need to insulate your roof unless you intend to convert it into livable space. Always prioritize other areas first.
Upgrade Your Heating
One of the best ways to improve how warm your property is and save is by improving your heating system and even upgrading it entirely if it is old or exceptionally inefficient. When looking to replace them, always consider the longevity and efficiency of your options. Heat pumps, for example, have a very long lifespan. But, how long do heat pumps last?This is something still to consider.Taken care of with some simple maintenance, they can last between 20 to 25 years – about the same lifespan as your roof. Make sure to learn as much about this as possible before replacing yours.
Decoration as Insulation
Rugs, curtains, tapestries, these all offer insulation, and all of these are unique, budget-friendly ways to improve the heating and efficiency of your home, especially if you need to wait before you can get started on any of the bigger budget items in this list.
For example, if you need to upgrade your back door as it lets in a lot of drafts and cold air, you can actually install a thick insulating curtain over it instead. This is used in many older homes that experience this and is a common feature that you can put up during the colder months and take down for summer.
Use Landscaping and Your Garden
If you live on an end terraced property, or alternatively in a detached home, then you have plenty of exterior walls that are exposed to the elements. One of the best ways to improve the insulation of your property then is to actually use coniferous shrubbery and trees to protect your home from wind. Using landscaping to insulate property is as old as time, with many cultures in the past building homes below ground level and encouraging grasses to grow on their rooves to keep out the wind and rain.
You don’t have to go to such levels, but planting shrubbery or trees that don’t lose their leaves along your walls that get the most wind exposure can help reduce the amount you need to heat your home.
Finally, aim to be cozy. Blankets, slippers, sweaters, and the like are all very useful ways to stay warm in colder months. By using this as the first step, you can use your heating more sparingly and effectively and, in turn,save a lot on your utility bills.
Don’t Forget Cooling
Something that many forget when their main priority is heating their home is that many of the same improvements that keep it warm can make it too hot in summer. The good news is that insulation works to keep hot air where you want it, which could be outside of your house.
The same applies to investments like heat pumps, which can actually be used to cool your property as well.
When it comes to opening windows, safety is going to be a priority, so planting sharp or prickly plants (that also tend to not drop their leaves, making them ideal for winter insulation) under your windows is an easy low-budget security measure as well.