Here are 3 home efficiency improvements that could be undertaken by any DIY enthusiast. It’s important when doing any DIY tasks, to risk assess the situation and decide if you are up to the task at hand. If not then it’s best to call in someone who is.
Replacing old incandescent light bulbs with new modern energy efficient lighting is the easiest home efficiency improvement you can do. The The two most common forms of LEL found in domestic properties are:
CFL Light bulbs are four times more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs. They typically use 50-80% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and can last 10 times as long. CFL bulbs come in a variety of sized and brightness depending on lighting requirements. They also fit in standard light fittings, so it’s as simple as changing a bulb.
LED Lighting is even more efficient than CFL lighting. The bulbs are tough and durable and can last up to ten times longer than a CFL bulb. One of the main attractions of LED lighting is that the bulbs stay cool and do not heat up like conventional bulbs. This means during warmer months of the year the lighting will not increase room temperature. This will save money by reducing the need to cool the property. LED bulbs start from as little as £5 with a 30 year lifespan, often covering the initial cost within the first year of purchase.
This cost saving measure might not apply to every home. Tho it is one of the easiest home efficienc improvement you could do yourself. Homes with condensing boilers will have had the HWC removed or disconnected. But for those properties that still have HWC tanks, it’s cheap and easy to make sure it is insulated property and saving you money. Your tank may be fitted with spray foam or may be encapsulated within a metal casing if so, you don’t need to worry about improving your tank.
Your tank may also have an often red insulating jacket. It is currently recommended that the thickness of an insulating jacket should be 80mm. Over time with constant heating and cooling these jackets shrink and deteriorate. Costing as little as £20 and often saving as much within 1 year of use, it is very much worth considering topping up or replacing your HWC insulation.
It is also recommended to insulate any pipes that run hot water from your HWC. Where pipes are accessible it is cheap and easy to insulate them using pipe lagging bought at any DIY store/ builders merchants. The pipe lagging will also protect any copper pipes from frost.
Installing or topping up levels of loft insulation is one DIY home efficiency improvement that could be completed by most and will provide instant results. When it comes to installing your own loft insulation there are primarily two types of materials easily readily available for use.
Mineral Wool or Rockwool as it is more commonly known as is the easiest way of adding insulation to your roof space. Modern Rockwood insulation will provide thermal, fire and acoustic protection to any roofspace. Building control regulations currently state that a total coverage of 300mm of Rockwool must be included in any new build property. Rockwool comes in roles and is very easy to work with. Simply cut to length and stuff into the joists or rafters. Make sure to wear adequate clothing and protection when working with Rockwool and fully follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Foil Backed Insulation Boards / Kingspan or Celotex, as it is more commonly referred to, is also a material easy to work with that provides direct results. Simply measure joists or rafters and cut the Kingspan to suit, With the insulation properties being greater than Rockwool the rule of thumb is that half the thickness of Kingspan is used compared to Rockwool. Therefore building control regulations currently state that 150mm of Rockwool be added to any new build property.
There are some excellent instructional videos on youtube showing you how to use all of these products and complete these simple tasks. With these home efficiency improvements guaranteed to pay for themselves over their lifetime, it’s time to think, can you afford not to implement these changes?