This week is Big Energy Saving Week 2015, a national campaign to encourage us to become more energy efficient and cut our fuel bills, so what better time to make a few energy-saving tweaks to your home! Give these a go...
1. Consider your colours
While you can buy masonry paint that can actually insulate your home from the outside, from a psychological point of view, interior paint can also make a difference. Believe it or not, but the colour of your interior walls can have a huge effect on how warm you perceive your home to be, or even just how warm or cold you feel; the mind is a wonderful thing! Lighter colours such as cream, beige, white and even the paler shades of pink will retain less heat, and should therefore be used in hotter rooms such as a conservatory. At the opposite end of the colour spectrum, warmer hues such as yellow, orange and red are perfect for rooms that tend to get a little chilly to give you a sense of warmth and cosiness.
Fitting roller blinds to single-glazed windows could reduce heat loss by 40%
2. Window dressing
Windows are perfect for letting in light and warmth from the sun during the summer months, but what about during the winter? Although it may be tempting to throw open the curtains and let the limited light pour in, you could actually be losing a great deal of heat energy this way. Research conducted by the Glasgow Caledonian University for English Heritage found that fitting roller blinds to single-glazed windows could reduce heat loss by as much as 40 per cent. With so many stylish designs to choose from, roller blinds are a fantastic option when it comes to keeping heat inside your home.
3. Reflect on lighting
Green lightbulbs are a hot topic right now. And as energy-efficient options such as LEDs and CFLs become cheaper and more readily available, there really is no reason not to make the switch. Did you know that according to the Energy Saving Trust, replacing your halogen light bulbs with LED alternatives could save you as much as £30 a year on your bills?
Another tip for making a room appear lighter is to add large mirrors. Not only will these reflect the light and make your sitting room, dining room or bedroom look bigger and brighter, they also make a fantastic addition to your interior-design theme.
4. Soften your surroundings
While all your efforts may remain heavily focused on insulating your walls when it comes to energy savings, believe it or not, the way your home is furnished can actually have an effect on how efficient it is.
You know that wonderful way you sink into a squashy old armchair? Well that’s due to air bubbles or gaps within the material itself, and while they’re excellent for getting comfortable, they also create perfect natural insulation. This means that soft furnishings around your home such as chairs and sofas will retain heat, meaning that less energy is wasted as it escapes.
5. Fix your flooring
The subject of flooring in regards to energy efficiency can be tricky to navigate. Carpets, although they may feel snug between your toes, have a limited lifespan and you’ll soon find them getting worn. And while hardwood floors or tiles perhaps have greater longevity, they can be a little cold during the winter months. So why not compromise? Adding rugs is the perfect way to bring a touch of comfort and style into your home but can also act as an inexpensive and effective solution to warming your home.
The Carpet Institute advises the thicker the carpet, the greater the thermal insulation provided. And considering that uninsulated floors can result in 10 to 20 per cent of heat lost from a home, be on the lookout for carpets that are at least 1cm thick when redecorating. Don’t forget to add the underlay for extra cushioning and comfort, and that added bit of insulation.
Thanks to Budget Blinds for sharing these tips.