If you’re thinking of getting out your DIY toolkit or starting a home improvement project such as tiling your bathroom, painting skirting boards or fitting a new kitchen, it might be worth taking a step back and considering how your project could help with your finances first.
Whilst it can be tempting to spend your DIY time cracking open the paint and redecorating your living space, there are plenty of other options available around the house that will enable you to reduce the running costs of your home in the future. By exploring a number of more practical options as opposed to purely cosmetic upgrades, you can ensure you will enjoy the benefits of your improvements for years to come!
To help you plan out the more useful side of home improvements, we’ve put together a short list of DIY projects that can help you actually save money in the future.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways you can save energy around the home bringing savings of up to £35 a year depending on the type of house you live in.
Draughts occur where there are unwanted gaps in the building work of your house, so ensuring you have no outside air flowing through small gaps around doors or windows can help keep the heat inside and reduce the need for central heating use. Draught proofing strips can be applied around your window frames to fill the gap between the window and the frame to ensure the seal is airtight.
For doorways, a simple and cost effective keyhole cover, letterbox flap or hinged flap draught excluder will ensure as much heat is kept inside as possible.
Updating and Keeping Up with Your Boiler
Having a problem with your boiler can be a major issue, especially when everyone is forced to stay indoors, so ensuring you have the correct boiler located in a suitable position can ensure you’re getting the best performance from your unit whilst also keeping your utility costs down.
If you have a smaller home you may want to switch out for a combi boiler that will only heat the water you need, ensuring minimal heat loss and as little fuel waste as possible, without the need for a hot or cold water tank. If you have a larger household however, you may need to look into the possibility of a system boiler that will be better able to deal with high hot water demand. Whilst you will need to have the space available to incorporate a hot water tank, they are also compatible with solar thermal energy, offering the option to reduce your overall energy consumption.
Whilst the type of boiler you have in your home is important, it is also key to ensure you have the boiler placed in the most efficient position for both the look of your home and the boiler’s performance. A boiler shouldn’t just be installed in the easiest point, it needs to be planned out to provide the cleanest and most simple system possible. Electric boilers are easier to hide away but considerations still need to be made to plan out the pipe routes.
Whilst a new boiler could offer you greater space and a way to cut down on your heating costs through renewable energy, it is important to check first with a qualified engineer before undertaking any work.
Adding Underlay to Insulate
If you’re looking to refresh the flooring or carpet in your home, it’s worth taking the time to investigate the best use of insulation in order to help keep your energy bills low in the future.
Uninsulated flooring can lead to losing as much as 10% of your home’s heat, according to the National Energy Foundation, so investing time in finding the correct underlay for your property can ensure significant savings on your energy bills. With the added benefits of improving underfoot comfort, reducing flattening and better sounds insulation, the underlay will also prolong the lifetime of your flooring. There are a number of options available, so before ripping up your carpet or laminate flooring it’s worthwhile looking into which underlay will work best with your flooring of choice.
PU (polyurethane) foam is one of the most popular options of underlay as the PU foam offers excellent comfort whilst also being environmentally friendly by typically being made from recycled foam offcuts. If you’re after more of an upgrade, you can look into underfloor heating underlay that will assist further with heating the home.
Whether you’re looking to cut out draughts, ensure your boiler running as effectively as possible or add underlay to your new flooring, looking into these options will ensure you feel the benefits for years to come.