James and Tatiana Tanner are landlords who renovated an Edwardian family home in Muswell Hill, bringing its EPC rating from G to B.
If you make your property more energy efficient the benefit is you will reduce your energy usage and costs. We have implemented almost all of these ideas below in our house, our heating bills reduced over 60% from £2500 to £900 pa.
Simple things you can do to make your property warmer and more energy efficient
- Review the timer for hot water – set it to on only when people need to use it (e.g. 3 hours in the morning and evening), turn down hot water temperature to 60C. This can help you save up to 40% on your heating bill.
- Turn down thermostat temperature control unit and boiler control unit by at least 1C (e.g. to 16.5C), and wear a sweater.
- When the heating is on close all windows/doors to stop the heat escaping.
- Bleed all radiators several times a year to improve their heat output.
- Turn off the radiators in rooms not used.
- Arrange a boiler service annually, checking boiler pressure.
- Replace electricity and gas provider for one which produces 100% clean electricity and a proportion of gas from renewable energy (e.g. Good Energy and Ecotricity).
- Draught proof windows, the letter box and all external doors with draught excluders to stop draughts. Fit a thin film on the inside of all windows, alternatively an acrylic sheet is more effective and longer lasting.
- Block chimneys not used to prevent draughts.
- Replace lighting for LED low energy lights
- A quarter of the heat loss at home is through the roof, so add natural breathable insulation in the loft, minimum 27cm thick.
- Large rugs/carpet, the thicker the better, and closed heavy lined curtains reduce heat loss and prevent draughts.
- Ensure ventilation grills, air bricks and window trickle vents are working and clear to stop condensation
- Check your Energy Performance Certificate EPC online, see the recommended ways to improve energy efficiency
Home owner/landlord works
- Fit thermostat controls on all radiators.
- Insulate the hot water cylinder and hot water pipes to reduce heat loss. They should be a minimum 8cm thick, while this improvement should payback within 2 years.
- Fit sensor lighting externally and hallways, so no lights are left on unnecessarily.
- Replace kitchen appliances and central heating boiler for the most energy efficient type possible ( kitchen appliances A +++).
- Arrange a plumber to carry out a powerflush, to remove all the sludge which builds up inside your radiators and radiator pipework, so less heating is needed.
- Replace airbricks with Passyvers which have sheep wool inside them, to stop cold air coming into the property but they let out moisture.
- Install humidistats in bathrooms to automatically remove steam to reduce mould.
- Fit natural breathable insulation on internal or external cavity/solid walls, (on the walls which face the outside only), under the floor on the ground floor and inside of the roof.
- Double/triple glaze windows and glass on external doors – a lower cost option would be to add secondary glazing.
- Install the most efficient PV panels on the roof with battery storage, and use excess energy produced at night.
- Consider installing a heat pump when you need to replace your boiler.
Specialist professional advice including building control is needed to carry out the above major works.
Review your energy consumption on your utility bills, then apply the above tips to reduce your energy usage/bills/ carbon footprint by at least 60% today.
Install the above major works when you next redecorate your property.
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