Creating a sustainable home Heating and insulation
One of the best ways of reducing the amount of energy you use is to make sure that when you heat your home, as little as possible is wasted. The areas where most heat is lost are:
- Walls 35%
- Roof 25%
- Draughts 15%
- Floors up to 15%
- Windows 10%
You can make big long-term savings without spending huge amounts of money.
- Insulating your wall £135–£475 per year
- Insulating your loft £25–£175 per year
- Excluding draughts about £55 a year
- Insulating the floor about £60 a year
- Replacing all your single glazed windows with double glazing about £160 a year
Insulating your loft is the most cost effective way to go green as it is cheap or free to install and saves up to £175 a year. To find out if there is an offer for you, ss our guide to free insulation offers.
To be truly sustainable, use natural insulation such as recycled paper or wool. However, this can be more expensive than standard insulation made of fiberglass. Read our guide to loft insulation for more details on the different types of loft insulation.
You can save money by ensuring that any hot water cylinders are lagged in the best insulation jacket you can afford.
When installing a new boiler, you normally have to go for a condensing boiler. These are far more energy-efficient, saving up to 32% on your bills.
Another way to make your home more sustainable is to switch to a ‘green’ energy supplier, such as Green Energy or Ecotricity. Use Which? Switch to help identify other suppliers and to see how the green suppliers scored in our energy satisfaction survey.
This would mean that any electricity you use in your home would come from a sustainable resource, such as wind or tidal power, cutting carbon emissions. If you have an open fire then choose wood as a sustainable source of fuel.
If you want to go all the way to ensure that your home is sustainable, then you need to go for sustainable heating fuel.
For instance, you can install a special boiler fuelled by biomass, which comes in small pellets. For domestic use, these pellets are made from wood, but can be made from other types of vegetation, including sugar cane or even sewage.
These boilers can cost five times or more the price of a normal device but can cut fuel bills by £100-700 a year depending what fuel you are replacing (highest savings for LPG and electricity).