As the country looks into the winter months, many people will struggle to heat their homes while keeping up with increased costs.
Improving your home’s Building Energy Rating (BER) can make it warmer, reduce energy bills, reduce your environmental impact, and even increase your property’s resale value.
According to latest Irish Independent/Real Estate Alliance (REA) Average Home Price Index, homes with the highest A and B energy ratings are now selling for 12 percent more than low-rated properties nationwide.
With that in mind, here are seven ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home this winter.
Insulate your home
For many people, this is the obvious first step in improving your home’s energy rating.
Improving the insulation of your attic and walls will keep valuable heat in your home. This is sometimes referred to as the “fabric first” approach.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) says that without insulation, up to 30 percent of the heat in your home escapes through the walls and another 30 percent through the roof.
Although insulation can be expensive, it can add value to your home and reduce the cost of future heating bills.
SEAI recommends aiming for a B2 rating as it gives you the greatest energy savings for the money invested.
Replace or seal old windows
Older windows with inefficient glazing can allow large volumes of warm air to escape from your home.
Homeowners can reseal old windows to improve this, or replace the windows with newer, better rated windows.
Replacing windows has a significant impact on your heating bills.
Draft seals fitted to windows, doors and loft or attic hatches improve airtightness and thermal comfort, reduce heat loss, improve soundproofing and reduce dust intrusion.
People can also reduce drafts in their home by replacing old air vents to encourage better airflow and by installing a balloon chimney when the fireplace is not in use.
Once the insulation is in place, consider replacing old, inefficient boilers with a heat pump that uses renewable energy.
According to SEAI, a home should have low heat loss to ensure the heat pump is working efficiently.
Households should have their boiler serviced at least once a year. Maintaining your boiler will increase its lifespan and efficiency, keep your home warm and could also reduce your heating bills.
Adding a cylinder jacket to your water heating system will keep your water warmer longer and save you money on energy bills at home.
Invest in renewable energy
If your home is fully insulated and you have high-efficiency heating, you can install solar panels on the roof. These can heat hot water or generate electricity and can also help improve your home’s BER rating.
A renewable energy system increases the value of your home and also saves you energy costs in the long term.
Replacing all light bulbs in your home with energy-saving LED bulbs can save energy and help lower bills.
Switch to efficient electric lighting to maximize use of natural daylight.
Check your thermostat
Turning your thermostat down one degree can mean almost 10% energy savings, according to SEAI.
By installing a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature, you can save even more and improve your BER rating.
With some changes and adjustments to your home, you can improve your BER rating and reduce the cost of your energy bills.
It’s also important to use the timer on heating controls so you’re not heating an empty space.
Set your heating for times like morning and evening when you are indoors.
https://www.independent.ie/news/7-ways-to-increase-your-homes-energy-efficiency-rating-this-winter-42036302.html 7 ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency this winter