Before you know it, winter is going to be rolling around. So, now is a good time to look at your home’s insulation. With the current cost of living crisis, dramatic rises in energy costs and the ongoing climate crisis, it has never been more important for your home to be properly insulated. Proper insulation can help cut the costs of your bills, make your home more efficient and reduce your environmental impact on the planet.
This is why we have put together a guide to look at 10 low-cost, but high-impact, DIY projects you can undertake in your home, to improve your home’s insulation and make your household more thermally efficient.
1. Place Down Draught Excluders By External Doors
Doors that are old, or not properly fitted, can cause draughts (drafts) in your home, letting cold air leak in en masse through gaps between the door and the door frame. These draughts can be minimized by placing down a draught excluder by the bottom of doors to block the cold air from entering your home. If you’re interested in draught proofing, you can either purchase a draught excluder or make one yourself with common household materials.
2. Put Insulation Sleeves On Water Heating Pipes
If your hot water pipes aren’t insulated, your home’s heating will not be as efficient as it could be. In cold weather, the cool air surrounding the pipes will cool the hot water inside. This can be prevented by using insulating foam sleeves around your hot water pipes to keep them warm and prevent cold air from cooling the water inside.
3. Add Insulating Material To Your Attic
An uninsulated loft will cause a great deal of heat loss in your home. As heat rises it will pass through your home and escape through your attic and roof. You can prevent this heat loss by properly insulating your loft. Installing insulation that is 30cm deep on the bottom of your attic will help prevent warm air from passing up into your loft area.
4. Install Thermal Window Blinds
Windows are an area where heat loss often occurs. You can improve the insulation of your home’s windows by using thermal window blinds to help prevent cold air from leaking into your home and hot air escaping through windows.
5. Insulate Floors With Thick Carpets
If you have uncarpeted floors in your home, you’ll know your floors can get cold quickly and can even allow draughts to breeze in through gaps in your wooden flooring. Installing thick carpeting, or using rugs around your home, can better insulate your floors, keeping them warm and preventing draughts from below.
6. Reduce Heat Loss With Radiator Reflectors
When a radiator is installed onto an outside wall of your home, as much as 25% of the heat produced will escape your home through the outside wall. You can reduce the amount of heat loss by installing a radiator reflector to reflect heat back into your home and prevent it escaping through walls.
7. Apply Insulation Film To Windows
If you have inefficient single glazed windows, it is not always financially viable to upgrade them to newer, double glazed windows, but you can apply cost effective ‘secondary glazing’ in the form of an insulating film. This acrylic film can be applied to windows to improve insulation quickly and inexpensively.
8. Use Foam Boards To Insulate Patio Doors
As patio doors are essentially made up of giant windows, they’re an area ripe for heat loss during the cold months. If you won’t be frequently using these doors during the winter, you can avoid losing heat through them by applying cut-to-size foam boards to cover the glass of the doors. This will help prevent hot air from leaking out and cold air from leaking in. Then, when the weather warms back up, you can easily remove these boards and put them away until the next winter.
9. Apply Caulk Around Exterior Air Vents
More than likely, your home has some sort of exterior vents, whether they be vents for clothes driers or bathroom vents to allow steam to exit your home. These vents, when not properly sealed, can let cold air pour into your home. So, by simply ensuring the edges of the vents are properly sealed with caulk, you can reduce the amount of heat lost to these vents.
10. Add An Insulation Jacket To Your Water Heater
If you have a water heater or boiler in your home, it may not be as efficient as it could be, especially if it’s old. In cold weather, your water heater may lose heat due to cold air around it. But, by simply putting an insulation jacket on your water heater or boiler, you can help insulate it and drastically cut down on heat loss.
While there are numerous options you can avail yourself of when it comes to improving your home’s insulation, these DIY projects are 10 of the more simple and cost-effective. Doing any one of these projects can help you conserve energy and reap the rewards of a better insulated home.
Author bio: Buzz Carter works for UK-based window shades retailer, DotcomBlinds.com. Buzz has a passion for the environment and combating poor insulation in British homes with insulating window products and pushing for carbon neutral policies in his workplace.