Heat your home, not the planet: Our best eco-friendly heating tips
15% of the UK's planet-warming gases come from heating our homes. Keep your home warm while lowering your climate change emissions with these top tips.
1. Insulate your home
One-third of heat escapes through your walls. Loft insulation is cheap and simple to install and will pay for itself in a year or two through lower energy bills. To insulate solid walls, try external cladding or cheaper internal insulation. You can even get insulated wallpaper which although not as effective will make a difference and is much cheaper too.
2. Install low-carbon heating
The most eco-friendly heating is a heat pump which extracts heat from the air outside (even below freezing) and heats water for your radiators, cutting your planet-warming emissions by up to 60% .
3. Get solar panels
Solar panels on your roof generate free, clean electricity and hot water and will pay for themselves in around 10 years. Solar hot water panels are more efficient than solar electricity ones and save more planet-warming gases. If you have space, install both.
4. Glaze windows and doors
10% of heat is lost through windows. Keep your home warmer and reduce outside noise with double- or triple-glazed windows and insulated doors. Insulated doors also reduce draughts which account for 15% of heat loss.
5. Keep your heating below 18°C
Keeping your heating below 18°C makes a surprising difference – saving around 10% of energy per degree. If you're over 65 or have a medical condition, health professionals recommend 18°C as the minimum temperature. You can also use smart heating controls to reduce energy use which work by assessing factors like the weather, how quickly your property heats up, and when you’re home. Or try thermostatic valves on your radiators which allow you to control the heating in each room and which you can fit easily yourself.
6. Get a smart energy meter
They’ll encourage you to make changes by showing how much energy you’re using. You'll notice a difference in how much water and energy you're using by taking shorter showers and turning off lights.