Living can be expensive. When we think about the costs of everyday living, we need to consider the cost of food, travel, rent and then bills on top of that, and that’s just to get by! Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing left after necessities – nothing for a spot of fun. So how would you feel if we told you you could cut down on some of those nasty bills and have a bit more spending money just by making a few home improvements?
Well, it’s true.
Here’s how home improvements can save you money
Improve your insulation
If your house is unusually cold or you use a lot of heat to get through the winter, chances are your insulation is not what it should be. Insulation is necessary to conserve heat, so you need less heat to warm up a room for longer. Insulation is especially important in the UK, where it is really cold for a lot of the year. If this is the case in your home, consider investing in double-glazing and solid wall insulation. Once this has been done, you should find you’re using heating at a lower setting for shorter time periods to get the same results.
Check your heating systems
Typically, in the UK, more than half the household bill goes towards heating, which can be a lot of money. It makes sense to do whatever you can to prevent these bills from adding up. Your heating systems should be checked regularly to make sure they are working efficiently. Check whether your boiler needs to be replaced with a more efficient model, as many of the older models are not as energy-efficient as they could be. Also, check the controls to ensure that the boiler is heating up only when it needs to. Keeping an eye on your heating systems will ensure you are not wasting valuable energy – and money.
Add in a fireplace
Sometimes it’s not necessary to heat your entire house; just the most used room or rooms. Many households use portable electric or gas heaters for these occasions, but why not invest in a fireplace? While an open fireplace adds atmosphere to a room, there are other options if you don’t like the idea of smoke or soot. Gas, gel or electric fires and stoves are all affordable, energy-efficient alternatives. But as far as home improvements go, nothing beats a fireplace for cosiness and a touch of romance.
Install solar power
To take home improvements one step further, you can install solar panels and heat pumps in your house to reduce your use of fossil fuels. Even though solar heating may seem costly at the outset, once it’s up and running, you will have virtually no running costs. Plus, it will add to the value of your home, should you ever consider selling.
Change your bathroom fittings
Water is another feature of modern living that can add to your household bills. If you are building a new bathroom, there are a range of reduced-capacity baths and water-efficient products which you can install – look for the Waterwise Recommended Checkmark. Alternatively, if you are only able to update your existing bathroom, there are a few things you can still do. Fit water-efficient showerheads and aerators to your taps to reduce the water flow and, consequently your water usage and water bills.
Use more efficient light bulbs
Simply changing the light bulbs, you use can have a huge impact on your electricity bill. Install Compact Fluorescent Lamps or Light Emitting Diodes, which are energy efficient and will save you money.
Energy bills can be one of the biggest headaches of modern living, but there are a few changes you can make around your home which can reduce these bills. What’s more, improving your house’s energy performance is good for the environment and helps reduce carbon emissions. But if you’re still not convinced, research has shown that houses with high energy performances are more valuable than other similar properties. All in all, there are really no reasons why you shouldn’t make your home more energy-efficient.