A New Message from Eco Savvy

DIY: Charlotte’s Top 5 Winter Energy Tips

Save up to £332 every year off your bills!

Tip #1 – Maximise your radiators

Cost: £15                    Savings: £32 every year               Payback time: 6 months*

Bleed them: 

If your radiators are colder at the top than the bottom, aren’t heating up properly, or are noisy and making clunking or gurgling noises, you may need to bleed them. Here is a simple guide on How to bleed a radiator 

Trapped air means your central heating system isn’t working efficiently and it can take longer to warm up your room. Therefore, it is recommended that you bleed your radiators once a year, even if they are working properly.

Apply radiator reflector foil: 

Your radiator radiates heat both into the room, and into the wall behind it. If the wall is colder than the air this can mean the majority of your expensive heat is heating up the wall behind it rather than the room. Reflectors help prevent heat from being wasted by reflecting the heat back into the room.

The walls where radiator reflector foil will make the most difference is in exposed areas of the property where the radiator is situated on an exterior wall, such as under a window!

*based on 8 radiators against uninsulated solid walls


Tip #2 – Insulate your hot water tank & copper pipes

Cost: £20                    Savings: £80 every year               Payback time: 3 months*

Insulate hot water tank with 80mm jacket: 

Although space can be limited around hot water tanks, the efficiency and heat retention of the tank will be improved by 20% by fitting an 80mm thick tank jacket.

Insulating your hot water cylinder is one of the easiest ways to save energy and, therefore, money. Although many people like to use the cupboard to dry sheets etc this is a very expensive way to do so. Your tank is one of the biggest energy users in a household which is no surprise when you think about how you are paying to keep a body of water above 70 degrees celsius all year round.  If you already have a jacket fitted around your tank, check the thickness. It should be at least 80mm thick.

Insulate copper pipes: 

By putting pipe insulation around your exposed hot water pipes you’ll keep your hot water hotter for longer.

You need hot water all year – so unlike space heating you will save money by insulating your tank even in the height of summer

*based on a bungalow with 0mm to 80mm tank insulation


Tip #3 – Replace all lights with LED bulbs

Cost: £26                      Savings: £144 every year                 Payback: 2.2 months*

Benefits of LEDs: 

  • Last up to 50 000 hours, which equals 13.7 years if on for 10 hrs a day
  • LED bulbs are now available in all shapes and sizes, even strip lights! They produce a variety of shades of light, such as “daylight” and “warm white”
  • A typical 60W bulb can be replaced by an 8W LED
  • They come on instantly and are bright; there is none of the slight delay or flickering that you often get with older-style low-energy bulbs
  • 80 – 90% efficient compared to incandescent which are only 20% efficient
  • This means they generate little or no heat, making them safer alternatives
  • They contain no mercury or other toxic substances and can be recycled 

All this plus the cash savings – what’s not to love!

*based on 10 LEDs replacing 10 incandescant 60W bulbs running 5hrs per day


Tip #4 – Monitor your energy usage

Cost: £40                         Savings: £21 every year               Payback time: 2 years* 

Install a personal energy monitor: 

It’s easy to confuse energy monitors and smart meters as the devices look similar. A smart meter sends your data to your electricity supplier unlike an energy monitor which is just for personal use. 

Key Points 

  • Features: a handheld display, a transmitter and a sensor 
  • Helps keep track of your electricity usage, discover the energy consumption of different appliances & help to reduce electricity consumption 
  • Easy to self-install, easy to use 
  • Keep track of energy use against budget 
  • See energy cost in £, CO2 or kWh live 
  • Shows room temperature on display 
  • Supports up to 3 electricity tariffs and daily standing charge; works with Economy 7 tariffs 
  • Stores up to 1 month of usage history 

*based on a 2% average energy consumption saving per household per year


Tip #5 – Draught proof everything!

Cost: £68                 Savings: £55 every year               Payback time: 1 year 3 months*

Draught proof your wooden floorboards: 

No one enjoys the feeling of cold wooden floors on bare feet on a winter morning. Draught proofing the gaps between floorboards with something like ‘Stop Gap’ can save up to 15% of your home’s heat loss. You could have your room done in under an hour, it is virtually invisible and totally maintenance-free.

Draught proof your windows & doors: 

Up to 25% of an uninsulated homes heat loss is from doors and windows. Self adhesive seal draught excluder tape is perfect for getting rid of the cold draughts from around your windows and doors making your home noticeably more comfortable to sit in. The foam seals come in a variety of sizes so make sure the strip is the right size to fill the gap in your window/door.

Struggle with condensation? Have a few single glazed windows ? Conservatory losing a lot of heat in winter? Secondary glazing is a great economical DIY alternative to purchasing new double glazed windows. It is a quick fix solution for winter that you can easily remove when summer arrives. 

Draught proof your chimney: 

Often overlooked but an open chimney is equivalent to an open window for heat loss. Fitting a chimney balloon or sheep is like fitting double glazing in a window with a small vent to allow for ventilation. Aside from energy saving they also prevent soot, dirt and birds from entering when the fire is not in use. Just remember to take it out if you decide to light the fire.

*based on 4 windows, 2 doors, and a small room with wooden floor