More and more people are working to make their homes energy efficient. Taking some simple steps can reduce your home’s impact on the environment and also save you money in the long term, without requiring you to make any drastic lifestyle changes or sacrifice your garden to put up a wind turbine. Most modern homes already have energy saving measures built in, so you may well find that making your home energy efficient will be more simple than you first though.
If you are looking for advice or want an energy saving feature installed at your property, Plentific can help you find the ideal tradesman for the job. The Plentific website hosts information on over 75,000 registered tradesmen across the UK, and can quickly generate a bespoke contact list of the best options in your local area. You can also access each option’s Plentific profile, which will display their qualifications, experience and customer reviews, to make your options easier to compare. The Plentific Guarantee, which can cover your entire project, will also be available if you choose a ‘verified’ Plentific Pro. Plentific is constantly growing and working to help homeowners find their ideal hires, whatever their project may be.
The first thing to do is to check your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This will contain a ranking, from A to G, on how energy efficient your home already is, and will also provide justifications for its score. If you EPC shows a high ranking, taking further steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency may not be economic or cost effective. EPCs are valid for ten years, so if yours is particularly close to going out of date you may want to arrange for a new one which will reflect the current state of your property.
Making a property more energy efficient does not necessarily mean solar panels and wind turbines. One of the most important factors that influences energy efficiency in a home is insulation. Uninsulated structures lose more heat, with around ¼ of heat in an uninsulated home being lost through the roof. If your home was built in the last 20 years or so it will likely already contain insulation, but be sure to check this.
Windows are also important. Poor quality or loose windows lose heat in summer and warmth in winter. Newer double glazed or vinyl framed windows tend to be much more energy efficient, and should also reduce draughts in your home. Doors can also be improved with stick-on insulation down their sides.
Consider investing in energy efficient appliances, such as eco-kettles. They can be more expensive up front, but they will pay for themselves over time by saving you money. A water-saving shower head can be a big help. Power showers are known for wasting a great deal of water.
A boiler usually accounts for more of a home’s energy use than all other appliances combined. Older boilers particularly tend to be far less energy efficient than newer condensing boilers. However, just buying a new boiler might not be the solution, as different boiler types are more suited to specific homes. If you are considering replacing your current boiler with an energy efficient alternative, be sure to speak to your chosen tradesman for advice on which type and brand to go with.
You can also improve your home’s energy efficiency by adding new features to it. Solar panels are popular, and schemes like the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive can even provide financial support for your installation. A smart thermostat can measure changing temperatures and adjust itself accordingly, to stop you wasting energy on heat when you don’t need it. A home automation specialist could also help sync your heating to your phone so that you can control it in real time!
When investing in your home’s energy efficiency it is important to get reliable tradesmen to help you. Depending on what kind of tradesman your solution requires you will need to look out for different qualifications. If you want work done on your boiler, your plumber or heating/ boiler engineer will need to be on the Gas Safe Register. A glazier should have passed an apprenticeship or equivalent industry course. If you are unsure of what to look for, you can find out what qualifications are required for different tradesmen on the National Careers Service website.
Look carefully at their experience and see if they are familiar with jobs geared towards increasing energy efficiency. If they can give you advice on additional steps, all the better! Most established professionals will be able to show you reviews from their previous customers, so look over these carefully. Did the candidate know their stuff? Were they pleasant to work with? Finally, ensure that any tradesmen you hire have active public liability insurance and that they are able to offer warranties for their work.
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