Energy Saving Ideas and Gadgets

Category: Energy Efficiency

domestic housing shown in infrared

Energy Saving Ideas

With winter firmly setting in, heating systems across the country are beginning to come to life.

Whilst winter has many charms, for many it is also a time to start worrying about energy prices and bills. Because energy prices seem to rise and rise, many people find themselves rationing the heating and going cold for at least some part of the winter.

Energy Schemes

house on scales Last week Drax and InterGen were fined £39m by Ofgem, the regulatory body overseeing the targets set under the Community Energy Saving Programme for failing to meet energy saving targets to insulate homes run under two schemes in 2012. The regulator is considering similar decisions for British Gas, SSE and Scottish Power. CESP was designed to help reduce bills for many thousands of customers living in low income areas by helping them with loft, wall insulation and new boilers.

Now for the good news – although The Cert scheme ended in December 2012, and most offers have already been withdrawn. Some offers still remain, mainly under the new ECO scheme, and Which? have a page dedicated to details of energy providers’ schemes and there are certain conditions to meet in order to benefit from these schemes, however it is definitely worth a click.

What you can do yourself

In addition to energy saving grants and free insulation, there are many ways for you to avoid the biting cold and dreaded gas bill this winter, with some cheap – and a few more involved and costly, tips, you can keep your house warm and cost all winter long.

Radiator Booster

Radiator Booster 

When winter comes, one of the best feelings is waiting for the radiators to fire up and make the house toasty warm.

However, one of the main problems with radiators is that half of their surface area – aka the back of the radiator- faces the wall. This means radiators are constantly projecting a great deal of their heat directly into the wall. Needless to say, this can mean lots of lost heat and, in turn, money.

A radiator booster sits on top of your radiator and the small fan inside draws heat from the behind of the radiator, pumping it into the room.

This means no more lost heat and radiators that utilise all the heat they generate.

designer radiatorAnd whilst we’re on the subject of radiators, they’re functional and let’s face it – not usually very pretty things to look at, 

After all how many of us partially hide the radiator behind a pot plant or completely hide it by moving furniture or covering it with curtains? Yes it’s hidden, but also the flow of warm air is disrupted, how about taking a designer approach to humble radiator. If you’re on Pinterest follow theradiatorshop.ie Pinterest board for more designer looks.

Thermal Wallpaper 

Heat loss is a major problem for many people. If you find your home hard to heat or keep warm, it is often frustrating and makes a home feel cold and unwelcoming in the winter.

A cheap and good way to boost insulation is with thermal wallpaper, which costs around £100 for a 15 metre roll.

Made from Wallrock fibreliner, thermal wallpaper adds a 4 millimetre thick layer on insulation to walls and makes it much easier to keep rooms warm.

Thermal wallpaper keeps heat trapped that might otherwise leech through walls and dissipate quickly, which means rooms warm up much more quickly and stay that way.

Eco Flap   

ecoflapFor many homes, 30 percent of heat escapes the house through draughts entering. This could from cracks in the exterior of the house or windows, as well as cracks and holes in the attic space. A thermal survey will highlight the areas your house is loosing heat quickly. IRT Surveys provide a rapid analysis of infrared images to discover and diagnose potential energy inefficiencies and property defects in order to help meet government regulations and maintain the value of buildings over time

There are obvious areas you can feel the cold penetrating your home, the humble letterbox also provides a perfect way for heat to escape and cold to enter the home. In many houses, a letterbox is simple a thin piece of plastic between the house and the outside world, making it a perfect escape hatch for heat.

The Eco Flap remains closed and traps heat, no matter conditions outside. Even in strong winds, Eco Flap stands firm. For around £25, this is a great way to shut one of the easiest escape routes for heat in your home.


Window Insulating Film

Window insulating film – which usually costs about £10 for six square metres (this should be enough for about four good-sized windows), can retain up to 55 percent of a home’s lost heat. Windows – whether cracked or simply old, can allow a great deal of heat to escape your home. Window insulating film can offset a great deal of this loss.

The film provides a tough second barrier for heat to escape through and, at the same time, cuts of out draughts coming from old, badly sealed windows.

For an even cheaper alternative, cling film can provide similar results!