How is your home losing heat?

7th February 2016
Image credit: iStock

Image credit: iStock

When it comes to household costs, heating can be one of the biggest. We all want our homes to be comfortable, especially during the colder months of the year, but this doesn’t mean we have to pay through the nose just to maintain the right temperature.

In fact, heating is one of the areas where you could save a lot of money, but only if you take certain steps; the first of which is to identify how your home is losing heat.

There are a number of ways heat can escape from your home, meaning you end up turning your heating on for extended periods of time at high temperatures, resulting in a bigger energy bill. Here are some of the most common ways your home could be losing heat:

Windows

A lot of heat can be lost through your windows, even if you have double glazing. This is especially the case during winter and at night, when the temperature outside is much lower, causing the glass to become chilled.

While more heat will be lost through single pane windows due to the lack of an insulating boundary – this is the air between the two panes of glass in double-glazed windows – all windows leach heat from your home.

You may also find that a room experiences draughts and cold spots caused by the seals around your windows cracking due to age. It is important, therefore, to ensure that any damage done to your windows or the seals around them is repaired quickly.

To reduce general heat loss, make sure you are pulling your curtains in the evening. This will provide extra insulation, meaning less heat escapes. During the winter months, you may even want to double your curtains up or opt for thicker ones to further reduce heat loss.

Uninsulated walls

All homes lose heat through the walls, but this happens more if your walls contain no insulation. Many older properties come without wall insulations, which can mean they are more difficult to keep warm as heat travels through the brick unimpeded.

While you may think that insulation is an expensive investment, it will cost you less in the long run than having to turn your heating up high and put it on for longer periods throughout the day. 

There are a number of insulation options depending on the type of property you have, from cavity wall insulation to external or internal options. It is a good idea to see what extra insulation can be added to your home, as it could see your heating costs reduce dramatically.

The roof

Around a quarter of all heat within a property is lost through the roof, especially if uninsulated because heat rises. If there is no insulation in your roof there is nothing to trap the heat inside your property. Instead, it will leach away, costing you more and more as it does. 

This means that no matter how long you turn your heating on for, it will be difficult to maintain a comfortable ambient temperature. It will also result in your home cooling at a much faster rate once your heating has been turned off.

It really does pay to add insulation to your roof space, even if you do use it for storage. There are a number of options available, but so long as any insulation you use is the right thickness – 250mm to 270mm – it should help to keep you home warm.

What else can you do?

As well as addressing each of these areas of heat loss, you can keep your home warmer while also reducing energy costs through automating your system. There are a few different ways to do this, each coming with a range of benefits.

Our Mi|Home System allows you to automate your heating and total energy use and control radiators and electrical devices remotely via your computer or smartphone. You can also track how much power you are using, helping you to avoid a nasty shock when you get your bill. 

The system allows you to set your heating to come on and turn off at certain times, meaning you don’t need to leave it on at all times. You can also pick what ambient temperature you want a room to be at, as the system will monitor this and ensure there are no dips or spikes in temperature.

Our radiator valves also allow you to choose which rooms are being heated at any one time, unlike a traditional thermostat that heats the whole house. This means you can turn heating on and off in rooms as you require, allowing you to save on costs even further.

Combining this system with a well-insulated home will keep you and your family comfortable and reduce heat loss and cost.

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