Home Energy Efficiency – Why is it important and how to Improve Efficiency

Home energy efficiency – why is it important and how to improve efficiency.

Home energy efficiency – why is it important and how to improve efficiency. Image Unsplash.

Home energy efficiency – why is it important and how to improve efficiency.

Energy efficiency matters in the home. This is so for a range of reasons. First, it will directly limit the amount of money you’re spending on heating. Second, it’s desirable from an environmental perspective since heat retained by your property is heat that doesn’t need to be generated by burning oil and gas. Third, it will reduce wear and tear on the actual devices that produce heat in your home, allowing them to last longer, and to perform more effectively.

How to make a home more energy-efficient

Energy efficiency, in this context, is mostly a matter of insulation. The objective is to prevent heat from moving from the interior of your property to the exterior. While the solutions here might vary, they all tend to involve placing an obstacle in the way of this transfer of energy.

Insulation comes in many forms. You might install rolls of mineral wool just below the roof of your property. This material, and the tiny pockets of air that sit within it, will slow the movement of heat from the building into the space above it.

On the other hand, insulation might be installed directly between a pair of cavity walls. Or, you might invest in double (or triple) glazing. By sandwiching a layer of inert gas, like argon, between two panes of glass, you’ll prevent heat from moving from one side to the other. Windows represent an inherent weakness in the fabric of your building, since glass retains energy much less effectively than brickwork and concrete. Any improvements you can make here will, therefore, lead to a substantial improvement in performance.

Solar energy

Solar panels are a popular investment among homeowners who are particularly concerned about their long-term spending on energy. You might fund your purchase through equity release, secure in the knowledge that the long-term savings will outweigh the amount you’re drawing out. 

Government support might be available for this kind of investment. Similarly, you might be able to sell energy straight back to the grid, and offset the cost over time.


As well as thinking about heat might leave the property, it’s worth considering how cold air might get in. A single tiny gap around a window or door might lead to significant losses. Check for gaps, either using a dedicated draught-detecting device, or a simple candle. Apply sealant, and block up gaps underneath doors with a draught excluder.

Boiler and heating systems

Finally, we should consider the role played by the devices that actually do the heating. An outdated boiler might be costing you significantly, since newer ones tend to be far more efficient. This is especially so nowadays, at a time when energy prices are so high. Do the maths, work out how much less you’ll be spending each year, and see how long it will take the investment to pay off. 

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