Are you tired of high energy bills and looking for ways to reduce heat loss in your home while lowering your heating bills? You’re not alone!
Gas prices (November 2022) have increased by 128.9% since the winter of 2021. Meanwhile, electricity prices rose 65.4%. Making savings on utilities and reducing our carbon footprint are important goals for many homeowners. 53% of adults reported they worried about keeping warm in their home this winter.
The good news is that there are simple steps we can take to reduce heat loss while lowering your heating bills. From professional thermal imaging surveys and heat loss surveys to DIY methods for reducing heat loss.
Keeping your home warm and cosy during the winter months is essential, and nothing can ruin that comfort like heat loss. Not only does it lower the temperature inside your home, but it also causes your energy bills to skyrocket and wastes energy. As a homeowner, it’s crucial to prevent heat loss in order to maintain a comfortable living space and save money on energy costs.
In this article, we’ll list actionable steps to prevent heat loss and making your home more energy-efficient.
Why Does My House Lose Heat so Quickly?
One of the most common reasons for a house to lose heat quickly is insufficient roof insulation and air leaks. Every hole, gap and compressed section of insulation is an opportunity for heat to escape from your home.
The most common areas for reducing home heat loss are:
- Walls: Poor insulation in walls can account for a significant portion (35-45%) of heat loss in a home. This can include both solid and cavity walls, though insulating cavity walls is generally easier.
- Roof: Uninsulated roofs and attics can contribute to a significant amount (up to 20%) of heat transfers in a home.
- Windows and Doors: While drafts may be more noticeable coming through windows and doors, they typically account for a relatively small percentage of overall heat loss in a home.
- Floor: The amount of heat loss through the floor can vary depending on the age and construction of a home, but in older houses with cellars or stone foundations, it can account for up to 10% of heat lost.
A heat loss survey using thermal imaging can help to identify these problem areas while lowering your heating bills.
Get a Heat Loss Survey First
Conducting a heat loss survey is the first and most important step in finding ways to reduce heat loss in a house. Not only will a heat loss survey identify areas of heat loss in your home, but it will also inform decisions about which upgrades to make and where to prioritize your investment.
A heat loss survey involves using industrial thermographic cameras and aerial thermal drones, to capture complete coverage of the exterior and interior of the house. These tools allow the surveyor to detect and identify areas of heat loss in a non-invasive way and provide detailed information about the thermal performance of the building.
If you’re interested in conducting a heat loss survey for your home or commercial property, we highly recommend using our online heat loss quote calculator provided by Leslie Drones Thermal Imaging. This powerful tool allows you to quickly and easily determine the cost of a heat loss survey for your specific building and can help you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed with a survey.
Seal Air Leaks
Sealing air leaks is one of the most effective ways to reduce heat loss in your home. Air leaks can occur around doors, windows, and other areas of the house, allowing heat to escape and cold air to enter. By sealing these holes, you can stop heat from escaping and make your home more energy efficient as a whole.
You can start by identifying the areas where air leaks are likely to occur. This can be done by conducting a thermal imaging survey of your home or by using a smoke pen to detect drafts. The most effective ways to seal air leaks is by using caulking and weatherstripping. Caulking is a sealant that can be used to fill gaps around windows and doors. It is easy to apply and dries to form a flexible and durable seal that can help to prevent air leaks.
Weatherstripping, on the other hand, is a material that can be used to seal gaps around doors and windows. It is designed to compress against the door or window frame when it is closed, creating a tight seal that prevents air leaks.
Start by removing any old caulking or weatherstripping, and then apply new caulking or weatherstripping to the area.
Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and give the caulking or weatherstripping enough time to dry before using the door or window.
Insulate Your Floor
Insulating your floors is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss in your home and lower your energy bills. If you have a ground floor, it is especially important to focus on this area as it is on average where most heat escapes. There are a few different types of floors and each one requires a specific method of insulation.
Here are the different types of floors and how to insulate them:
- Solid concrete floors: These can be insulated by laying rigid insulation on top or by replacing them with insulated concrete.
- Suspended timber floors: These can be insulated by lifting the floorboards and installing mineral wool insulation supported by netting between the joists.
- Floors above unheated spaces: If you have a floor above an unheated space such as a garage, consider insulating it to reduce the heat lost.
It is important not to block any air bricks in your walls as they help ventilate the space under the floor and prevent the floorboards from rotting. You can seal gaps between the floor and skirting boards yourself to reduce drafts, or hire a professional to do more extensive insulation work. In addition to insulating the ground floor, you should also consider insulating any floors above unheated spaces such as garages to reduce heat loss.
Insulating With Carpets
One way to reduce heat loss in your home is to add carpets to your floors. Carpets work as insulation by trapping air between the floor and the carpet, which acts as a natural insulator. When the temperature in a room is warmer than the air outside, the hot air will rise and come into contact with the cold floor.
Without a carpet, the floor will absorb the heat and transfer it to the outside air through conduction. However, with a carpet in place, the air becomes trapped between the floor and the carpet, creating a layer of insulation.
This trapped air helps to reduce heat loss by conduction, as the heat is absorbed by the air rather than the floor. The air also helps to reduce heat loss by convection, as it prevents the circulation of air between the room and the outside. By trapping the hot air, the carpet helps to keep the room feeling warm and comfortable.
Choosing The Best Carpet For Reducing Heat Loss
To make the most of this insulation, it is best to choose a thick, plush carpet with a dense pile. This will provide the greatest amount of air trapping and insulation. When selecting a carpet, consider the type of flooring it will be placed on and the climate in your area.
A thicker carpet may be more suitable for a home in a colder climate, while a thinner carpet may be more appropriate for a home in a warmer climate.
Reflective Foil Behind Radiators
Another way to reduce heat loss in your home is to use reflective foil behind radiators. Reflective foil is a thin, metallic material that can be placed behind radiators to help reflect heat back into the room. It works by reflecting the heat that would otherwise be absorbed by the walls, increasing the efficiency of your heating system and making your home feel warmer. On average, reflective radiator foil costs between £22 and £28 per 5 meters.
How to Use Reflective Foil to Reduce Heat Loss
To use reflective foil, simply cut it to size and attach it to the wall behind your radiator using double-sided tape or adhesive. It is important to use a high-quality reflective foil to ensure that it is effective at reflecting heat. Look for foil that is made from a highly reflective material, such as aluminum, and has a smooth, shiny surface.
When attaching the foil, be sure to smooth out any wrinkles or creases, as these can reduce its effectiveness. Using reflective foil is a simple and affordable way to increase the efficiency of your heating system and reduce heat loss in your home.
Cavity Wall Insulation
Cavity wall insulation is a process of filling the cavity (space) between the outer and inner brick walls of a building to reduce heat loss. It is one of the best ways to reduce your energy bills.
This involves blowing insulating material into the cavity from the outside of the building using specialized equipment.
Installing Cavity Wall Insulation
The first step in the process is to conduct a heat loss survey to determine the type of insulation that is best suited for your building. This survey will also help to identify any potential issues poor wall insulation that may affect the installation process.
Once the survey is complete, the next step is to prepare the building for installation. This involves drilling small holes at regular intervals along the exterior walls of the building. These holes will be used to inject the insulation material into the cavity.
Once the holes have been drilled, the insulation material is injected into the cavity using specialised equipment. The material is typically either mineral wool or polystyrene beads, but in some cases, polyurethane foam may be used. The insulation material is blown into the cavity under pressure to ensure that it fills the entire space evenly.
Once the insulation has been injected, the holes are sealed. This is done to ensure that the insulation remains in place and to prevent any drafts or moisture from entering the cavity.
The entire process is typically completed within three hours for an average-sized house with easily accessible walls. It does not make any mess and the small holes drilled will barely notice.
Insulating Solid Walls
Solid walls are walls that are made of brick, stone or concrete and do not have a cavity. They can be found in older properties and can be responsible for a large amount of heat loss. Insulating solid walls can be a bit more challenging than insulating cavity walls, but it is still possible to reduce heat loss through solid walls.
To insulate solid walls, homeowners can choose to install internal or external wall insulation. External wall insulation involves applying insulation to the outside of the walls, which can be more efficient but also more costly. Internal wall insulation is applied to the inside of the walls, it’s generally cheaper and it increases the lifespan of your walls by protecting the brickwork.
To insulate solid walls yourself, you will need to purchase insulation materials and any necessary tools. You will also need to measure your walls to ensure that you purchase enough insulation material. Once you have the materials, you will need to remove any old insulation and prepare the walls for the new insulation. This may involve removing any old putty or caulking and cleaning the area. Once the walls are prepared, you can install the new insulation, making sure to seal any gaps or cracks to prevent drafts.
When insulating solid walls, it’s important to:
- Measure your walls to ensure you purchase enough insulation material.
- Remove old insulation and prepare the walls.
- Seal any gaps or cracks to prevent drafts.
- Consider the type of insulation material and its R-value.
- Hire a professional if you are not confident in your abilities.
- Consider the type of wall, as they also play a role in heat loss.
- Invest in high-quality insulation materials to ensure maximum energy efficiency.
- Take into account the moisture control strategy to prevent future damp problems.
It’s important to note that insulating solid walls requires some level of knowledge and experience, it’s advisable to hire a professional if you are not confident in your abilities, to ensure the job is done correctly and to avoid any potential issues.
Insulate Roof Spaces
Roof and loft insulation is a powerful tool for preventing heat loss in a buildingn and one of the best ways to reduce your energy bills. The roof insulating material works by creating a barrier between the inside of the building and the outside environment, which helps to keep the hot air inside and the cold air outside.
The insulation material used for roof and loft insulation is typically made of fibers, foam, or reflective materials that are designed to slow down the transfer of heat. When installed correctly, the insulation creates an effective thermal barrier that can reduce house heat loss by up to 50%.
If your unsure of how much heat you are loss from your homes loft insulation gaps. A heat loss surveyor can fly a thermal drone over a building and accurately identify areas of heat loss by creating a thermal map of the roof. This non-intrusive method allows for a detailed analysis of the roof without the need for scaffolding or other equipment, saving time and money.
Once the heat loss survey is complete, the next step is to prepare the roof or attic for installation. This may involve removing any existing insulation, repairing any damages to the roof deck or rafters, and ensuring that the space is clean and free of debris.
The insulation material is then installed on top of the roof deck or between the rafters in the attic and properly sealed for an airtight fit. It’s important to hire a registered installer to ensure the insulation is installed correctly and your building is protected from heat loss.
Draught-proofing is a process of sealing gaps and cracks in a building to prevent drafts. This is one of the most effective ways of reducing heat loss in UK homes. These gaps and cracks can occur around windows, doors, floorboards, and other openings in the building envelope.
One of the main benefits of draught-proofing is that it can improve the overall energy efficiency of a building by reducing energy consumption. When drafts are present in a building, high-temperature air can escape through gaps and cracks, causing the heating system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.
By sealing these gaps and cracks, the high-temperature air is trapped inside the building, which reduces the amount of energy consumption required to heat the building.
Another benefit of draught-proofing is that it can improve indoor air quality by reducing the amount of dust, pollen, and other allergens that can enter the building. When gaps and cracks are present, these pollutants can easily enter the building and affect the health of the occupants. By sealing the gaps and cracks, the indoor air quality is improved, which can be particularly beneficial for people with allergies or asthma.
A thermal camera is a valuable tool for identifying drafts in a building. Thermal imaging technology allows for the detection of temperature variations in the building envelope. When a draft is present, the thermal camera will pick up the difference in temperature between the inside and cool air outside of the building, showing up as a bright spot on the thermal image.
This allows for a quick and non-invasive way to identify where drafts are present, making it easier to target and seal those areas to improve energy efficiency, reducing heat loss in your home.
Install Insulated Drapes on Your Windows
Curtains are great at preventing heat loss. Adding drapes to windows is an effective way to reduce heat loss in a building. Drapes are a type of window treatment that can help to insulate the window and reduce the amount of warm air that escapes through it.
When drapes are closed, they create an additional barrier between the inside of the building and the outside environment, which helps to keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside.
When it comes to selecting drapes, it’s important to choose drapes that are made from a thick, insulated material.
The best materials for insulating curtains include:
- Heavy fabrics like velvet
- Heavy cotton
Look for drapes that have a thermal lining or are lined with a reflective material, this will help to reflect heat back into the room.
It’s also important to ensure that the drapes fit snugly against the window frame to prevent cold air drafts.
Block Up Unused Chimneys
Blocking up unused chimneys is an effective way to reduce heat loss in a building. When a chimney is not in use, it can act as a conduit for drafts, allowing warm air to escape from the building and cold air to enter. By blocking up the chimney, you create a barrier that prevents drafts from entering the building, which can help to reduce heat loss.
Blocking up unused chimneys is an effective way to reduce heat loss in a building. When a chimney is not in use, it can act as a conduit for drafts, allowing warm air to escape from the building and cold air to enter.
By blocking up the chimney, you create a barrier that prevents drafts from entering the building, which can help to reduce heat loss.
Tips for blocking up an unused chimney:
- Install a chimney balloon: A chimney balloon is an inflatable device that is inserted into the chimney flue. When inflated, it creates an airtight seal that prevents drafts from entering the building.
- Close off the chimney damper: The chimney damper is the metal plate that sits inside the chimney and can be closed to prevent drafts. Make sure it is closed when the chimney is not in use.
- Seal gaps around the chimney: If there are gaps around the chimney, use a sealant to fill them and prevent drafts from entering the building.
Insulate Water Pipes
Insulating water pipes is an effective way to reduce heat loss in a building. When water pipes are not insulated, heat energy can be lost as the hot water flows through them.
This can cause the water to cool down before it reaches its destination, resulting in longer wait times for hot water and higher energy bills. By insulating the pipes, you can slow down the heat loss and keep the water hotter for longer, which can help to reduce heat loss in the building.
Tips for insulating water pipes:
- Measure the pipes: Measure the length, width and circumference of the pipes you want to insulate.
- Choose the right insulation: There are many types of insulation materials available, such as foam, fiberglass and rubber. Choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.
- Apply the insulation: Carefully wrap the insulation around the pipes, making sure to overlap the edges to create a tight seal. Secure the insulation with tape or cable ties if necessary.
- Insulate hot and cold pipes: Don’t forget to insulate both hot and cold pipes to reduce heat loss and save energy.
Bleed Your Radiators
Bleeding your radiators is a simple process that can help to reduce heat loss in your home, specifically in your heating systems. When air gets trapped in your radiators, it can prevent them from working efficiently within your heating system.
The trapped air can create cold spots, which means that the radiator won’t heat up as much as it should. This can cause your boiler to work harder, resulting in higher energy bills and increased heat loss in your heating system.
Here are some tips on how to bleed your radiators:
- Turn off your heating system: Before you start bleeding your radiators, make sure to turn off your heating system.
- Locate the bleed valve: Each radiator will have a bleed valve, usually located at the top. This is the small valve that you will use to release the trapped air.
- Use a radiator key: You will need a radiator key to open the bleed valve. If you don’t have one, you can purchase one from a hardware store.
- Open the valve and release the air: Once the valve is open, you will hear a hissing sound as the air escapes. Once the hissing sound stops, close the valve.
- Repeat the process for all radiators in the house: Make sure to bleed all the radiators in your home to ensure that they are all working efficiently.
- Turn on your heating system: Once you have finished bleeding all the radiators, turn your heating system back on to check that the radiators heat up properly.
Switch To Double Glazing Windows
Double glazing windows are a great way to reduce heat loss through windows. These windows have two panes of glass with a trapped layer of dry air between them. The trapped air acts as a barrier, reducing heat loss by conduction and convection. Double glazing can also improve the overall energy efficiency of your home, reducing your energy bills and making your home more comfortable.
To install double glazing windows yourself, you will need to purchase the windows and any necessary tools. You will also need to measure your current windows to ensure that you purchase the correct size of double glazed windows. Once you have the windows, you will need to remove the old windows and prepare the opening for the new windows. This may involve removing any old putty or caulking and cleaning the area. Once the opening is prepared, you can install the new windows, making sure to seal any gaps or cracks to prevent drafts.
When installing double glazing windows DIY, it’s important to:
- Measure your current windows carefully to ensure that you purchase the correct size of double glazed windows.
- Remove old windows and prepare the opening for the new windows.
- Seal any gaps or cracks to prevent drafts.
- Hire a professional if you are not confident in your abilities.
- Consider the type of window frames, as they also play a role in heat loss.
- Invest in high-quality double glazed windows to ensure maximum energy efficiency.
Get Your Boiler Serviced
Getting your boiler serviced regularly is an important step in reducing heat loss in your home. A well-maintained boiler is more efficient, uses less energy and as a result, reduces heat loss. A boiler service will also ensure that your boiler is operating safely and identify any potential issues before they become bigger problems.
To service your boiler yourself, you can start by checking the owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to maintain your boiler. You can also find online resources that provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform a basic boiler service. This usually includes cleaning or replacing the air filter, checking the flue and chimney, checking the pressure gauge, and cleaning the burners.
When servicing your boiler yourself, it’s important to:
- Check the owner’s manual for specific instructions.
- Use online resources that provide step-by-step instructions.
- Clean or replace the air filter.
- Check the flue and chimney.
- Check the pressure gauge.
- Clean the burners.
- Hire a professional if you are not confident in your abilities.
- Get your boiler serviced at least once a year.
- Keep track of the service records and warranty information of your boiler.
It’s important to note that servicing a boiler requires knowledge and understanding of the technical aspects of the equipment, if you don’t feel comfortable with the task, always hire a professional to service your boiler for you to ensure its proper function and safety.
In conclusion, reducing heat loss in your house in the UK is crucial in order to save energy and money on your heating bills. Insulating solid walls, insulating roof spaces, and draught-proofing are all effective ways to reduce heat loss in your home. However, it’s important to note that insulating solid walls and roof spaces requires some level of knowledge and experience, it’s advisable to hire a professional if you are not confident in your abilities.
If you want to ensure that your home is properly insulated and to identify areas of heat loss, consider getting a heat loss survey from Leslie Drones Technical Inspections. We provide nationwide heat loss and thermal imaging surveys using drones and commercial thermographic cameras, which can give you a detailed analysis of the heat loss in your home and help you take the necessary steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency.