8 easy DIY tips to up your energy efficiency

DIY to save energy.

An energy efficient home isn’t just eco-friendly, it’s cheaper to run too. With our homes being responsible for 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, making small changes can add up to a big difference in terms of lowering your energy bills as well as your carbon footprint. Insulation and draught-proofing are the twin essentials, because they help to keep all the heat you pay for inside your home, and prevent cold air from getting in.

Even if DIY is most definitely not your thing, these simple ideas can help to make your home more efficient – and lower your energy bills too.

1. Fit a hot water cylinder jacket

Without one, your hot water cylinder could be losing up to three quarters of its heat. They’re widely available in DIY stores, easy to fit, and can save you energy and therefore money, throughout the year.


2. Install lagging on all your pipes

Insulating your pipes stops heat escaping and can help prevent them freezing in winter too. Most DIY stores stock foam lagging, which you can cut to fit then simply slot over your pipes and fix in place with insulation tape.

Install lagging on your pipes.

3. Properly insulate your loft and walls

Up to a quarter of your home’s heat can be lost through the roof, and a third of the heat lost in uninsulated homes is through the walls 1. Loft insulation is relatively inexpensive and can save a couple of hundred pounds 2 a year on your energy bills, so it pays for itself fast. If you have easy access to your loft, it’s not too difficult to insulate it yourself. Wall insulation is trickier to do, so it’s best to call the experts.

Insulation in your loft.

4. Move your furniture away from radiators

While having the sofa against the wall is great for maximising space, if it’s right up against a radiator it can prevent hot air from the radiator circulating properly. Your room seems cooler – so you might whack up the heating to compensate.

5. Pop TRVs on all your radiators

With Thermostatic Radiator Valves you can set the temperature of each room individually, so you’re not wasting energy by heating empty spaces. Hive Radiator Valves are super easy to fit, and a quick tap on the app lets you set the temperature room by room.

Hive TRV.

6. Draught-proof your windows, doors and chimneys

Self-adhesive foam strips are easy to fit on windows, while draught excluders are perfect if there’s a gap between your door and the floor. If you use your fireplace, a chimney draught excluder is a cheap option that you can remove when you want to light a fire. Alternatively, call in a professional to fit a chimney cap if you no longer use the fireplace.

7. Make sure to regularly bleed radiators

This will keep them running efficiently, and they could take longer to warm up and stop giving out as much heat if it’s not done. Check out our simple instructions to bleed your radiators.

Bleed your radiators.

8. Get rid of front door draughts

Your keyhole and letterbox can allow cold air into your home. Keyhole covers and letterbox brush strips are cheap to buy, quick and easy to fit and will stop those draughts.

While not strictly DIY jobs, two of the best things you can do to make your home as eco-friendly as possible are upgrading to an energy-efficient new boiler and installing smart controls, like the Hive Thermostat. They could save you £840 and £311 a year respectively.

Not only are older boilers less efficient than today’s newer models, they also lose efficiency over time. If your energy bills are creeping up, then it could be a sign that it’s time to replace your boiler. It’ll need to be done by a professional, and you can book a free appointment with one of our expert heating advisers to get the ball rolling.

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Additional information

  1. Measures to help reduce home heat loss - Energy Saving Trust

  2. Loft Insulation Costs And Savings - Which?