Get your home winter ready

Home Improvements 2020-8-18
Get your home winter ready.jpg

Take advantage of the Green Homes Grant Scheme make your home energy efficient this winter.

From September, homeowners in England will be able to apply for vouchers to help cover the costs of energy-efficient home improvements such as insulation or double glazing. Qualifying households will be able to get up to £5,000 worth of vouchers to put towards their total bill as well as saving hundreds of £££s in years to come.

What will the vouchers cover?

To benefit from these vouchers, you’ll be required to make at least one ‘primary’ improvement such as installing insulation or low carbon heating.

If you have one of these measures already, you can use your vouchers to top up what’s currently installed eg. add additional loft insulation so that it reaches the recommended level. However, you won’t be able to use these vouchers to replace what you already have.

Secondary improvements can be made alongside your primary measures such as installing:

  • Draft proofing
  • Double or triple glazing (only if you currently have single glazing as it won’t cover replacement double glazing)
  • Energy-efficient doors (for doors installed before 2002)
  • Heating controls (including appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, delayed-start thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves.)

You’ll need to bear in mind that you only get funding for secondary improvements up to the same amount you received for your primary measures eg. If you got £1000 towards your installation, you’ll only get up to £1,000 for double glazing.

For full t&cs, visit the GOV website.

Insulation

This is a biggie - having adequate insulation in your home could save you some serious money on your energy bills. The main area to focus on is your loft, as this is where the majority of heat is lost and according to the Energy Saving Trust, loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years. So if it isn't already insulated then it’s an investment worth making.

Double glazing

Homes with ill-fitting or single-pane windows lose a lot of heat this way. Switching to double or even triple-glazed windows will prevent heat loss and keep your home warmer for longer. However, getting new windows installed is not a quick or cheap option so you will need to sit down and do your homework to find the most suitable deal to fit your needs.

Quick Fix: Buy thick curtains with a thermal lining to hang over your windows (and even doors) to prevent heat escaping when you have your heating on.

Protect your pipes

Frozen or burst pipes are a nightmare to deal with and yet this is one of the easiest situations to prevent. The best way to keep your pipes in check during winter is to insulate water tanks pipes and it’s also worth fixing those dripping taps – even a little drip could cause a pipe to burst!

Clear the drains and gutters

Leaves and dirt can quickly clog up your drains, which can result in leaks to the roof and walls and ultimately water damage, so make sure you’ve checked that they are all clear. This is really important as most insurance companies won’t cover water damage, as they may argue that this could have been prevented by regular maintenance.

Check your boiler

Now is the most important time to check your boiler is working efficiently as you’ll be using it a lot more often. Not only will it be a miserable winter if it breaks down, but a more efficient boiler can save you big money on your heating bills too, so it’s worth checking.

Make sure you're covered

The last thing you want is a hefty repair bill on the months leading up to Christmas. Which is why it’s essential that you get adequate cover for any possible winter-related damage. Dig out your home insurance policy documents and check what you’re covered for eg. floods, broken boiler, accidental damage etc.

Anything you’re not covered for that you think you should be, ring up your insurance provider and get it added on to your policy. It shouldn’t cost that much more for that added protection and will give you peace of mind as well.

Switch energy suppliers

Energy companies are looking for new business at this time of year, so there’s likely to be lots of incentives on offer for switching. Using MSE’s Cheap Energy Club could save around £100’s a year by comparing and helping you switch energy suppliers without you having to do too much digging around online.

Bleed your radiators

When air gets trapped, it prevents your whole radiator from heating up, meaning you may need to crank up the temperature which comes at a price. If you can hear clunking noises when you turn them on, this is a sure-fire sign you need to bleed them. It’s a very easy task that won’t you long but could save you £££’s in the long run.

Top Tip: Install radiator insulation panels for additional energy saving. These panels are easily installed and will reflect the heat back into your home rather than being lost through the walls or windows. They can be purchased from most DIY stores.

Low-cost home improvement loans from Hitachi Personal Finance

If you need help spreading the cost then why not check out our low-cost home improvements loans? Starting from just 3.5% APR Representative between £5,000 and £25,000.

 

 

Hitachi Hints and Tips is intended to be informative and interesting. It does not constitute financial advice, and you should always do further research when making any financial decisions. All information was correct at date of publication.

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