Saving energy in the home is not only an excellent way to lower energy bills, but it’s a fantastic way to help the environment, too.

From installing extra loft insulation to having solid walls insulated, there are lots of effective ways to save energy in your home.

Savvy homeowners are always looking for ways to save money and lower their energy bills. To help you, the experts at Danford, Brewer & Ives explain the best ways to save energy in the home.

Why Is Saving Energy at Home So Important?

Saving energy has become an important aspect of being a homeowner. High-energy usage always results in higher energy bills – and that costs money.

In almost all cases, high-energy output can be put down to poor insulation. Large quantities of heat are lost through the walls and roof. Insulating them therefore allows heat to be retained inside the home, thereby lowering the amount of gas or electricity needed to keep the home at a constant temperature. Lower energy use then means lower bills.

Perhaps just as important as saving money are the environmental impacts attached to energy saving. Saving energy by making your home more energy-efficient ensures that you consume fewer resources in the long term. In an age of dwindling energy supplies, this is a big help for the planet.

What Are the Best Energy-Saving Methods?

Energy-saving can be as simple as keeping windows and doors closed when the heating is on in winter, but to create a truly energy-efficient home, it’s important to look beyond this.

A well-insulated home is an energy-efficient home. Making improvements to a building’s structure or insulating capabilities is guaranteed to lower energy bills and save you money in the long term.

Here at Danford, Brewer & Ives, our energy-saving experts have identified the best ways to save energy in the home. The following are the most efficient ways to make changes to a building for long-term energy-saving wins:

  • Solid stone wall insulation
  • Solid brick wall insulation
  • Internal wall insulation
  • Brick wall waterproofing
  • Masonry waterproofing cream
  • Damp proof course
  • Loft insulation

Different homes require different approaches to energy saving, so it’s important to seek professional advice if you’re looking to make energy-saving changes. While older Victorian houses will benefit the most from having solid stone wall insulation installed, more modern houses may benefit from having more effective loft insulation installed below the roof.

Let’s take a look at the different energy-saving methods in more detail, so you can understand which approaches would work best and be most effective in your home.

Solid Stone Wall Insulation

Solid stone walls were a common feature of houses in the United Kingdom during the Victorian era, and many older houses still retain solid stone walls to this day. While solid stone walls are sturdy and easy to build, as insulating and heating techniques have become more effective, it’s become apparent that solid walls are incredibly poor insulators.

Solid stone walls have no space where hot air can be trapped. This means that heat from inside the home easily escapes through the walls. Solid stone is a poor insulator and cold pockets quickly form in winter, causing the house as a whole to become colder and requiring a much higher energy output to keep the home heated.

But older houses with solid stone walls can be brought up to date and made energy efficient with the addition of solid stone wall insulation. This involves an extra insulating material being attached to the inside or outside of the wall, leaving a gap between the stone wall and the new layer of material. The cavity space that’s created is then filled with insulating materials (such as insulating foam). This method is incredibly effective, as the cavity space traps hot air, keeping homes warmer for longer and significantly lowering energy usage.

Solid Brick Wall Insulation

Solid brick walls have exactly the same insulating problems as solid stone walls, and they are a common feature of older houses dating back to the Victorian era.

Solid brick walls are constructed from a single layer of brick, and that makes insulation very difficult. Hot air can’t be trapped and it simply escapes to the outside, thereby forcing a homeowner to spend more money keeping their home’s temperature constant.

Solid brick walls can be considerably improved with the addition of solid brick wall insulation. This is achieved through the addition of an extra layer of material to the wall, usually inside the home. This extra layer creates a cavity – a space that’s filled with insulating materials.

As the cavity space traps hot air, energy usage is lowered. Heat remains inside the home, rather than dissipating to the outside. Solid walls are the worst possible insulators, so anyone with solid brick walls can save huge amounts of energy by having solid brick wall insulation installed.

Internal Wall Insulation

Modern homes are no longer built with solid walls, but are ordinarily constructed with cavity walls specifically designed to insulate the building. However, homes can still lose as much as 50 per cent of their energy through the walls, particularly if poor quality insulation was installed or if the insulation has been damaged.

If your home is particularly cold, you have high energy bills or can feel cold spots on the walls, there’s a good chance you need extra internal wall insulation installed. In older buildings, there’s also a chance that no internal wall insulation has ever been installed previously – this is a common occurrence if walls have been built from solid stone or solid brick.

Internal wall insulation generally consists of effective insulating materials – such as foam boards – being used to line the interior walls of a home. This adds much needed extra insulation, and that allows heat to be retained and energy savings to be made.

Brick Wall Waterproofing

Heat escaping through the walls isn’t the only problem that homeowners face when insulating their homes. Brick walls, as well as being insulated, also need to be waterproofed in order to be as energy-efficient as possible.

If brick walls aren’t adequately sealed, then porous bricks allow water to flow from the outside in. This not only allows cold spots to form but it disrupts cavity insulation, as wet insulation does not trap heat well. Prolonged exposure to moisture also leads to more serious damp and mould problems, which can be costly to fix. Damp and mould have the potential to cause serious structural issues to a home, while they can also lead to respiratory illnesses if residents are exposed for an extended period of time.

Brick wall waterproofing is the best solution for sealing brickwork. Waterproofing involves a sealant or cream being applied to the external walls of a house, where brickwork is exposed to the elements. Brick wall waterproofing is cost effective and long lasting, and energy savings are made as walls remain waterproofed and well insulated.

Masonry Waterproofing Cream

Masonry waterproof cream is another solution for homeowners needing to seal their walls to protect against damp.

Masonry waterproofing cream can be applied to external walls that let water into a home. The cream can be applied to a variety of masonry materials to create an effective waterproof seal that acts as a barrier to water and moisture.

Masonry waterproofing is long lasting and protects against issues such as damp and mould, which are caused by water seeping through walls. Waterproofing helps homeowners to save energy, as insulating materials are protected against moisture while an added layer helps to stop heat from escaping. With less heat escaping, homeowners can save money on their energy bills thanks to masonry waterproofing cream.

Damp Proof Course

Damp problems are a major cause of energy loss, as damp walls and floors are incredibly poor insulators. Damp is often the result of water or moisture working its way into the home from outside the building. The best way to combat this is by having a damp proof course installed.

A modern damp proof course has to be injected into the masonry. This creates a waterproof seal that stops water from seeping through into the walls from outside the building.

A damp proof course keeps homes watertight, which ensures walls and floors are fully protected against leaks, moisture and dampness. In turn, this ensures that the insulation in the walls isn’t wet or damp, allowing it to do its job and stop hot air from escaping. A damp proof course then is an effective way to save energy by keeping your home insulated.

As well as keeping energy bills low, homeowners should consider that a damp proof course is vital for a healthy home environment. If damp is allowed to take hold in a home, it can lead to structural dangers as well as issues such as mould, all of which are hazardous to human health.

Modern homes are fitted with a damp proof course as standard, but they need to be inspected regularly and replaced if they have moved or been damaged.

Loft Insulation

As much as 25 per cent of a home’s energy loss can occur through the roof, so it’s important for homeowners to insulate their lofts.

Loft insulation techniques vary, as it depends on the available space and whether or not the loft is used for storage or has been converted.

For large loft spaces that aren’t in use, the simplest insulation method is filling the open space with insulating materials. This turns the loft into an effective insulator, as hot air that rises is trapped by the insulating materials. Rather than escaping through the roof, the hot air keeps the house warm for longer.

Many people choose to use their loft as a storage space or an extra room. If this is the case, then it’s not possible to fill the loft with foam insulation. Instead, a second layer of flooring can be added, usually made of plyboard or similar materials. This creates a cavity space that can be filled with insulation. Hot air is trapped and the house remains warm, while the loft can still be used as a storage space.

The inside of the roof can also be lined with insulation in the same way, a technique that keeps the loft space warm. This is the best method if the loft has been converted into a living space or extra bedroom.

Energy-Saving Surveys

The methods outlined in this article require professional installation to ensure they are installed correctly. Some energy-saving methods, particularly solid wall insulation, can be disruptive to install, so it’s important to make sure that this is the best method for your home before work begins.

For these reasons, we recommend having an energy-saving survey carried out on your property. Energy-saving experts can identify the best areas to make improvements, and recommend the most cost-effective methods where the biggest energy-saving gains can be made.

Danford, Brewer & Ives has a specialist energy-saving team that carry out surveys and can identify the best ways to save energy. We understand that every home is different, so every survey needs to be tailored to each property. Our team provides analysis and recommendations, before we then carry out the work needed to make your home energy efficient.

Costs for energy-saving work vary from one home to the next, but energy-saving improvements should always be seen as an investment. Upfront costs for work will be recouped through lower energy bills in the long term, while you’ll also be helping the environment by lowering your home’s energy usage.

Contact Danford, Brewer & Ives to Find Out How You Can Save Energy in Your Home

If you’re looking to lower your energy bills by improving your home’s insulation, then the team at Danford, Brewer & Ives are ready to help you.

Contact our friendly, professional staff for more information on the best ways to save energy, and to book your energy saving survey today.