DIY How To

Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

Nowadays we all know how important it is to make your home as energy efficient as possible, but it can be intimidating to implement. Do you need a contractor to help you install what you need? Or can you do it yourself?

Here's a guide to help you figure out what kind of energy is right for you, and how to install it yourself – or when to call in a professional.

Things to consider when choosing energy efficiency

Renewable Energy Sources
Instead of buying all of your energy from suppliers, you can install renewable technology to generate your own – and save you money! And in some cases, you can even sell the extra energy you generate back to the grid.

You'll be making use of secure, local resources while reducing your dependence on non-renewable energy, and reducing you and your household's carbon footprint.

When choosing what type of energy is going to suit you and your home – there are a few things to consider. For example, if you're thinking about solar panels (or another source of solar energy) you'll need to think about which way your roof faces. If there's a stream or river running past your home you could think about hydroelectric power, or for wind power you'll need to check out what you're average wind speed.

The next thing to do is to think about whether you're going to need planning permission or not. Many domestic generation systems are now classed as 'permitted development' - meaning they do not need planning permission provided they meet certain criteria. The rules are different for different technologies though, so it's vital to make sure you know what those criteria are before you invest.

There are some technologies that you'll be able to install yourself, and some you'll have to hire a contractor to install – which these are I'll discuss further when we think about individual technologies, but if you do need to hire a contractor you should look for one who's certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), and uses MCS certified products.

Insulate Your Home
Proper insulation is a great way to influence the energy efficiency of your home. There are many simple yet effective ways to insulate your home, which can significantly reduce heat loss and lower your heating bills! Heat rises, so in an uninsulated home a quarter of heat is lost through the roof - so insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills.

Professionally installed loft insulation is the best way to go, and should pay for itself many times over. Mark Group has all the expertise to help you get the right loft insulation for you, correctly installed.

Draught-proofing
Draught proofing is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to save energy and reduce costs in any home. It's important to understand that both draughts and ventilation let fresh air into your home, but while ventilation helps reduce condensation and damp, draughts are uncontrolled: they let in too much cold air and waste too much heat.

To draught proof your home you should block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. Saving warm air means you'll use less energy to heat your home, so you'll save money as well as making your home snug and pleasant. Plus you can do it yourself!

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