Improving the insulation in your home not only makes your house more eco-friendly but it also cuts your utility bills. After all, heating and cooling costs account for nearly half of your home’s utility expenses.
If we look at a typical home, there are loads of different ways that it can lose its heat energy. Most of that energy escapes through the walls, then through the roof, windows and doors. That’s why proper insulation is crucial.
But even if your home is not properly insulated, it’s not too late!
If spray foam and other expensive insulation types are not in your budget this year, there are still some cheap, quick and effective tricks that can be done.
Cover any air leaks in your home
Whether you own a new home or an old one, they often have gaps between the walls and the windows or between the walls and the doors.
These cracks and openings are the main reason for heat loss in your home and sealing them the right way can potentially save you around 20% of your heating or cooling costs.
But first you’ll have to find them. Where? You should look for two surfaces that meet. So it’s where your door meets the siding or where window trim meets the siding, any place where you have two surfaces meeting together. And these gaps can be either on the inside or the outside of your home.
The first solution is sealing them with molding clay. This is a quick but a little dirty solution. However, for just a few dollars you can fill up any small areas that let air in or out.
The second solution, sealing them with caulk, is more expensive by a couple of dollars but it’s more durable. To make it easier on yourself get the one that comes in a tube.
You can use a silicone caulk, which is pretty high quality, but bear in mind that you can’t paint over it. If you want to seal a surface that later on would be painted over, simply use an acrylic silicon blend. This caulk is less stretchable but still a good quality.
Double glaze and/or put curtains on windows
If you don’t have enough money to get your house double glazed and replace all the windows, these small changes and a simple DIY will do the job.
You can double glaze your windows with a plastic foil.
Double glazing works by trapping a layer of still air between two panes of glass or in this case a layer of glass and a layer of plastic.
You can get a window insulation kit in almost every hardware or online store. Every kit contains plastic foil that is supposed to go on the indoor window frame. After applying the foil, you need to heat it up with a hair dryer to remove all the wrinkles and your windows are sealed.
Closed curtains or blinds also trap the warm air in and prevent drafts. If you plan on using curtains, make sure you pick ones that are layered and made from heavy material (like velvet).
Use a draft stopper on doors and unused fireplace
One of the most useful accessories during the winter is a simple draft stopper. Placing draft stoppers under the doors, windows, or even in front of your fireplace doors will prevent the heat escaping through the hole.
The easiest and cheapest solution for drafty doors is a draft stopper made from a towel (or a blanket). Just roll it up and place it where it needs to be placed. If you want to get a little creative, you can even make them with a pool noodle, knee sock stuffed with rice etc. You can also get your inspiration from the video below.
Another thing you can go with is rubber seals, they are cheap and easy to install.
Reflect the heat with aluminum foil
Did you know that nearly 35% of the heat in your home is lost through the walls? If you don’t have a proper insulation in your walls you should at least prevent the heat from the radiator to escape through them. The solution, and a very cheap one, lies in aluminum foil.
In order to retain the warm air in the room, it is extremely important to insulate the space behind the radiators that are attached to an exterior wall. This will prevent the heat from the radiator to escape through the wall in a quite effective and budget-friendly way.
As you know, the aluminum foil has two sides, a matte and a shiny one. You can reflect that heat back into the room by placing the aluminum foil behind the radiator, with the matt side facing the wall and the shiny side facing the radiator.
Insulate your roof or attic
If you live in a house, around 25% of the heat in your home is lost through the roof. According to the Energy Saving Trust the insulation of the roof will pay for itself in less than two years with the savings from the utility bills. Even though it’s not the most budget friendly option, it’s well worth for its efficiency.
The cheapest material for this kind of insulation is the glass wool which comes in rolls so you can easily install it. A square meter of glass wool costs around 7 dollars and it is 6 inches (15 centimeters) thick, which is more than enough to keep the warm air in.
For an even cheaper option, try the aluminum foil insulation as mentioned above.
If all else fails…
Remember that using your central heating is not the most cost-effective solution if you are only using 1 or 2 rooms in your home.
Central heating heats the whole home. Instead, you could purchase a halogen heater so that you are only heating the room you are in.
It can be a much cheaper solution to the cold winter problem that having the heating on all the time.