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Energy saving tips for your home

Teaming up with Pilkington, architect and presenter of Channel 4’s The Home Show, George Clarke shares some tips on how to reduce your home’s carbon footprint, in the May edition of 25 Beautiful Homes.

FOLLOW THE 19˚C RULE Keep your heating thermostat at 19˚C. Turning it up by just one degree will increase your heating bill by eight per cent.

INSULATE, INSULATE Installing good-quality loft insulation is one of the most effective energy saving jobs you can do. Don’t settle for the minimum, but be sure to fit insulation that’s at least 270mm thick. Simple and easy to do, it’ll save you around £150 a year, and your home will be cosier. And putting a lagging jacket at least 75mm thick on the hot water cylinder will pay for itself in just six months.

LET IN THE SUNSHINE Make the most of this efficient heat source. Solar panels provide some hot water, while energy-efficient glazing at windows reduces the heat lost and increases the amount of heat let in. Compared to single glazing, Pilkington energiKare™ glass cuts energy loss by up to 90 per cent, saving up to 20 per cent on heating bills.

FIT ENERGY-SAVING LIGHTBULBS Switch to greener lightbulbs and save money. If every household in the UK installed just one low-energy bulb, this could save enough CO2 to fill the Royal Albert Hall 1,980 times.

 

Every year, we give our cars an MOT test to ensure they’re roadworthy. Similarly, many of us have regular health check-ups. Yet our homes don’t always get the MOT they need. In fact, it makes good sense to give your home a regular review and see where its energy efficiency could be improved. Not only should this result in lower fuel bills, but it should help to maintain your home’s value – a property’s ‘green credentials’ can influence potential buyers.

Pilkington, a leader in innovative glazing solutions since it was founded over 170 years ago, wants to encourage everyone to MOT their home and make use of the huge advances in this field to save energy. For instance, a lot of heat can be lost through ineffective windows. However, Pilkington energiKare™ energy-efficient glazing can reduce heat loss by up to 90 per cent compared to single glazing, while also allowing more free heat from the sun. Over a lifetime, this type of glazing could typically save you more than £10,000 on fuel bills for an average three-bedroom semi.

Another innovation from Pilkington is Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass, which relies on nature to keep it clean. It has a coating that reacts with daylight to break down organic dirt and encourage rainwater to sheet down the glass rather than forming droplets, washing away any loosened dirt, and reduce streaking. This is welcome news, as a recent survey found 80 per cent of us want to use more glass in our homes.

The range is ideal for hard-to-reach areas such as conservatory roofs or skylights, and it’s also available in a solar control version to give a comfortable environment all year round. George Clarke, architect and presenter of Channel 4’s The Home Show, thinks it’s great news, ‘Skylights are my favourite way of getting light into a house, as top light is the brightest and best. Glass can be fantastic value for money and transforms an ordinary house into a spectacular house.’