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Cost of Living Crisis Concerns? Discover Money Saving Home Improvements

Posted by Rachel Wallace on

If you are becoming increasingly concerned about the cost of living crisis, you are not alone. This term is one we keep hearing all over the news, online press and social media, but what does it really mean? ‘Cost of living’ refers to the fall in ‘real’ disposable income and has been caused predominantly by high inflation and the increase in cost of a typical basket of goods across the board, from foodstuffs, clothing, fuel and the spiralling costs of utilities and energy bills. As home improvement experts, we have put together a list of ways you can save money on bills and expenses by making small changes to your home. 

Cost of Living Crisis - Ways to Cut Costs

Financial experts are always suggesting ways to save, budget and borrow but with the cost of living crisis testing many of us like never before, we wanted to share some out-of-the-box solutions that you might not have heard of before. A recent study by the Mortgage Advice Bureau has found that one in four households plan to make improvements to reduce their energy bills. So, let's look at some effective home improvements to cut costs.

Thermal Wallcoverings

One of the most simple, low cost, but effective ways to cut down your energy bills is by investing in thermal insulation. One way you can insulate your home that you may not have previously thought of is thermal wallpaper. 

Here at Victory Colours, we stock thermal liners such as the Wallrock Thermal Liner range, approved by the Energy Saving Trust because of its thermal efficiency and energy saving properties. Being 3mm (Wallrock Thermal Liner) or 4mm (Wallrock KV600) in thickness they offer worthwhile energy savings, for example 15% on typical solid brick external walls. Not only does the Wallrock Thermal Liner help cut back on energy costs, it can also provide you with an excellent cover up for poor plaster work and uneven surfaces. 

Features and Benefits:

  • Significantly reduces heat loss and room warm up times
  • Combats mould and damp formation for a healthier environment
  • Covers damaged and cracked plaster and textured surfaces
  • Hypoallergenic - suitable for allergy sufferers
  • Resists mould formation for a healthier home
  • Produces a smooth surface for decorating
  • Contains no PVC or fibreglass
  • Reduces room warm up times
  • Allows your walls to breathe
  • Significant energy savings

Ground or Air Source Heat Pumps

Another home improvement investment you can make to cut back on energy costs is to replace your boiler with a modern, energy efficient heating system. Many people don’t realise that heating and hot water accounts for more than half of energy bill expenses each year. Investing in an air, or ground source heat pump, not only saves you money on bills but also looks more appealing to buyers when you come to sell your house. 

Another thing to consider is that as part of the UK Government’s plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, fossil fuel heating systems are likely to be phased out over time. This will start with a ban on gas and oil boilers in new homes from 2025, and we expect to see more and more existing homes switch to a low carbon heating system, such as a heat pump. 

Solar Panels

Now is the time to invest in solar panels. Although it is quite a high initial capital expenditure it will pay for itself within a few years.  Solar panels harness the power of the sun to provide renewable, clean energy. Meaning you will save money on your lighting and heating bills in the long run.  Once installed they are low maintenance, easy to use and mean that you can independently generate your own power without being dependent on the fluctuations of energy prices.  Solar panels have become much more efficient over recent years and the installation of a battery allows energy to be stored for generating power after dark.

Smart Thermostat

Another simple home improvement you could make is by switching to a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled device that automatically adjusts heating and cooling temperature settings in your home for optimal performance. Smart thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR label have been independently certified, based on actual field data, to deliver energy savings.

Whilst each smart thermostat provides different results, Nest, one of the leading smart home companies, released a white paper stating that smart thermostats lower heating bills by an average 12% while Nest's main competitor, Ecobee, estimates savings to be as large as 23%.

Draft Stoppers

A cheaper method of cutting down on heating bills is by purchasing a draft stopper, or multiple draft stoppers. As the name suggests, this product works by preventing cold air from blowing inside, whilst keeping warm air from escaping. They work best placed across cracks below doors and around windows. By keeping the heat in and the cold air out, your room will warm up faster and stay warm for longer, reducing the amount of heating you will require, thus saving you money on heating bills. 

Thermal Curtains

A similar product idea to a draft stopper is thermal curtains. Thermal Curtains keep the heat built up in the house by creating a seal between the fabric and the window pane. They are made from a thermal material between layers of the curtain and are said to work effectively in both summer and winter. In the summer heat is reflected back outside and in the winter, keeps the heat inside working as a tight seal limiting the amount of heat that can escape through windows.

Key Takeaways of Cost of Living Crisis Money Savers 

Hopefully, this article has shared some useful tips and tricks to cut back on energy costs through home improvements during the cost of living crisis. Not only will you be able to save money, but these are great ways on how to prevent heat loss in a house at the same time. If there are any home improvement ideas we have missed that you found to have reduced your energy costs, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you. 

Don’t forget to check out our Wallrock Thermal Liners and eco-friendly paints.

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