Top DIY energy efficiency tips....

  • 6 October 2021
  • 8 replies
Top DIY energy efficiency tips....
Userlevel 7

The days are quickly creeping in on us, and in anticipation of the colder winter climes we’ve put together some useful guides on some of the DIY energy saving strategies you might want to consider to help lighten your energy usage, winter bills and carbon consumption.


Here’s our 3 Top Tips:


  • Check your radiators - if you notice any issues with heat distribution you might need to bleed or balance them to make sure they’re pumping out as much heat as efficiently as possible. Need some guidance, check out the video below:


  • Consider some radiator reflectors - a simple way to maximise the heat output of your radiators as suggested in this great community user-guide.
  • Do some draught-proofing - By giving all the doors and windows in your home the once over you can make sure they’re not letting any of that precious heat escape - Check out this in-depth guide in how to put that sealant gun to work!


As I know we’ve got some DIY enthusiasts in our midst here, I wonder if you’ve got any more energy-saving tips to add to the winter checklist.


Get knowledge-sharing and winter-prepping! :snowflake: ​​​​​​​

8 replies

Userlevel 7

Nice post, and some good guides linked to above.


A great call out from The ultimate guide to energy-efficient windows and doors with some useful return on investment estimates:


How much do energy-efficient windows save?

Double glazing can take a while to pay back your investment – but it’s long-lasting (20 years or more) and can make a home warmer and more comfortable by reducing draughts and cold spots. 

Fully insulated windows can also cut down your carbon footprint, reduce external noise (thanks to double glazing’s soundproofing qualities) and also reduce condensation.

These figures from the Energy Saving Trust show how much you could save each year if you replace single-glazed windows with double-glazed ones.

Energy rating Detached Semi detached Mid terrace Bungalow Flat
A rated £120 - £160 £85 - £110 £65 - £90 £55 - £75 £40 - £60
B rated £110 - £145 £75 - £110 £60 - £80 £50 - £70 £40 - £55
C rated £110 - £135 £75 - £95 £60 - £75 £50 - £65 £40 - £50


For more ideas to help you save energy in your home, check out our energy saving tips article, which has loads of advice to help you cut your electricity bills and reduce your impact on the planet.




We’re hoping this thread might be a space for community members to share and learn other tips of this kind, from each other (that’s the whole point of community.. right 😉 So I’m going to get the ball rolling with some weird things I do to save energy (and therefore money on my energy bills), and I might risk revealing myself as a bit of an odd ball. I’m OK with that:


  1. If you’re based at home these days, perhaps still working from home, you can delay switching on your heating for a few more days and weeks with a hot water bottle, and an extra layer. If you’re getting 100% renewable electricity like I am from OVO, it’s a lot better than a gas boiler firing up. Keeping your hands warm, keeping your body warm, might mean you don’t notice the overall temperature of the room is below what you’d like. 
  2. Ovens: after they’ve been on and used, turn them off and leave them open. It’s like having a log fire in your kitchen for a good 10 minutes. This takes zero effort. 
  3. Avoid tumble dryers, especially ones that double up as washing machines. It’s been years since I’ve tumble dried anything. I don’t iron, my clothes are fine and dry. If you have lots of plants in a room, I choose this place to hang up my clothes to dry. Maybe it won’t make a difference, but I like the idea of the increased moisture being welcomed by my tropical green friends. 
  4. Lastly, consider a smart meter, and a smart thermostat. You can see a great recent walkthrough from @EverythingNeedsAUserName where they set up and use their Tado thermostat here: 


I want to hear your quirky tricks to cutting down your energy bills. I bet our members have some strange doings that actually make a lot of sense. @Jeffus what do you think of my hot water bottle buster of gas boilers? @Blastoise186 you were going to help us explain how you can get power over ethernet... 

Userlevel 6
Badge +1

The government scrapped the Green Home Grants. It was a bit of a disaster in terms of the process of managing the grants. So probably best to remove references in this thread? 

This is from the ovo website

Newsflash: since this article was first written, the UK government has – sadly – scrapped the Green Homes Grant scheme. People who have had their applications for vouchers under the scheme accepted will get any money owed – but no new applications are being accepted after the end of March 2021.

Userlevel 7

The government scrapped the Green Home Grants.


Nice spot, @Jeffus - I’ve removed this reference from my post, and we’ll speak to the Content team about getting this bit of advice removed from that guide. 



Userlevel 7

Some great fact-checking going on there, @Jeffus and a shame that this scheme didn’t live up to expectations - I hear there’s some talk of a ‘Clean Heat Grant’ to replace it, be interested to hear your thoughts on this (if you’ve looked in to it much?)


Can see from your recent posts that your already considering some energy-efficiency steps by looking into installing a smart thermostat - any other simple steps you’ve taken already to improve the output of your boiler?

Userlevel 5
Badge +1

I've sealed the gap below the skirting boards! When we first replaced the carpets in the lounge I was astounded by the black dust round the edge, and realised I could actually feel a draught coming through. A tube of decorators' caulk, which you can paint over, solved both problems - the black dust and the draughts.

We've recently replaced the carpet again, and this time chose the underlay with the highest U value. Who knew they had ratings ? It feels less cold underfoot. 

In a previous older house, I sealed the joints between the floorboards to reduce draughts. Our current one has those 8x4 floor panels. 

Interesting about the U value of doors. I've never been impressed with our upvc door, though it is airtight compared to the original wooden rubbish. 

This house originally had an open gas fire with chimney. We used to push a bundle of newspaper into the chimney opening to prevent the huge heat loss, particularly in a North wind which sucked the air up the chimney. That also lessened the benefits of a fire, and we perhaps only used it a couple of dozen times in a winter. Used mostly day time rather than putting the central heating on. Obviously great care before lighting the fire! Summer 2020 we installed an electric fire instead. The fake flame makes us feel warmer even if the fire isn't on, and it completely blocks the chimney.


I miss the internal wooden shutters that my grandparents had, which with heavy curtains kept the heat in. All their outside doors had curtains that were attached to the door and lifted up to clear the floor as the door was opened. I don't miss the sash windows that I grew up with. Even the best fitting were horrendously draughty. We'd regularly have very pretty frost patterns on the inside during winter. My parents' house also turned me against electric storage radiators, because they never had heat by evening. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

How about wearing fingerless mittens with a long cuff while using the computer? My laptop surface seems to be the coldest thing in the house, so keeping just my wrists and hands covered means my hands stay warm and I can still type.

Userlevel 7

Some really great top-tips to getting toasty here. Am also a big fan of knitted goods to protect those extremities when working-from-home, @juliamc.


Also great mention of the use of shutters and curtains to help combat heat loss from draughty windows, @EverythingNeedsAUserName. That was one of my proudest sewing achievements - making some curtains to fit the sash windows in my bedroom. Sure it’s partly psychological but it certainly seems to make the place feel a whole lot cosier. Next step might be to fashion some of these draught-excluders:



A good chance to put my crochet-skills to the test as well… 

Userlevel 7

Our content team are at it again - more DIY radiator-efficiency tips for you over here.


Anyone tried changing a radiator valve themselves before or would you usually call in the plumber for this one? :wrench: