Four heat loss hotspots around your home to find now to cut bills by £100s before costs soar – and FREE ways to fix them | The Sun

ANNOYING draughts aren't just making your home colder, they're driving up your energy bills too.

If warm air is being allowed to escape and cold air can get in, you're more likely to turn up the thermostat or leave the heating on longer.

Luckily, there are cheap, and even free, ways to stop draughts if you're able to identify them in the first place.

The measures could save you hundreds of pounds, according to experts.

It comes after energy regulator Ofgem confirmed that the average household energy bill will rise by £94 a year from January.

The price cap will rise from the current £1,834 for a typical dual-fuel household to £1,928 in the New Year.



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Here are four of the biggest draught hotspots to look out for in your home – and how to block them up.


You might not think it, but your walls could be costing you a small fortune when it comes to your energy bills.

The colder the outside temperature or the stronger the wind, the greater the amount of heat lost through external walls.

Having insulation installed can reduce the amount of energy lost from your home.

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But as some of these measures can require a big investment upfront, it’s also worth thinking about smaller steps to boost insulation which can be done on a small budget.

Tiffany Hall, insulation category manager at Toolstation, said: “At a relatively low cost, foil insulation can be installed behind your radiator to ensure heat is kept in your home by reducing what is lost through the walls.

"Well-fitted radiator reflector foil could help to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat your home and could also help to keep the room warmer for longer once the heating is switched off."

Radiator reflector foil is used to go around your radiator to reflect radiator heat back into the room.

They work well if you have radiators sitting on external walls and in properties with solid walls.

You can pick up 1.88M² of the foil from Screwfix for £7.99, or 3m2 for £19 at Dunelm.

Airing cupboards

Many households rely on hot water cylinders in their airing cupboards for their central heating and hot water.

But if yours isn't insulated enough, then the water you're paying to heat might not stay hot for very long.

Danielle Robinson, central heating category manager at Toolstation, said: "Insulating your hot water cylinder is a quick and easy way to ensure that the water you’ve heated stays hot.

"If you already have a jacket installed, it may be worth checking the thickness and if necessary, replacing it with a new one.

"Energy Saving Trust recommends that hot water cylinder jackets should be at least 80mm thick for optimum performance."

A hot water cylinder jacket costs about £15, and you can fit one yourself at home without needing to be a dab hand at DIY.

It’s usually as simple as choosing the correct size from a DIY store and then slipping it on.

Think of it like when you go to put your own coat on before stepping outside – the jacket is designed to keep all the heat in.

In your boiler's case, it means it won't waste energy coming to temperature as less heat can escape.

And your water will stay hotter for longer so you won't need to spend as much time with the heating on.

Central heating system

You could be losing heat right from the source if your central heating system is running inefficiently.

This could be caused by something as common as limescale, which is known as kettling, when it builds up in your central heating system.

If your boiler is fighting to work against a build-up of grime, you could see your energy bills pushed up as a result.

Danielle said: "An efficient central heating system is imperative for winters in the UK.

“It’s recommended to regularly use central heating cleaners to remove any rust or limescale that could be building up.

"This can boost the efficiency and longevity of your central heating system which will save you money in the long term."

To check your boiler, you need to ensure you turn off the boiler and gas supply, turn off the intake valve and wait for the radiator to cool down and open the drain valve again.

When liquid is released by the radiator, you can turn the valve off and turn everything back on.

Just make sure that you have a bowl to catch the liquid in.

Danielle also recommends using boiler fluid after cleaning to reduce any boiler nose.

She said: "If your boiler is leaking or regularly losing pressure, you may also benefit from using a central heating leak sealer to address the problem."

Living room

It's not surprising that most of us spend more time in our living rooms than any other part of our homes.

This also means it's usually the room that we prioritise the most when it comes to heating.

But there's no point keeping it warm if there isn't going to be anyone there to feel the benefit.

Danielle said: "It’s important that your heating is set to come on for a time when you and your family can feel the benefit.

"For example, you could cut the midday heating burst particularly if no one’s in, but a mid-evening radiator switch-on could be considered more essential, particularly if you’re looking to cosy up to the TV."

If your central heating system doesn’t have a timer or any form of control to manage the energy output to different rooms, you could look at investing in thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs).

These valves allow you to manually adjust the energy output in different rooms in your house.

It is a handy way to prevent heat from being wasted in rooms which are not in use.

At Wickes, you can pick up TRVs from around £16, while at Screwfix, some cost from just a tenner.

Experts claim that using TRVs correctly could potentially half your bill.

It is generally recommended that you shut your heating off 30 minutes before you leave and then 30 minutes before you go to bed.

Other ways to save on your energy bills

Switch to solar lights outside

During sunnier days, switching off outdoor lighting and using solar lamps or lights will help cut energy bills.

Close curtains at night 

Close your curtains in the evening as temperatures drop to help insulate your home and stop heat from escaping.

This means you are less likely to need to turn the heating on.

Make sure you open the blinds in the morning, especially on sunny days, as the glass will act like a greenhouse to help warm your property.

Use residual oven heat to cook

Ovens remain hot immediately after you have turned them off.

This means you can actually turn them off up to ten minutes before your food is due out to let the residual heat finish the job for you.

However, don’t take risks with food, and make sure it is piping hot and properly cooked all the way through before eating.

Don’t open the oven when in use

Once you have turned the oven on and put your food in, try not to open the door.

This reduces the temperature and prompts the appliance to use extra energy to bring the temperature back up, and also adds time on to cooking your meal costing you more.

Let food cool down 

Putting hot food in the fridge can disrupt the temperature forcing the appliance to burn extra energy to cool the space back down.

It’s a similar story if you stand at the fridge with the door open wondering what to eat for longer periods of time.

Boil the kettle with the water you need 

The cost of running the kettle over a year mounts up making it one of the most expensive appliances.

Filling the kettle with more water than you need wastes energy and money.

Try using cups of water to fill the kettle so that you only boil what you need. 

Turn off devices

It’s estimated a sizeable chunk of electricity used in homes is from appliances that are sitting in standby mode. 

This equates to as much as £80 on a bill of £500.

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Most people know about the TV but switching off your microwave when it’s not in use can make a big difference to bills.

We have rounded up some of the worst offenders to leave on standby.

You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.

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