DIY insulation tips for your home to keep it warmer in autumn and winter

The weather is getting cooler and energy prices are rising sharply, with the wholesale gas price going up 250% in the last year and consumers set to feel the pinch as a result.

Aside from switching providers, most of the steps we can take to reduce our bills rely on a reduction in the amount of energy we use.

For some, this means putting a jumper on and turning down the heating, although many people are already cutting back and finding their bills are still too high.

Insulation is the best way to get the most from your heating, and that doesn’t mean you need to fork out for contractors or deal with invasive building work.

Here are some easy DIY hacks to keep warmth inside your home and reduce your energy spend overall.

Not only that, but these are all renter-friendly and great for the environment.

Draught excluders

A simple solution, but there’s a reason most of our grandparents have draught excluders: because they know how cost-effective they are.

Draught excluders – or door snakes as the Americans call them – are placed in front of doors or windows where cold air might enter (or hot air might leave).

You can buy these from most household stores, or make your own from some stuffed and tied-up tights.

Curtains or blinds

The curtains or blinds you have in your home can actually affect your energy use, as some materials are worse than others for stopping draughts.

Thermal curtains and blinds have insulated fabric sewn between the layers of fabric, trapping air inside when they’re closed.

They’re also great for dampening street sounds, so perfect for light sleepers.

Fireplace plugs

Although chimneys aren’t commonplace nowadays, many houses do have them – and they can be a big source of heat loss.

‘Chimney balloons’ and fireplace plugs can be placed into the flue to stop cold air coming in and warm air leaving the property.

They typically cost under £20 and can be bought in larger hardware shops. Just make sure to take it out if you do light a fire.

Insulation film

Windows are one of the places our homes lose the most heat, and insulation film is a low-cost fix for that.

Kits can be bought from hardware stores, with the plastic film going over the glass. You then heat-activate it with a hairdryer to ensure it sticks.

Although having glazing and sealing issues in your windows fixed is a more long-term solution, this should see you through the winter months without a big outlay or calling in the professionals.

Pipe sleeves

Pipe lagging and tap covers can be used in the winter months to prevent heat loss and also stop pipes freezing (and potentially bursting).

Foam lagging is fairly unsightly so you’ll probably want to ensure it goes on hidden pipes, but it costs just a few pounds per metre and could save you a fortune.

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