When’s the best time to improve your home’s energy efficiency?
If you’re wondering whether to commit or delay an installation, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right time to boost a home’s efficiency.
We’ll jump straight to it... there’s no objectively best time to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Statistically, May and June are the most popular times to make home improvements with between a third and half of people making improvements during these months.1 But there are lots of considerations you’ll want to be mindful of when deciding when to plan an installation.
In this article, we look at some of these considerations and help you identify the right time for you.
What to consider when planning your improvements
Making your home more energy efficient can be a bit of a balancing act. From working around your personal commitments to navigating the weather, knowing when to plan an installation can be just as important as the improvements themselves.
Here are some things to consider when planning different types of improvements.
- The weather - Generally, you’ll want to avoid winter for any outdoor work. With October to January being the wettest months of the year,2 consider avoiding those months. Equally, you might want to avoid insulating the loft during the peak of summer (it can get hot in there!)
- Your personal circumstances - Ultimately, your home renovation must work around your availability and circumstances. If you have a couple of weeks off over the winter holiday season, that could be a great time to insulate the loft. Equally, if you spend a lot of time at home, you may need to make alternative arrangements since some types of improvements (like floor insulation) can cause major disruption.
- The costs - There are lots of ways you can make your home more energy efficient for little money. But some larger improvements, like solar panels, may require more careful planning. To lower costs, you could aim for less busy times to book your installation, like autumn, after the spring and summer rush.
- Incentives - Financial support schemes, such as the Great British Insulation Scheme (formerly ECO+), can dramatically reduce the cost of the installation. So you’ll want to check what support you may be eligible to receive before committing to an improvement.
- Availability of installers - Given that the most popular time to make home improvements is May and June, you might want to plan your improvements for outside of these months. But there’s no harm in asking a few installers about their availability.
The best improvements for each season
Like many things in life, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the best time of year to make home improvements. In many cases, it depends on your own needs and circumstances. But some improvements are better suited to certain times of year than others.
- Loft insulation - Insulating your loft can save as much as 25% of your home’s heat escaping through its roof.3 It can also keep your home cool during the summer. Spring’s a great time to insulate a loft, avoiding the cold winter and hot summer.
- Solar panels - A single solar panel can provide around 5% of a home’s daily electricity usage.4 But this will depend on the amount of sunlight it receives. Long summer days will maximize solar production, so get ready by arranging your install in spring.
- LED light bulbs - Daylight hours start to lessen from July, so fitting efficient LED bulbs in summer will prepare you for the longer autumn and winter evenings.
- Heat pumps - Heat pumps are extremely efficient at heating your home. They can generate 3kWh of heat from just 1kWh of electricity.5 So installing one in summer will ready you for the cooler seasons.
- Windows glazing - Cooler autumn temperatures will make window installation more comfortable.
- Draught proofing - Autumn is the perfect time to address any gaps around your windows and doors. You’ll have the work done in time for the windy winter season, and you’ll avoid the spring and summer pollen seasons.
- Boiler tune-ups - You should get your boiler serviced once a year to make sure it’s operating safely. But a service can also improve its efficiency. If just 3mm of soot were to build up inside a boiler, its efficiency could be reduced by as much as 50%.6
- Smart thermostat - A smart thermostat allows you to control your heating remotely from your phone. Some can even ‘learn’ your usage habits and adjust the heating accordingly to maximise efficiency. Smart thermostat manufacturers claim they can result in savings between 8% and 31%,7 but their calculations may not reflect your home or heating habits.
- Smart meter - If you haven’t got a smart meter yet, now could be the time. Smart meters monitor your energy usage so that you can see what you’re spending and so that your energy supplier can bill you accurately.
- Quick fixes - While you typically want to have your home ready before the cold winter months set in, winter is the best time to spot draughts and cold areas due to the high winds and cold weather. So this could be a good opportunity to apply quick fixes, such as draught-proof door strips, which you might not have noticed earlier in the year.
- Thermographic imaging - Grab yourself a thermal imaging camera at the coldest time of the year, and you’ll be able to spot the areas of your home that leak heat the most and invest in those areas. They can be a bit expensive, so asking a tradesperson for help or hiring one could be a more affordable option.
How to start planning your improvements
Before you decide when to make your improvements, you’ll want to make sure you’re making the right improvement in the first place. You can get started by using Snugg to determine the efficiency of your home and the types of improvements that will give you the best value for your money.
Once you’ve identified the right improvements for you, Snugg will show you whether you’re eligible for any grants which can cover some or all the cost of the installation, as well as help you find certified local installers to request quotes from.
To find out the type of energy efficiency measures are best for you, and to discover which grants and payment options you’re eligible for, get your free energy improvement plan from Snugg.
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