The bad news is that British homes are some of the leakiest in Europe – we spend a small fortune each winter on heat which simply escapes through our windows, doors, walls and floors. It amounts to a massive carbon bomb too - heating is behind about a third of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and about half of that is used heating space and water in homes.
The good news is that there is loads and loads of heat we can easily save. We’ve got five easy, no-cost tricks to make the most of your home heating.
When you’ve tried those, here’s another five. From basic draught-busting to sticking a sheet of tin foil down the back of your radiators (really) there are loads of easy-wins to save heat at home.
If you’re handy with DIY and want to take things a bit further, there is loads of advice on the Superhomes website of stuff you might do to improve the energy efficiency of your home. And if you want some inspiration, meet the DJ who quit his job to make his home into a climate-change-busting paradise.
Once you’ve done some basic heat-saving tricks at home, why not offer your skills to a neighbour? Or take them to your office, school, scout hut, local pub or community centre - any building you might use with other people. Get others involved too - then they can skill up and take what they’ve learnt home with them.
You can even make draught-busting into a bit of a game, especially if you have a large building to go draught-spotting in. Some draughts are easy to track down - it you can see daylight through it, and it’s not a window, it’s probably a good place to start! But others need a bit more thinking to root out.
One trick is to wait for a windy day, then hold an incense stick near a suspected draught source - the moving smoke will be a dead giveaway. Challenge your office mates/ teachers/ scout group/ whatever to hunt the draught, and then give them bonus points for ideas of other ways to save energy.
Everyone doing a bit of basic draught-busting is a good first step, but if we really want to tackle how much energy British homes are wasting, we need our politicians to take action on housing regulations and investment in energy efficiency.
You can help push this up the political agenda a bit by writing to your MP and ask what they are doing to fight for action against cold homes. As well as getting more active in climate action, you might consider looking into housing campaigns too, like joining a local renters group.