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3 DIY Projects to Help you Save Energy in Winter
Autumn is here and winter is hot –or cold - on its heels. So you know what that means. Frosty mornings, the crunch of leaves, bonfires, and most importantly, massive heating bills. To try and save energy, and hopefully cut costs, here’s a few DIY projects to get on with this winter.
1) Insulate exposed pipes
Water pipes that are exposed or run outside of walls can cool your hot water down. Meaning your boiler temperature might be higher than it needs to be. Insulating exposed pipes is simple. You just need some pipe insulation and foil tape.
First, measure the length of each exposed pipe. You’ll need this when cutting down your pipe insulation material. Cut a strip of insulation big enough to wrap round the pipe. Then secure with the tape. You can get away with only insulating pipes in the coldest parts of your house, like in store cupboards, cellars, or lofts. Your home (and wallet) will still feel the benefit.
2) Stop a leaky loft
Heat rises upwards. Most of the heat in your house is going to escape through the roof. And if it isn’t properly insulated, that’s where your heating bill will be heading too. You don’t need to replace all your insulation, but it’s a good idea to check for any air leaks. Check for dark patches in your insulation. If you notice any of these, it’s likely that you’ve found a hot air leak. This suggests there’s a crack underneath, so check beneath your insulation and fill this in with wood filler. This should help prevent any air leaking through and save you energy. It’s important to remember to wear gloves and a protective mask when working with insulation, as it can irritate the skin.
3) Repaint the walls
We’re not suggesting repainting your whole house. But if there’s a room, wall, or skirting that’s not been touched by the brush for a while, then there might be cracks that have formed in the surface. Don’t panic; this is just a sign of wear and tear. Cracks or splits in paint can bring in draughts from the brickwork. Repainting is a simple way to stop these draughts and keep the heat in. This job may be simple but you need some extra time to do it well.
First, you need to clean your wall with some warm water. Any grease or dirt on the wall can affect the look of the final paint job. If you find any cracks, you can smooth them over with some of our wall filler. Do this by squeezing the filler over the crack, then smoothing it down with a trowel. Then wait about an hour for it to dry; what you do in this time is none of our business.
If the paint you’ve bought is a completely different colour to the paint you’re going to apply, and if you’ve used wall filler, you’ll need to apply some primer. Just coat the walls as you’d do with paint. Then wait, again. This should be for about an hour. If you’ve had enough for the day, leaving the primer to dry overnight is fine. Finally, you can get painting. We’re sure you know the rest.
We hope some of these tips have been useful. We’re not suggesting you do all of them. But whatever you choose, it should save you a few pennies.
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Last Friday we ran an apology. It explained that, after 21 years, we were ending the use of our famous ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ line. We want to apologise for that apology and say, that we are now even sorrier than we were.
Out of nowhere we’re seeing leaves on the floor and a chill in the air. Before winter creeps up on us there are still a load of DIY projects you can do.