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How To Make An Older Property More Energy Efficient

older homes more energy efficient

Saving energy at home has never been more critical. According to the Daily Record, the rising energy costs are significantly impacting households – with one in five people (20%) using credit facilities to cover the shortfall.

Old homes, in particular, can be inefficient when retaining heat and using electricity. So, how do you make an old home more energy efficient? Aside from the standard insulation work, you can use other nifty tricks to keep your bills low. This property blog is steps you can take to save energy and pay less each month.

Nine Energy-Efficient Steps For An Old Home

Older homes have more character; you can stay put and reduce energy costs. Check out our nine top tips for making your old home energy efficient.

1. Conduct a home energy audit

This is simpler than it sounds. You can look for draughts or air leaks, check insulation, and inspect heating and cooling equipment.

Alternatively, you can get a professional to do it for you.

2. Switch energy provider

Go shopping! If you’ve been with the same energy supplier for years, it may be time to look around and see if there are any better options.

But be careful. Many suppliers will lure you in with a cheap introductory offer to hit you with a steep price hike a year into your contract. Look for more established providers that will give you good long-term value and where price rises aren’t an issue.

3. Fill the gaps between floorboards or get underfloor insulation

This is one of the top tips for making your old home more energy-efficient. While draughts are more commonly associated with dodgy windows, the gaps between old floorboards can be bad. You’ll be surprised how much heat is lost through these pesky crevices– it can add to the equivalent of having a small window open 24/7.

But fear not; we’re not suggesting you remove your beautiful floorboards. Filling the gaps is the best long-term solution. You can fix the draught yourself, or if DIY is not your thing, get a professional to do the job for you. And if you’re after a more short-term and immediate solution, a big rug can provide an extra insulation layer.

Plus, consider under-floor insulation – this will stop the draughts and save you around £75 in annual heating costs.

4. Review and, if needed, replace your boiler and radiators

It’s always important to give your boiler an annual service to ensure it’s working as efficiently. This is especially true for older houses, which are more likely to have older boilers in greater need of care.

If your boiler is over ten years old, you could consider replacing it with a newer model, saving £300 a year on bills.


It’s a similar story with radiators – giving them a check is always good. If they are cold at the top and warm at the bottom, it could mean some trapped air and need bleeding. Bleeding radiators is a valuable skill you can quickly learn, saving you plenty of cash.

Are your radiators cold at the bottom? That’s a trickier issue to solve. You might need to flush them – a process costing around £500.

5. Draughtproof your windows and doors

One of the more straightforward ways to make your old home more energy efficient is to block any air leaks from windows and doors.

While in newer houses, you can replace windows and doors, and you might want to keep the character of your old property by fixing the windows you already have.

You can eliminate draughts yourself by caulking or weatherstripping in cracks and gaps.

6. Install an energy-efficient stove

If your period property uses fireplaces for heat, you might consider getting a wood-burning stove.

Unlike the open fires in a traditional fireplace, wood-burning stoves are sealed to the room, which means you’ll use less fuel and thus heat your home more efficiently.

7. Insulate your chimney

Older properties are likely to have chimneys. These can let out a lot of heat if not adequately insulated. If your fireplace is purely an aesthetic feature in the room and you never actually use it, we recommend getting your chimney plugged and sealed.

Other solutions include getting a thick layer of felt insulation inserted up the chimney or even an inflatable balloon. These can also be quickly taken out if and when you want to use the fireplace.

8. Use curtains to your advantage

Are you losing heat from your windows but don’t want to replace them because they add character to your gorgeous period property? Time to get clever with curtains.
Investing in a blackout or thermal lining curtains can help keep the heat in your house. Ensuring they extend a few inches around the window (so that it’s completely sealed) will further help reduce heat loss.

9. Consider heating just the rooms you use the most

Small space heaters can be a good solution for those who live in large properties and only use one or two rooms for most of the day.

And there you have it – our top 9 tips on keeping your period property cosy in the most cost-efficient way possible. Keen to learn more ways to be energy efficient at home? See this article.