Double glazing, loft insulation and cladding are most people’s first port of all when trying to retain precious heat in their homes but a new study has found a far more efficient (and cheaper) way to cut energy bills this winter.
The Government’s “spend-to-save” guide to energy-efficient home improvement claims double glazing saves up to £235 a year.
However, at a time when household budgets are squeezed, buying and having double glazing installed for your home can easily run into the thousands of pounds. To fit ten windows with A++ double glazing would set you back £6,400 according to The Eco Experts, an environmental advisory group.
But what if there was a cheaper alternative for your windows that could actually save more energy, and save you more money?
Thermal curtains, which cost approximately £95 on average for a high-quality set, will reduce the average three-bedroom household’s heating bills by £327 a year – according to The Eco Experts.
When the Government’s energy price guarantee goes up to £3,000 in April, thermal curtains will save you even more, about £392 a year on average – almost a quarter off the average home’s energy bills.
Double glazing, which typically costs £640 a window, shaves just 17.5pc off your annual energy costs.
Josh Jackman, of The Eco Experts, explained how the curtains work: “They’re made with high-density foam, which you’ll find in most sofas, and that blocks heat from escaping your home in winter, or from coming in during summer.
“They’re also lined with insulating layers, coated with reflective material, and often come with a magnetic strip along the edges to ensure the curtains stick tightly to your wall – all of which combines to keep the temperature stable in your home.”
A pair of thermal curtains should stop between the edge of the windowsill and above radiators, as blocking any radiators would stop heat getting into the room – according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Mr Jackman, however, pointed out the benefits of having double glazing installed for the overall value of your home.
“Though this means you’ll likely never break even on your investment, double glazing is still a good idea for most homeowners.
“If you’re intending to move house at any point, having double glazing will make it much easier to sell, and allow you to set a higher price.
“Buyers generally want to see double glazing across a property, but are well aware of the cost and inconvenience of getting it done themselves – and will pay more upfront to avoid it.”
The Energy Saving Trust suggests investing in both double glazing and thermal curtains for the best results: “If your home has single-glazed windows, replacing these with energy efficient double glazing will be a more effective way to save energy and money than thicker curtains alone .”
However, in the battle for the most cost-effective way to stop heat escaping through your windows, thermal curtains win out.