How I Created a Great Garden and a Dream Home

5 ways to cut your heating bill with a greener home

Concerned about the cost of heating your home in winter? It takes time and investment to become completely self-sufficient, but even a quick DIY project will make a dent in your bill. Here are five short- and long-term options for reducing your heating costs.

Install an air source heat pump

Air source heat pumps draw warmth from outside the home, pump it up and expel it inside. Surprisingly, this system is so efficient it even works in cold weather. The internal heat pump can work in temperatures below zero to provide a constant, comfortable indoor atmosphere. A well-insulated home is a good starting point for installing one of these pumps, as they work at a lower temperature than traditional boilers. We'll get back to insulation in a bit.

Get retro with firewood

Invest in an indoor firepit or stove, and you only have to worry about sourcing firewood for heating. This can be done on the cheap by adding an axe to your investments. From there you only need to contact construction sites for their waste wood, or scope out yard sales for junk furniture to recycle.

Use the power of the sun

If you're interested in solar power but concerned about covering your roof in solar panels, consider a solar water heater. The advantage of this system is that you only need to install one or two solar water heating panels to benefit from the results. If you live in a sunny climate, the long summer days are a resource waiting to be tapped into.

Insulate and protect

There's no point agonising over which source of heat you use to get warmth into your home without insulation to keep it there. Run an audit of your home from roof insulation right down to the ground. Even small DIY projects, such as covering draughts around your front door (think keyholes and letterboxes) can prevent heat from leaking out. 

Double glazing and alternatives

Double glazing is one of the most crucial forms of insulation, but a lack of window insulation is still a problem in many older houses. If double glazing isn't right for you, for instance in homes with period windows which you want to leave intact, there are alternatives which can be equally as effective. Insulated shutters and blinds make a huge difference: These additions are made of insulating material and fit close to the original window, creating a double-glazed effect when closed.