Thinking about letting your lakeside cottage this year? Before you start taking bookings we spoke to the energy experts at Love Energy Savings. We put together a list of top tips which will help you maximise your margins and your customers’ experience.
Because while authentic stone walls and original wood flooring are great for the photo gallery – they’re less than ideal for energy efficiency.
No matter the season, after a long fell walk there’s nothing better than coming home to a toasty home. Unfortunately for Property Owners, this means that even in summer you could be stung with high heating bills.
Don’t despair! Even if you’ve got a booking coming up, these easy-wins can be completed quickly and cost-effectively.
- Heavy curtains — Double glazing can cost up to £600 per window and might not be right for your period property. Our recommendation? Thick curtains. They’re great for helping keep the heat in, plus if you find the right pair they’ll add to the rustic feel.
- Draught excluders — Heat can escape from cracks around windows and doors. Keep it locked in with one of these affordable and fun contraptions.
- Rugs — Laying a full carpet is expensive and might not be right for the design of your property. Rugs, on the other hand, are comparatively cheap, make great insulators, plus add a cosy, lived-in feel.
- Rearrange furniture — Sofas, chairs or chests of drawers that are positioned in front of radiators can absorb precious heat. If you find a radiator obstructed, rearrange the surrounding furniture. Who knows? It could be great for feng shui.
Depending on your radiators, you could also install reflector panels or, if that’s not feasible, a cleverly positioned shelf works just as well and looks suitably authentic.
Once you’re sure your home is heatproof it’s time to get smart with the usage. Thankfully the energy market has evolved considerably since the time people started building houses in the Lake District. Now there are some hi-tech tools and heating hacks which will help you save money and the planet.
- Install a smart thermostat — Once a thing of science fiction, smart thermostats are increasingly effective energy savings solutions. Not only can these devices intuitively regulate your home’s ecosystem, but they can also be managed remotely via your phone. True, they are costly to install – roughly £200 depending on the device. But they’ll quickly recoup the cost using data analysis and user actioned insight.
- Switch your energy provider or tariff — Sometimes the best way to save on energy expenditure isn’t to use less energy, but to spend less on energy. Energy charges can differ wildly depending on many factors inside your control. Supplier, contract length, etc. Some people find they can even save money without changing provider.
We’ve partnered with energy comparison experts Love Energy Savings to make sure our Property Owners never overpay for their energy. Find out how much you could save, compare suppliers here.
- Set a timer — The Energy Saving Trust recently proved that the idea it’s cheaper to have the heating on low all day is a myth. Instead, set a timer based on when you think your guests will be in or out of the house, with an option for them to override it if they should wish.
Set the timer to roughly match sunrise and sunset, so the heating is on whenever it’s dark.
Invest For the Future
Now is a great time to make some large-scale changes to your property. The Christmas rush has died down for tradespeople, meaning you’ve got more buying power, plus peak letting season is still a safe distance away.
- Loft insulation — About 25% of a property’s heat is lost through the roof if it’s not properly insulated. This equates to about £150 worth of energy each year. Thankfully, loft insulation is actually fairly cheap to do – it’s about £300 for professional installation. This means you’ll make your money back within the first two years and save £1,500 in the next ten.
If you already have insulation, check that it’s thick enough; the recommended depth is 270mm.
- Upgrade your boiler — Boilers are a bigger investment, but they can provide bigger returns. While modern boiler installations cost around £2,500 (according to data from Which?), the costs of running an inefficient boiler add up to around £350 a year. And given that a good boiler lasts around 15 years, that means you more than double your investment, with a lifetime saving of £5,250 on energy.
Make your holiday house a home
As this article hopefully shows there are some quick fixes to help turn your home into the ultimate ‘hygge’ getaway, without impacting bookings. In fact, some of the cheapest changes: curtains, draught excluders and switching your property’s energy provider are the easiest and most effective. That said, if you really want to maximise your property’s potential, some basic modernisations will reap rewards in the long run.
Thinking of letting your holiday home? Find out how Lakelovers can help you here.