The war in Ukraine has had a big impact on the rest of the world. Due to the conflict, Russian gas supplies have been reduced, which has prompted an increase in energy demand. This has resulted in higher energy bills and a struggle to heat homes.

It has never been more important to consider energy efficiency when designing the interior of your home. Insulation and double glazing are the best place to start, but there are many other changes that you can make to improve the efficiency of your home. My top three tips are:

Make best use of your orientation
Moving home or embarking on a renovation? Now is the time to choose the layout that fully utilizes the natural light and heat available from the biggest source of free energy: the sun.

North facing rooms never get direct sunlight and so will be dark and cold. Embrace the darkness, with a cozy snug, media room or bar area. This is the best place for storage, or if you are short of space, bathrooms also work well here.

East facing rooms get the morning light, making them a great choice for bedrooms, but not ideal for living and dining as they never see the afternoon or evening sun.

South facing rooms will get the maximum light. Perfect for day-time living, this is the place to locate your living area. You will need good shade in the summer to prevent overheating and consider setting an open-plan kitchen away from the window to benefit from the light but not the glare of full sun.

West facing rooms give you the gentle evening light, ideal for dining rooms and study areas.

Window dressing to prevent heat loss
Windows let in the heat when the sun is shining but are also the number one area where heat escapes on colder days and evenings. Changing your window dressings is a quick way to make a difference to your heating bills. Snug fitting blinds and interlined curtains will keep the heat in and help to insulate your home. Adding a pelmet will trap air and stop the cold coming in. Thermal lined curtains and blinds are specially designed to help regulate the temperature, both keeping your home warm in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Carpet as insulation
Underfloor heating is one of the most energy efficient solutions, but did you know that carpet and underlay could reduce energy costs by 15%? Fully insulating your flooring will always give the best results, but just adding a carpet on your floor will keep heat inside and is a great first step. The thicker the carpet, the greater the thermal insulation. Look for the spaces that you want to be warm like the living or bedroom area. If you are carpeting the whole floor, you can choose to have an underlay as well. This will act as an extra layer of insulation and will help in keeping energy costs down.

by Interior Architect Fateha Sh Naveed

Instagram @fateha_sh.naveed