News – Top tips on eco home improvements

The recession means that there is a new financial impetus to become greener

Report prepared by Leonard Holihan

1 Cut that draught with a rug

Boom-time home improvements, such as stripped wood floors, can make it harder to cut your fuel bills. The draughts that blow up through the gaps in stripped wood flooring will have your radiators working double time, so buy some rugs if you cannot contemplate carpets. Habitat has a good selection starting at £39, but, for extra greenie points, try one of Lise Lefebvre’s creations ( The French designer recycles old blankets into kitsch bearskin rugs à la Sarah Palin with an eco-twist.

2 Hang it all

Plantation blinds, another essential part of the early Noughties domestic makeover, are probably more suited to the steamy climate of the American Deep South. Full-length curtains do a better job of keeping out the cold. Marks & Spencer is doing a brisk trade in made-to-order curtains, which start at £76. Remember, some outlay now will secure long-term savings.

3 Let it flow

Thermostatic radiator valves (TRV), which cost about £8 from and help you to control room temperatures more effectively, are another example of investment now for long-term payback later. A London plumber will charge about £200 to install TRVs in a four-bedroom house. Also, learn more about insulation at and at