Making your Home Thermally Efficient
“Having a home that is thermally efficient makes a huge difference, in terms of the cost of your bills and feeling comfortable inside your property.”
Having a home that is thermally efficient makes a huge difference, in terms of the cost of your bills and feeling comfortable inside your property.
According to the Energy Saving Trust on August 5th 2015, there are many ways to make energy saving improvements at home, and home insulation can ensure your property is thermally efficient.
The Energy Saving Trust recommends insulating your loft, attic or flat roof as a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and, in turn, reduce your heating bills. This is primarily because heat rises and when a home is not insulated, about a quarter of heat is lost through the roof.
What’s more, loft insulation lasts for at least 42 years and gives you a good return of investment (ROI).
Cavity Wall Insulation
If your house was built from 1990 and onwards, you will probably have wall insulation to keep the heat in. If your house was built before this however, you may want to consider cavity wall insulation. Without wall insulation, you will be heating the air outside, as well as your house.
In addition, if your home was built before 1919, you probably have solid external walls rather than cavity walls. Solid walls let out more heat and are more expensive to insulate, that said, the saving you make on solid wall insulation is greater than that of cavity wall insulation.
You don’t need to insulate your floors that are on the second or third storey, but ground floors and skirting boards can benefit from insulation under the floorboards. Combining underfloor insulation with use of a sealant to reduce draughts and get rid of gaps between the floorboards, can save about £45 – £55 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
The Energy Saving Trust also state that draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you £25 to £50 per year. In addition, draught-free homes are more comfortable at lower temperatures, so you can turn down your thermostat and save a further 10 per cent of your heating bill.
Insulating Tanks, Pipes and Radiators
Insulating tanks, pipes and radiators keep water hotter for longer. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the insulating jacket should be at least 75mm thick to reach an energy-saving standard.
Where to purchase your Insulation?
The National Insulation Association (NIA) is a recognised member organisation for the insulation industry and their website may be a good place to look for an installer: http://www.nia-uk.org/.
Energy Efficient Windows
As well as suitable insulation, windows and doors play an important role in ensuring your home is thermally efficient.
Undoubtedly, all properties lose heat through their windows. Energy-efficient glazing ensures your home is kept warmer and quieter, and can significantly reduce your energy bills.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, you should consider installing double or triple-glazing, secondary glazing, or perhaps using heavier curtains.
The Trust state that triple-glazed windows aren’t always better than double-glazed windows and describe double-glazing as two sheets of glass with a gap of about 16mm in between, that is usually filled with gas.
In addition, the trust claims that the most energy-efficient double glazing is low emissivity (Low-E) glass. Low-E glass often features an invisible coating of metal oxide, normally on one of the internal panes to let in light and heat, but cuts the amount of heat allowed to escape. Apparently, very efficient windows often use gases such as argon, xenon or krypton in the gap between the sheets of glass.
Finally, pane spacers keep the two panes of glass separate and are located on the inside edge of the window. Pane spacers that contain little or no metal offer better insulation.
To find out more about keeping your home energy efficient, take a look at the Energy Saving Trust website: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/domestic/improving-my-home-0.