|Insulation = stopping heat loss = lagging = draught excluding|
|In the average British building (business or home) 25-75% of the heat put into the property is quickly lost through the roof, walls and floors.|
This is a complete waste that can be almost totally eradicated. I can talk sensibly about windows too but I am not a double glazing salesman!
|Through the roof|
|About 20% of the household's energy bill can be saved by installing good loft insulation. Good means a minimum depth of 150mm (6 inches in old money!) and even better 200mm (8in) - with glass fibre or 140mm using sheep's wool - see below. This is not rocket science. Really good quality loft insulation is available from all DIY stores and the fibre-glass stuff even comes now with plastic wrapping to avoid damaging your hands.|
|Preferably you can go "green" and insulate your loft with sheep's wool - considerably more expensive than fibreglass but almost carbon neutral (that is it only uses about 15% of the energy required to manufacture fibre glass) and it lasts a lot longer too, up to 50 years. I like this concept and anticipate prices coming down steadily as more and more farmers make their product available. Being a natural fibre from a totally renewable source sheep's wool insulation has a fantastic energy balance. Wool can rapidly absorb and release moisture and so helps keep buildings cool in summer as well as warm in winter. |
|The great thing about modern insulation products, and here I mean particularly wool, is that they are easy to handle. Ok, it's a bit of a cliché - the picture that is, but wool is totally harmless and can be installed without any protective clothing whatsoever - and for those of you who are worried this is a baby avatar - it is not a real baby - it is a baby simulation for advertising purposes - it is cute though! |
|A typical house has a loft space of around 70sqm and insulation will cost you anything from £3/sqm for basic fibre glass up to £10/sqm for max thickness wool products. So you are looking at spending up to £700 to lag the entire loft space. This measure will save you 15-20% on your energy bills so you can do the math pretty easily to work out payback. I reckon 3 - 5 years payback in most houses with standard products. Get in touch if you have any queries or would like to obtain details of what and where to buy.|
|Through the walls|
|Now here's a useful thing I came across recently - SEMPATAP THERMAL SOLID WALL INSULATION a 10mm thick, specifically developed solid wall insulation.|
It is thermal insulation which, when applied inside the property on the external walls, substantially reduces heat loss making rooms immediately feel warmer.
It is often referred to as “magic wallpaper”, “insulated wallpaper” or ‘flexible insulating lining’.
SEMPATAP THERMAL is as simple as wallpaper to apply with hardly any mess and can be decorated with virtually any finish - emulsion, wallpaper - it can even be tiled.
SEMPATAP THERMAL can be redecorated with no problem and has a life expectancy of 30 years.
It can be easily applied on a DIY basis and there is an application DVD available for all homeowners living in hard to heat homes wishing to undertake DIY insulation.
Another big benefit is SEMPATAP can be applied on a rolling programme when each room is being decorated – thus keeping any disruption to a minimum and also keeping outlay costs to a minimum.
SEMPATAP THERMAL is approved as an Energy Saving Product by the Energy Saving Trust and is an EST “Recommended” product for the insulation of solid wall homes.
It has been tested by the National Physical Laboratory and figures produced by the Building Research Establishment show considerable carbon saving.
It will reduce the ‘u’ value by nearly 30%. In fact on a three bedroom semi detached house the annual carbon savings are 798kg, 119kg higher than cavity fill.
Then we have - wait for it 'cos this is big - INSULATING PAINT - yes I am shouting - this is important.
ECOS insulating interior wall paint - available in 5L tins - 76 colours and white. This energy-saving decorative super-matt wallpaint insulates walls & ceilings, saving you money on energy bills year on year, every day, 24 hrs per day.
Potential Savings – insulating efficiency is normally expressed in R values, but this is more relevant to thick layers (ie foam, cavity wall insulations, etc) & the testing methods are not really appropriate to thin paint layers.
The generally accepted efficiencies for insulating paints varies considerably, but are widely considered to lie in the range between 10-30%, so even at the lower end of these energy savings, this Insulating Wallpaint will pay for itself in a very short timescale. But you don’t need to take my word for it - You can try before you buy ! – the manufacturers have given me a bunch of sample pots so you can email me and ask for a free white Matchpot and an A4 sample Swatch & FEEL the difference between painted & unpainted walls (apply 2 medium coats & allow to dry thoroughly) - but hey - please make sure you give me a very good reason for sending you a sample - the more entertaining the better!
You will be able to place your hand on the swatch & feel the warmth for yourself. Coverage approx 50m2 per 5L/coat.
|Radiator Insulation - you may not have thought about this before so read on please|
Up to half of the heat loss from an average house is through the walls because of a simple physical phenomenon called conduction. Heat naturally passes from a warm room to a cold wall and never re-enters the room unless the room temperature falls below that of the wall - doesn't happen, so you need to insulate your walls to stop this.
First way of achieving this is to insulate behind your heat emitters - radiators, storage heaters, convectors - whatever. If there is an air gap then the wall behind the heater should be insulated - ideally using a proprietary product such as Heatkeeper panels although silver foil will have some effect. The great thing about Heatkeeper panels is that they boost the heat output and generally reduce heating bills by around 15%.
Typically it will cost you around £40 to install these panels behind all of your radiators and give payback within 2 -3 years in most cases.
|Next thing you can do is insulate cavity walls - basically done by filling the cavity with insulating fibre, foams or beads. Surface insulation is available if you don't have wall cavities but this may reduce room sizes and effect decoration. |
Cavity wall insulation will cost you around £350-450 and pay for itself within 7-10 years.
By the way - if you are in an old house - and especially in Scotland - cavity wall insulation may not be a great idea as it can inhibit the ability of the building the "breathe" - discuss with your insulation contractor and make sure you have a guarantee in respect of avoiding condensation, damp problems.
|If you are building a house then naturally you would do well to include wall insulation from the outset and sheep's wool is fantastic for this purpose, coupled to a vapour-permeable breather membrane used on the cold side to inhibit cold air infiltration and reduce conduction losses generally.|
|Draught Exclusion - Doors & Windows|
|Draughts are an obvious signs that you have a poorly insulated home. The good news is that they are often easily sorted.|
|Draught-proofing of windows and doors is a simple DIY job but beware - never draught proof a room with an open fire or gas fire that does not have a balanced flue or an airbrick near the fire.|
|Double and even triple glazing is a very popular way of reducing heat loss although it will not save as much energy as for example cavity wall insulation.|
|When you do replace windows ensure you ask for Low E glazing as this has significantly lower heat loss characteristics than conventional glazing. You can also specify Argon filled glazed units for extremely low heat transmission and specify that the gap between the panes is at least 12mm or even 20mm for reduced energy loss (and noise!). |
|Typically draught proofing doors and windows will cost you between £50-60 and save you £10-20 a year giving 3-5 year payback and improved comfort. |
|Double glazing - with Low-E - will cost you a lot and save you a little - with apologies to all those double glazing salesmen out there - you might spend as much as £3000 to save £35 a year so don't do it just to save energy.|
|And please please please don't forget about hot pipes - the number of times I come across this type of thing beggars belief|
I mean really - come on people - at what point in time does someone spot the open pipes and think - hey that might be wasteful
Ever heard of Climaflex?
|Contact me anytime to discuss your queries|