From a personal point of view, I am at information overload.
Thanks (or regrettably, depending on your viewpoint) to the digital age, the internet and a 24/7 slew of advertising, I wish sometimes that it could all be turned off.
However, to play devil’s advocate, if you’re looking for something specific, it only takes a couple of minutes of search to find hundreds of thousands of returns on Google or other search engines. Such was the case when I was undertaking a renovation of my old house.
Modern homes are built to rigid standards and energy efficiency is now one of the top priorities of construction. It was not always so however, and if you rent or own a property built prior to the 1980s (as we do) you may have huge scope for improving the energy efficiency of the property.
Hints and tips to an energy efficient home
My old house is cold — always had been. Not such a bad deal in the summer but in the winter the heating seemed to be on all day and all night. Something had to be done. As an element of the renovations I sought help on the internet to make it as energy efficient as possible. After all, I had no intention of moving home.
Just a quick search revealed the following hints and tips to help improve the energy efficiency of a residential home and how to go about it the right way:
- Roof and loft insulation – This will maintain effectiveness for well over 40 years. However, in older properties there may be an issue with damp in the loft space. By preventing heat loss through the roof, you may be creating another problem. Engage a professional and make sure a survey is carried out to mark out the best methods for insulating the roof without causing damp to accumulate.
- External wall insulation – Walls account for anything up to a third of all heat loss where insulation is poor, inefficient or non-existent. Heat naturally flows to lower temperature areas of a property. Walls are an excellent conductor of heat from the interior of a property. A typical family home built prior to the 1980s could save up to £140 per year on heating bills if efficient cavity fill or other exterior wall insulation is installed.
- You may also want to think about installing double glazing. Now is as good a time as any to consider installing modern, thermal efficient windows and doors in place of older, less efficient ones.
These are ‘the biggies’ of property insulation and energy efficiency. Other methods to help improve efficiency are to make sure all hot water tanks and water delivery pipes are thoroughly lagged and protected. The less heat radiating from exposed pipes reduces the need to top up the hot water. Place reflective insulating material behind radiators; if you have floorboards there will be a space below them. Install insulating material in the gap to stop the cold emanating upwards. Fitted carpets will benefit from having heat retardant underlay placed between the floor and the carpet.
With all of the information available about what you can do to make your home energy efficient, the most important thing is to ensure you are getting current and valid information from the experts. Be careful of ‘info overload’ as I call it; there is lots of information available, all you need do is sift through what is relevant to your current situation and needs and start the ball rolling to an energy efficient home.