MacConvilles 3 point guide to getting the best from Energy Efficency Improvements

3rd March 2022

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Building insulation

In the last week letters and emails from energy companies have been landing on doormats and in mailboxes across the country and we are all beginning to understand in clear financial terms how much more we will be paying for our gas and electricity

With these bills set to dramatically increase many will be considering what quick gains could be had for both our pocket and the environment with upgrading insulation and draught proofing making being top of the list. These can be easy and accessible wins but only if done correctly. Armed with a little information you can avoid the pitfalls of poorly designed upgrades that can spell disaster for well intentioned property owners.

It’s a balancing act

Adding insulation to your property will change the way it ‘breathes’.  Moisture exists in all buildings and the balance between adding insulation and ventilation is critical. Get it wrong and you cause moisture to become trapped inside the building.  At best this moisture condenses on the inside of walls and appears as black mould. At worst it is absorbed by the building fabric, encouraging corrosion and decay of structural elements with associated repairs outweighing any energy cost gains.

From breathing and boiling a kettle to drying our clothes over the radiator or having a shower the way we live constantly adds moisture into our buildings. When we change our property’s thermal performance with energy efficiency improvements we often improve one area only to encourage moisture to collect elsewhere. This moisture will migrate to the colder parts of our properties like walls, roof spaces, back of cupboards and windows and when these places are out of sight damage occurs unchecked.

With government backed schemes promoting the benefits of upgrading insulating and draft proofing make this type of home improvement appear a very easy win both in the pocket and for the environment and done correctly it is. It just requires a bit of thought. To help set you out on the right path our Building Surveying team have put together a 3 point guide to achieving a cheaper to run warmer property.

Insulate tight and ventilate right

Insulation and ventilation go hand in hand. Make sure your plans include of the right type and location of ventilation be that natural or mechanical electrical.

Treat you house holistically. Upgrading one element will impact on another.

Take time to understand what impact your improvements may have both the good and bad. Whilst larger projects will benefit from thermal modelling to assess interventions, this will not be within everyones reach. However, with the right team behind you, a good understanding of the topic and some careful thought, the expense of a thermal modelling assessment can be avoided as can the effects of a poorly planned scheme.

Be realistic about gains.

Your property will probably never reach EPC A rating status unless it was designed, built and lived in that way. Retrofitting energy efficiency improvements will always be more difficult than building them in at a planning and construction phase but that doesn’t mean they won’t make a difference. Just be realistic about what you can achieve and talk to the experts to ensure you get the best from your scheme.

So if you want to start the journey of cutting costs and improving the thermal performance of you buildings why not call us for a chat?

 

 


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