How to Make Homes More Energy Efficient

Making sure that you have an energy-efficient home is not only a great way to save your household money on its monthly electric or gas bills, but it’s an excellent way to lower your carbon emissions while helping the environment.

Energy efficiency begins with excellent insulation. For many homeowners, simple fixes such as installing loft insulation or implementing a draught-proofing system can help to lower heat loss throughout the year.

In this article, our expert energy-saving technicians explore the best ways to make your home energy efficient.

Solid Wall Insulation

Older homes that predate the use of modern cavity walls were constructed using solid walls. Solid brick or stone walls have just one layer, as opposed to cavity walls which consist of two walls. While cavity walls can easily be insulated by filling the gap between the two layers with insulating materials, solid walls lose massive amounts of heat given their lack of insulation.

For homeowners with solid walls, the most effective way to insulate the house is to have solid wall insulation installed. Solid wall insulation can be installed internally or externally. In its simplest form, it consists of an extra layer of panelling that creates a gap, which is filled with insulating materials such as foam.

It’s a big job but given the fact that up to 50 per cent of a building’s heat is lost through the walls, solid wall insulation is a worthy investment. Over time, homeowners stand to reduce their energy bills massively, paying back the upfront costs and saving money year on year.

Floor Insulation

Homes are generally constructed with either wooden, timber flooring, or with a solid concrete floor. Both of these methods and materials of flooring need to be insulated in order to ensure that your home is as energy-efficient as possible.

The most important layer of the home to insulate is the ground floor. This is where any heat lost through flooring will escape to the outside, although if you desire a super-warm bedroom, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to insulate the upper floors too!

Floor insulation varies, as the best method depends on the type of floor the building has. Concrete floors can be insulated using rigid foam boards or other similar insulating materials; timber floors can be filled with insulating materials with sealants used to fill up gaps in the flooring or skirting boards that allow heat to escape.

Floor insulation is commonly installed if a home’s floor needs to be replaced, or if the house is having a makeover and having new timbers or new carpets installed. The homeowner also needs to remember to insulate any rooms that are above spaces that aren’t heated. This includes rooms or bedrooms that might be above the garage, for example, where there’s no heating system in place.

Loft Insulation

As well as heat being lost through the walls and floors of a home, a large percentage of heat loss occurs through the roof. This is particularly true if your home has a large attic or loft space through which heat easily escapes.

There are several different ways to insulate a loft, and the best method depends on the size and layout of the loft and how often you need access to the loft space. The simplest and cheapest way to insulate a loft is to fill it with insulating materials. Foam boards can be set down on the floor, while the timbers and supports can be wrapped in insulating materials.

However, this simple form of insulation takes up lots of space and prevents access to the loft area. If you intend to store things in the loft, then a better option is to install a layer of plyboard flooring to create a cavity. This cavity can then be filled with insulating materials, without taking up too much space.

If you are planning on converting the loft into an extra room, then you’ll need all the space you can get. Again, installing insulation under the flooring is the best option, but you’ll also need to insulate the roof above.

Draught Proofing

Draught proofing a house is the easiest way to improve a building’s energy efficiency and save money. Draughts occur when air rushes inside or outside the home through gaps in the structure. This could be through a gap in the masonry, a broken seal on the window, or simply a door that’s been left open.

Draught proofing a home is as easy as ensuring that the windows and doors are fully closed when the heating is on, while window and door frames should be checked for faults and sealed up where necessary. Heat can also be lost through chimneys, letterboxes, cat flaps and even keyholes, so if you’re looking for the ultimate in energy efficiency, install covers or brushes in these locations that stop heat from escaping.

Remember that your home needs adequate ventilation to stop condensation, damp and mould from occurring inside. Never seal up or try to insulate intentional ventilation spots – especially those in the bathroom or kitchen – or you’ll find that condensation becomes a problem in winter.

Energy Saving Surveys

To identify the potential energy savings that can be made through insulating loft spaces or installing solid wall insulation, we recommend having a professional energy-saving survey carried out on your home.

Energy-saving surveys highlight potential areas for improvement, providing expert solutions that can save you money in the long run while also helping to lower your home’s carbon emissions. Energy-saving surveys can be carried out in conjunction with other important household surveys such as damp and timber reports.

Contact Danford, Brewer & Ives for More Information On Making Your Home Energy Efficient

For more information and advice on making your home energy efficient, then please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced specialists will be on hand and ready to offer expert advice tailored to your property.