We probably haven't done things in the right order but we've found that good insulation has been key to reducing our energy consumption and making our home more comfortable.
1997 (before we started on our energy saving quest).
- Windows - double glazed wooden sash windows installed in main structure by Original Box Sash. (high quality and specification for that time and well fitted
with draught proof brushes but, if we were replacing windows now, we would
specify triple glazing and low emissivity glass)
- Cavity walls of the ground floor exension insulated.
- Main roof replaced and insulated with Tri-Iso Super 9
insulation (equivalent to 200mm thick mineral wool).
- Flat roof replaced using 3 layer Ht felt plus
an additional insulation layer comprising a vapour barrier and 100mm
insulation slab over the existing deck.
Solid walls -Spacetherm aerogel insulation (30mm) fixed to the
inside of the external wall in the north facing bedroom and bathroom
and to the landing wall during the summer of 2010.
Floors - Chilly feet and infra-red thermometer checks showed that the hall and living room floors were colder than they should be so, while the floors were up for re-wiring, we had 90mm
Celotex foil backed insulation put between the joists on the ground
floor. This, together with a plastic membrane between the insulation and
the floorboards, plus additional insulation under the new flooring, got rid of one of our major heat loss problems.
The kitchen in the single storey extension had remained a chilly outpost, in spite of having the cavity walls filled. The main problem was the floor (ceramic tiles on the concrete base). Green Tomato Energy advised us on how to get as near as possible to passivhaus standard in this part of the house.
- Green Hat Construction excavated and insulated the kitchen floor and installed underfloor wet heating. They also insulated the walls and roof to a very high specification. At the same time, the windows and back door were replaced with triple glazed units. The improvement has been dramatic!
- New front door - A-rated composite construction.
- Curtains - room width, floor length curtains and
thermal linings provide wall insulation (day and night) and additional
window insulation by night.
- Wall - A particularly cold area below the living room bay window improved by the addition of 100mm foam insulation board.
Radiators moved from outside walls.
- Thermal blinds (Luxaflex Silhouette) installed at all windows (apart from the kitchen extension) made a big difference. They are like venetian blinds but have a fabric layer on either
side so air is trapped between and heat loss reduced.
It used to feel chilly to sit near the north facing bay window but this is
no longer a problem. (image on the right )
- Single glazed panel
over front door replaced with a double glazed panel (a problem area revealed by the infrared thermometer).
- Loft - A
light-weight removable loft hatch which drops
into place during the winter saves heat from the landing being
wasted heating the loft storage area when we aren't using it.
- External doors - our infra-red thermometer and thermal camera images indicated heat loss through and around doors. We now have new doors but, along the way, took other measures, including:
- (1) fitting draught excluder strip around the door frames a draught brush on the bottom of the door and a letter box brush
- (2) using foil backed insulation on the
inside of the front and rear doors - not an elegant solution but the difference in
surface temperature with and without the insulation was dramatic - around 2°C in the case of the wooden front door and
- (3) using caulk filling around and under the front door - aim to get rid of cold areas - not totally successful as stone step remains very cold.