It’s your first October in your new property, and you are beginning to feel a faint but detectable chill when you get up in the mornings. It would be forgivable to immediately think about adjusting your central heating to a more autumnal setting, but both economic and planetary considerations may lead you to contact a home energy auditor, or take some initial steps yourself, in order to begin seriously thinking about the long term benefits of an efficiently insulated home.
A lack of consciousness over the issue has lead to excessive energy misuse, exemplified by recent data from Russia. The Russian Center for Energy Efficiency found that a surplus of cheap gas has resulted in many buildings consuming up to 50 percent more heat and hot water than is needed.*(1) Closer to home, The National Energy Foundation reports that ‘over 25% of UK primary energy production goes towards heating buildings, more than for any other purpose’.*(2)
Although solid insulation is often best implemented during the construction phase, there are things you can do to regulate the problem without even considering investing in products or radical re-structuring. Beyond the obvious checks such as searching for draughts around the windows and doors, thick curtains drawn every night will make a surprising difference, and installing shelves above radiators will help direct the heat into the middle of the room.
Furthermore, Passive Solar Design is an extremely energy-efficient way of designing your house to receive optimal sunlight based on your location, but certain elements of this theory can also help in existing homes without too much reworking. For example, a reconfiguration of your living areas may lead you to switch your north facing bedroom or office with the south facing utility room, as south facing rooms will require less heating and it is therefore the logical choice to put the most frequently used rooms there.
Check back soon for an exploration of recent innovative and green insulation products.
Author - Ben Churchill
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