Keeping Energy Costs Low this Winter in Christchurch
By NewsPipe | Thursday, October 04, 2012, 11:22
Nobody likes to see their energy bills rising every year, but it's often
increased by a lack of attention to the heat also 'rising' up and out our
roofs, windows and chimneys.
Christchurch People have compilied a list of weak spots around the house and a remedy for each offending area. You can get a professional energy and insulation audit for you home, but for those of us who want to 'do it ourselves', the first thing to do is to a draught check.
This can be done by walking around your home with a lit candle (safety
first, be aware of curtains and soft furnishings). Watch the flame to see
if it flickers when you hold it near any windows, doors, letterboxes, loft
hatches, pipe work leading to the outside, chimneys, floorboards etc.
Stick a post it or make a mark on the offending area and you will be able to locate it again easily.
Found a few trouble spots?
Windows - Not all of us have double glazing, and sometimes it too can
still let draughts in. Buy draught-proofing foam strips to stick around the window frame from £4 from F G Box and Son on Somerford Road.
Doors - Gaps around doors and floors account for around 11% of heat lost. Letterboxes can be fitted with a draught excluder from £7. Self
adhesive foam strips can be used around ill fitting door edges and metal
brush strips can be fitted to the bottom of the door to stop draughts. All these items are in stock now at Homebase on Bailey Drive.
Floorboards and Skirting Boards - Buy a filler that can tolerate movement in the wood– these are usually silicon-based. For products
and expert advice pop over to Robert Dyas in Saxon Square.
Gaps around Pipe work - Try purchasing a can of expanding foam filler, it is easy to use and will fill even quite large gaps and dry hard which can then be painted. Always wear gloves. I learnt the hard way not to get any on your clothes though, as the foam is impossible to remove! All good hardware shops should sell it, try Inexcess on Somerford Road.
Chimneys - For unused chimneys you can buy a snug fitting Chimney balloon, it just what it sounds like and will plug the gaps nicely. Sadly not local but for an excellent mail order website go to Nigels Eco store .
Lofts - 26% of heat loss is from an uninsulated home is through the roof. Loft hatches can be draught proofed by using strip insulation, like you would on a door. Loft insulation can be confusing with all the different types on offer so here is a quick explanation of what they are made from and the most popular types.
- Sheep's wool insulation provides a high performance and sustainable solution to both consumption of energy and the effects of climate change. Wool actually generates heat when it absorbs moisture.
- Penhallick foams have a high strength / density relationship as they are lightweight, strong ,and very thin but are less environmentally friendly.
- Glass mineral wool is made from sand and recycled glass, limestone and soda ash.
- Rock mineral wool is made mainly from volcanic rock, typically basalt and/or dolomite.
- PIR such as Celotex which is a hard foam based insulation, which can be easily sawn to fit between beams and joists.
- Multi-Foil is the thinnest and is soft, flexible and very efficient but again not very environmentally friendly.
For those who would prefer to get a professional to install their roof
insulation products contact The Dorset Energy Advise Centre.
Dorset Energy Advice Centre (DEAC) also offer information on grants which are available for insulation, heating and renewable energy to Dorset Homeowners and private tenants.
Reducing the draughts and heat loss around the home is the main way
to reduce your energy bills and stay cosy this winter. Let us know if you have any tried and tested tips you would like to share here on Christchurch People.
Photo courtesy of Grayskullduggery's Flickr photostream